Blackbaud empowers its employees to be agents of good, not just powering an ecosystem of good but also participating in it. The company’s commitment to building a better world heavily influences the way we give back. Employees play a key role in our philanthropy, especially when it comes to our Community Matters Grants program—which gives employees the ability to decide which organizations Blackbaud’s grants are directed to.
Blackbaud’s Community Matters grants provide funding throughout the year to grassroots organizations in communities where we have high concentrations of employees. These grants help nonprofit organizations that are serving disadvantaged populations and fund programming and operational costs. Employees serve on grants committees where they are responsible for reading applications, sometimes attending site visits, and working as a group to make funding decisions. This experience broadens their understanding of the inner workings and challenges that nonprofits face, giving them even more insight into the organizations we work with every day.
As with everything, the pandemic brought changes to the grants review process. Some cycles include a site visit where committee members are able to connect directly with the nonprofit staff to discuss their applications. “The switch to virtual site visits last year proved successful and allowed us to move through the review process with more ease, relieving organizations of the added pressure of in-person visits during COVID,” said Melissa Britton, Social Responsibility Manager, Blackbaud.
Also new this year was an increased emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). All applicants were asked to tell the story of how their teams and their work is inclusive of the community they serve and how they are embracing DEI values. Additionally, Blackbaud expanded the grants committees to be more inclusive of employees that are remote and living in diverse locations.
Blackbaud is pleased to share the 2021 cohort of grantees:
- Allies Against Slavery
- Bloody Good Period
- Cheyanna’s Champion 4 Children
- Comunidades Organizando El Poder y La Acción Latina
- Connors Climb Foundation
- Emily’s Place
- Families in Nature
- Fueled by Kids
- Fundación FundaVida
- Fundación Lloverá Comida
- Give a Dog a Bone
- Hand up from Hunger
- Jessie’s June Callwood Centre for Young Women
- Kids Write Good
- LGBT Youthline
- LGBT Youth Scotland
- Manchester Choral Society
- Minnesota Second Chance Coalition
- Multicultural Refugee Coalition
- People Reaching out to Other People
- Soy Niña
- Visibility Scotland
- Where Pigs Fly Farm Sanctuary
- Wildflyer Coffee
About Blackbaud Community Matters Grants
The Blackbaud Fund, created in the late 1990s by company founder, Tony Bakker, was established to provide grants to nonprofit organizations that serve disadvantaged populations, focusing on education programs for youth and the disabled located in and around Charleston, SC. To help facilitate this program, Blackbaud partnered with the Coastal Community Foundation, the largest community foundation in South Carolina. The foundation is instrumental in helping Blackbaud identify areas with the greatest need and partnering with the nonprofits that have the greatest capacity to serve those needs.
In 2013, the program was renamed the Blackbaud Community Matters Grants Program and has since extended into several communities around the world.