Blackbaud, Microsoft Enter Expanded Partnership in Hopes to Digitally Transform the Future of Philanthropy
BALTIMORE—Blackbaud announced that it has entered an expanded partnership with Microsoft in an effort to digitally transform the nonprofit sector during the general session at bbcon 2017.
Under this partnership, the two companies aim to focus on the following key areas, according to a press release from Blackbaud:
- A deeper integration between Blackbaud and Microsoft solutions—Blackbaud’s SKY, a cloud platform for social good, which will be powered by Microsoft Azure, a cloud-computing platform.
- A commitment to pursuing best in-class nonprofit cloud solutions, bringing together innovation for a performance-enhanced experience for nonprofits—from funding, to mission operations, to program delivery.
- Joint sector leadership initiatives that make innovation, research and best practices more accessible to nonprofits around the world.
There’s a slow shift that’s happening in the nonprofit sector, and it’s evident that shift is towards the digital realm. While print materials still have great significance in a nonprofit’s fundraising strategies, technology is evolving and creating more opportunities for nonprofits to grow, expand and achieve their missions.
NonProfit PRO had the pleasure of sitting down with Kevin McDearis, executive vice president and chief products officer of Blackbaud, and Justin Spelhaug, general manager of Tech for Social Impact for Microsoft, to chat about their new expanded partnership and what this means for the future of the nonprofit sector.
Blackbaud has partnered with Microsoft for about 30 years now, so there are a number of solutions available to nonprofits from both companies. McDearis pointed out that a nonprofit may be a Blackbaud customer or a Microsoft customer, but they may not know how to stitch both together. With this partnership, the companies aim to make it easier for nonprofits to do so.
“Getting value out of the cloud—what the cloud can offer the SKY platform and the NXT platform from security perspective, from a scalability perspective, from a performance perspective—is partially what this partnership is all about. And I think that it’s important to recognize the hard work that Blackbaud and Microsoft has done, and what’s available right now on our cloud platforms that brings immediate benefit right now to nonprofits,” Spelhaug said.
McDearis added, “One of the most important things is that, with this new architecture, we’re not only democratizing access to the data and providing a more secure, reliable platform, we’re going to be able to expand what the world can do on this platform together. You take the best of Microsoft and the best of Blackbaud and now you imagine the platform where developers check out code and build things we might never dream of building together or separately, but if there’s a need in the social good community and the nonprofit sector in particular, they’ll have the power to do that.”