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Zoo Realizes 373% ROI from Blackbaud Target Analytics

Zoo Realizes 373% ROI from Blackbaud Target Analytics

Independent study shows how arts and cultural organizations can identify the right donors to increase fundraising revenue, reach major gift campaign goals, and more  

Charleston, S.C. (January 31, 2019) – Blackbaud (NASDAQ: BLKB), the world’s leading cloud software company powering social good, today announced the results of a commissioned Total Economic ImpactTM (TEI)1 study conducted by Forrester Consulting examining the return on investment that arts and cultural organizations may experience by engaging Blackbaud Target Analytics. Forrester found that over a three-year period, an arts and cultural organization can realize a 373% return on investment, increase their operations fund by more than $450,000, increase major gift campaign revenue by $2 million and avoid nearly $180,000 in additional labor costs with Blackbaud Target Analytics.  

To evaluate the economic impact of Blackbaud Target Analytics, Forrester interviewed the Houston Zoo, a nonprofit organization in Texas that receives over 2.5 million visitors a year and has 2,000 annual donors, as well as five years of experience using Blackbaud Target Analytics. The purpose of the study was to understand the benefits, costs, and risks associated with this investment.

Prior to using Blackbaud Target Analytics, the Houston Zoo fundraising team had little insight into donors’ wealth, background, and giving intentions, repeatedly reaching out to known donors and using gift officers’ judgement to determine sizes of donations to ask for. As a result, new potential philanthropists remained unknown and the zoo lost potential donation revenue because gift officers had no data-based way of determining donors’ giving potential. These limitations led to long timelines to reach fundraising goals, donor burnout, and frustration for gift officers who had to rely on anecdotal and publicly available evidence to research their prospect and donor pool.

“We were spending a lot of time on donors who were never going to give to the zoo—and at the same time, there were philanthropists in our database we didn’t know about,” said Audra Jesudason, senior director of Development Operations at Houston Zoo. “We needed a tool to help us analyze our entire database and enable us to move forward with all of our campaigns, as well as increase our operating dollars.” 

The Houston Zoo looked for a solution that could enable the fundraising team to efficiently use their extensive database to find new donors and enhance their relationships with current donors, enable zoo executives to better plan for annual and new major gift campaigns to enable changes and renovations to the zoo, improve gift officer productivity by enabling them to focus on building relationships with prospects and donors, and integrate with the zoo’s existing Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge® solution—without an expensive and time-consuming data and systems conversion. 

By implementing Blackbaud Target Analytics, the Houston Zoo saw the following results over three years:

  • Increased operations fund by more than $450,000 through growing the number of donors and increasing average gift size. Blackbaud Target Analytics helped the fundraising staff to find new donors and optimize annual donation sizes to significantly boost the revenue of Houston Zoo’s operations fund.
  • Increased major gift campaign revenue by $2 million through more targeted outreach. For gift officers, Blackbaud Target Analytics relieved the burden of identifying and evaluating donors’ giving potential, allowing them to focus on fostering relationships with the donors and prospects.
  • Avoided the cost of an additional researcher, saving the organization nearly $180,000. Blackbaud Target Analytics provided a software tool to analyze the financial capacity of constituents, allowing the fundraising team to avoid hiring an additional researcher.

Additionally, Forrester found that the Houston Zoo experienced shortened fundraising campaign timelines, improved revenue planning for the executive team, an enhance ability to find new donors through automated analysis of Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge, and an improved employee experience. Currently, the Houston Zoo uses predictive modeling, wealth screening, and consulting services in Blackbaud Target Analytics for its fundraising needs.

““I wanted information that would not only help us find principal gift and major gift donors, but one that would help us across our entire portfolio, including operating donors, low-level donor club, and planned giving society—we wanted to see movement across the board,” said Jesudason. “With Blackbaud Target Analytics, we received a tool that enabled our fundraising team to find new donors, cultivate our existing donor pool, and better determine each donor’s giving potential.

“Arts and cultural organizations hold their exhibits, facilities and productions to the highest creative standards, and Blackbaud believes that their technology should be just as extraordinary,” said Dale Strange, president and general manager, Blackbaud Arts & Cultural Solutions. “Our innovations help organizations like the Houston Zoo turn their visitors into members and donors with a connected cloud solution that gives them a clear view of their supporters. Advanced data analytics and enhanced functionality is a winning combination for organizations to advance their missions.”

To view Blackbaud’s on-demand webinar and see how the Houston Zoo used advanced analytics to improve fundraising efforts and increase its mission’s impact, click here. To download the full TEI study conducted by Forrester, click here.

Click to Tweet: .@houstonzoo realizes 373% ROI with @blackbaud Target Analytics – learn how!

1The Total Economic Impact™ Of Blackbaud Target Analytics®, an October 2018 commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Blackbaud

About Blackbaud

Blackbaud (NASDAQ: BLKB) is the world’s leading cloud software company powering social good. Serving the entire social good community—nonprofits, foundations, companies, education institutions, healthcare organizations and individual change agents—Blackbaud connects and empowers organizations to increase their impact through cloud software, services, expertise, and data intelligence. The Blackbaud portfolio is tailored to the unique needs of vertical markets, with solutions for fundraising and CRM, marketing, advocacy, peer-to-peer fundraising, corporate social responsibility, school management, ticketing, grantmaking, financial management, payment processing, and analytics. Serving the industry for more than three decades, Blackbaud is headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina and has operations in the United States, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit, or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

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