Blackbaud Gives Back Through Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives
With Virtual Volunteering and Key Donations, Blackbaud Supports Community Needs During COVID-19
Blackbaud, the world’s leading cloud software company powering social good, shared several corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives the company has recently sponsored to support virtual volunteering and community relief in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“One of Blackbaud’s core values is ‘we give back,’ and the importance of engaging employees and supporting communities has never been more important,” said Rachel Hutchisson, vice president, corporate citizenship and philanthropy, Blackbaud. “Our employees care deeply about getting involved, and we wanted to provide new ways for them to make a difference virtually during the pandemic.”
To embody the “we give back” value, the company introduced the following initiatives in the second half of 2020:
- Virtual Volunteering: This year, the Blackbaud CSR team has focused on identifying virtual volunteerism opportunities to provide employees with ways to get involved safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Teams around the world participated in virtual volunteering weeks, assembling 1,800 care packages for seniors, children and the homeless; providing comfort toys for animals in shelters; writing letters of gratitude to healthcare workers; hosting a virtual camp to educate students about careers in STEM fields; and more.
- Blackbaud After School Program: With all global employees working remotely due to COVID-19, Blackbaud saw the need to support working caregivers with children at home during the pandemic. Teams across the company partnered to launch the Blackbaud After School Program, an innovative solution that enabled employee volunteers to give their time and expertise to entertain the children of their coworkers. By hosting live, virtual learning sessions, employees were able to provide entertainment for Blackbaud families, allowing working caregivers time to step away and focus on other tasks. Blackbaud volunteers and participants logged 380 hours of time together in 115 live sessions from mid-September through the end of November.
- Laptop Donations: Blackbaud recently donated 300 laptops to two programs that refurbish technology to get it into the hands of those in need, bridging the digital divide and diverting e-waste from landfills. The company partnered with two Microsoft-registered nonprofit refurbishers—InterConnection, located in Seattle, WA, and the Kramden Institute, based in Durham, NC. Blackbaud’s IT and CSR teams worked together to identify devices that were available, select recipient organizations and securely wipe the machines to prepare them for donation.
- Annual Donation to One80 Place: For more than 20 years, Blackbaud has made an annual donation to One80 Place, an organization in Charleston, SC, whose mission is to end and prevent homelessness. In total, Blackbaud has donated nearly $420,000. This year, funds are being used to help even more individuals get back into housing during a critical time when COVID-19 has forced One80 Place’s shelter to reduce its capacity. Despite this reduction, the number of individuals One80 Place supports has increased 23% this year, and the organization anticipates increased homelessness in the next 12-18 months due to higher unemployment and higher eviction rates. One80 Place’s goal is to house 900 individuals and achieve 85% housing retention for individuals who have successfully exited the program.
- Blackbaud Global Toy Drive: For the 21st year, Blackbaud has supported a global toy drive for the holiday season, benefitting 10 organizations around the world, including Toys for Tots, Ronald McDonald House and Boys and Girls Club, among others. This year, the toy drive went virtual with teams going online to participate in fundraisers and shop for toys. Blackbaud employees donated 6,152 toys this year, bringing total toy donations to more than 112,500 over the program’s 21-year history.
- Annual Donation to the Charleston Post and Courier Good Cheer Fund: On Christmas Eve, Blackbaud will make its annual donation to the Charleston Post and Courier Good Cheer Fund, a community outreach program that helps people in need during the holiday season. Sponsored by individuals and businesses in the local Charleston, SC, community, the Good Cheer Fund benefits seven agencies: Association for the Blind, Carolina Youth Development Center, Catholic Charities, the Lowcountry Food Bank, Salvation Army, Star Gospel Mission and the Charleston Leadership Foundation.
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