Blackbaud Newsroom

Blackbaud Celebrates 40 Years of Helping Good Take Over

Enabling our customers, supporting our communities, and celebrating our people—these are a few things that have kept us going for 40 years. 

 It was the early 1980s. MTV went on the air for the first time, IBM released its first personal computer, which ran on Microsoft’s MS-DOS, Sony invented the first CD player, and the camcorder was created. And in Long Island, New York, Tony Bakker answered an ad in the newspaper looking for someone to build computer software for student billing. That software program turned into a product, and Blackbaud was born.  

This year, Blackbaud celebrates its 40th anniversary, and while so much has changed, one thing remains the same: our commitment to powering social good. Since day one, 100% of our work has been focused on building a better world. Our business has grown from just one product to providing purpose-built solutions for the entire social good industry—including nonprofits, higher education institutions, K–12 schools, healthcare organizations, faith communities, arts and cultural organizations, foundations, companies and individual change agents. Through it all, our higher purpose of helping good take over still guides us every day.

As we reflect on 40 years in business, a few things stand out.  


Enabling Our Customers 
Blackbaud serves millions of people in more than 100 countries around the world in their efforts to advance social good. We’re proud to support a community of organizations and people working to make an impact—it’s an Ecosystem of Good® that is transforming lives, communities and the globe. Seeing our customers succeed is what has driven us for 40 years. 

One of our earliest customers, Hopkins School, the 3rd oldest independent school in America, has been educating young people and prioritizing cutting-edge education for over three centuries—and leveraging Blackbaud education solutions for the past four decades. Over the past year, Hopkins School has been able to stay focused on their mission, with the right tools at hand. As an early adopter of digital education solutions, Hopkins School was able to quickly adapt to the challenges presented in 2020. 

“In the pandemic, we have been able to use Blackbaud’s tools to create schedules, to facilitate on-campus COVID testing and to communicate emergency information—it has been invaluable,” said Ben Taylor, Director of Academic Technology at Hopkins School. 

Hopkins School is also able to analyze data through their Blackbaud solutions to evaluate their practices. “Everyone is evaluating how they serve their constituents as we move toward a more just society,” said Taylor. “Having information about how we grade our students, how we give them admission into courses and how we place them with teachers and advisors—in the same place as demographic information and identity markers—allows us to see if we’re doing a good job. That’s massively important to our institution. These products will serve our community and others as we head into the future.”  

Supporting Our Communities 
We are proud of how our company and our employees have continually shown up over the years to support the social good community—both inside and outside of work. Giving back is a core Blackbaud value, and that comes to life in many ways, from employee giving and volunteering to service on social good boards and committees.  

One example is Eric, a Blackbaud customer support analyst in Austin, Texas, who is volunteering with an organization called Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) to map the Ayeyarwady Delta area in Myanmar. HOT is an international team dedicated to humanitarian action and community development through open mapping, which helps save lives during natural disasters, which often wipe out GPS and technology, leaving first-responders at a disadvantage unless they have proper mapping on hand. This is where volunteers like Eric come in.  

In the early 2000’s, Eric was personally impacted by Hurricane Katrina where he saw first-hand how disasters can affect people. Eric’s current project is in partnership with the American Red Cross and is part of a multi-year mapping and data readiness activity to better understand where critical infrastructure and roads are. The data will also help the Red Cross determine where people live in relation to potential hazards and make better decisions in the immediate aftermath. 

Eric’s story is one of many that shows how Blackbaud employees live out our values every day to help good take over the world.  

Celebrating Our People
Looking back on 40 years, one thing is certain: we owe our success and our impact to the people who make our company what it is. We are so proud to have the best, brightest and most passionate team of employees who care deeply about serving our customers and helping them achieve their missions for social good. This month, we’ve focused internally on connecting employees across our company and celebrating all the good they bring to bear every day.  

Looking Forward 
We have 40 years behind us, but an infinite number of possibilities before us. While we’re thrilled to celebrate this milestone for our company, we’re more excited to see what our customers will be able to achieve through technology and digital transformation in the years to come. We’re committed to continuing to innovate as your trusted partner for cloud solutions to help you achieve more good, today and always.