Blackbaud’s Social Good Startup Program Brings Innovative Tech Solutions to Mission-Based Organizations
Blackbaud piloted this program with the Social Good Startup Challenge in 2019, selecting 14 startups to participate in the inaugural January 2020 cohort. After this successful pilot, Blackbaud rolled out the full Social Good Startup Program in October 2020 and welcomed two cohorts in 2021—one in January and one in July. Participants receive curated access to Blackbaud resources, marketing opportunities and nondilutive grant funding, and Blackbaud works with startup founders to design a unique plan for each company that addresses their goals for growth.
Recently, Blackbaud hosted a pitch competition for the founders of the 13 startups in its 2021 cohorts to present their solutions to a panel of judges, leaders and decision-makers. The six Blackbaud judges were tasked with asking questions, providing feedback and awarding cash prizes to top presenters. The hybrid event drew nearly 150 participants. Winners included Give InKind (Gold); Change and Carpool to School (Silver); and GivingDocs, Civic Eagle and OHUB Futures (Bronze).
“Seeing the future of social good technology through the eyes of our startup founders continually inspires us,” said Lizzie Schaffer, senior program manager for innovation culture, Blackbaud. “Supporting these dynamic leaders in influencing the Ecosystem of Good through their innovative, purpose-built solutions is one of the most important things we do, and we are so proud to partner with all the companies in the Social Good Startup Program.”
Blackbaud Social Good Startup Participants Impacting the Ecosystem of Good in 2021
- Kerry Schrader and her daughter Ashlee Ammons who founded Mixtroz—an online platform designed to make networking more engaging while providing real-time data to event organizers—made history as the 37th and 38th black females to raise over $1 million in pre-seed funding. In 2021, both Schrader and Ammons were recognized on BizBash’s list of the Most Influential Women in Event Tech. In addition, Ammons joined the mainstage at bbcon 2021 Virtual—Blackbaud’s annual tech conference for a better world—and Schrader was featured on the Forbes Next 1000 list.
- In September, Wisely—a 2020 Social Good Startup Program participant, founded by Wes Moon—acquired Hopeful—a member of the 2021 cohort, founded by Alex Jivov and Ahsan Javed. The acquisition made program history as the first time two participant startups have joined forces. Both Wisely and Hopeful have published integrations in the Blackbaud Marketplace, enabling Blackbaud customers to extend their existing solutions with new tools that predict and then analyze donor behavior.
- Change, an all-in-one donation platform making it easy for users to support the causes they care about, also made news in 2021. Founded by Sonia Nigam and Amar Shah, Change is leading the future of the giving economy by enabling cryptocurrency donations to nonprofits through their platform. Change is also the first participant to partner with YourCause® from Blackbaud, offering their innovative solutions to Blackbaud’s corporate customers.
- Blackbaud has supported 27 startups through the program to date, working with 51 founders and co-founders in 15 U.S. states and 3 Canadian provinces.
- These 27 companies have collectively raised well over $45 million in funding.
- All of the companies chosen for the program are fast-tracked into Blackbaud’s ISV partner program, and participants have already published seven product integrations in the Blackbaud Marketplace, where Blackbaud customers can find and implement the unique solutions.
- At bbcon2021 Virtual, all of the program participants presented in the “New Challenges, New Solutions” session, and several founders were also featured in panel discussions and on the main stage.