Blackbaud, Microsoft Unveil the Integrated Cloud Initiative for Social Good
ORLANDO—At this year’s bbcon conference, Blackbaud released a huge announcement between Blackbaud and Microsoft. As you may remember from last year’s bbcon, the two companies announced that they were entering an expanded partnership with the goal of digitally transforming the future of social good. Under the partnership, Blackbaud and Microsoft aimed to establish a deep integration between Blackbaud and Microsoft solutions, a commitment to pursuing best-in-class nonprofit cloud solutions and joint sector leadership initiatives that make innovation, research and best practices more accessible to nonprofits.
And for the past year, we all patiently waiting for an update on what the two tech powerhouses were up to, and we knew that it wouldn’t disappoint. This year at bbcon, the announced that they are jointly investing in a solution for nonprofits, the Integrated Cloud Initiative for Nonprofits, which will “accelerate cloud innovation in areas that address critical market needs across the mission lifecycle.” As part of their Integrated Cloud Initiative for Nonprofits, they announced Nonprofit Resource Management (NRM), a resource management suite designed for the complex and differentiated needs of nonprofits.
To better understand how this cloud solution will revolutionize the nonprofit sector, NonProfit PRO sat down with three of the key leaders in this initiative for an interview at bbcon: Kevin McDearis, chief products officer at Blackbaud; Jay Odell, president and general manager of Enterprise Nonprofit at Blackbaud; and Justin Spelhaug, general manager of Microsoft Tech for Social Impact.
After the two tech giants decided to expand their partnership last year, their goal was to create platforms that were a best-of-breed experience. “We recognized that the problems that we’re working on are so massive that we needed to combine forces and really build some unique innovation and that’s where we talked about the resource management capabilities,” Spelhaug said.
Odell continued, “Some of the problems that Justin talked about are that there’s a massive growth in need and not enough to deliver the services. It’s astounding how many nonprofits’ missions are getting something from one place to the other, which is a very complex problem. There are no nonprofit-specific tools available to them as a finished solution, so this is an exciting opportunity to really change the game for these organizations.”
Blackbaud and Microsoft really wanted to focus on how they could make as much impact as they can. With this solution, the two are bringing forward the best from both companies and pulling together a common data model for nonprofits that enables a good business process.
According to the press release, NRM is the nonprofit sector’s fist solution designed to address the critical needs and allow nonprofits to:
- Work more efficiently with integrated automated workflows, which eliminate silos and manual processes.
- Understand and communicate end-to-end impact by connecting fund and product donations with inventory management delivery and outcomes.
- Increase transparency, accountability and ROI for distributed goods with an end-to-end line of sight, which reduces waste, fraud and misdirected items.
- Improve connectivity of work teams and field locations to ensure optimal alignment and response times between areas of need and distribution.
- Automate the analysis, alignment and assignment of urgent needs to available goods to ensure rapid response in the urgency of disaster.
“With 4 million nonprofits in the world, we’re not trying to serve 40 of them or 4,000. We’re trying to serve 4 million. The hard work that we’ve got to do with Kevin and team is figure out how do we create lighter weight footprints, lower cost footprints and even manage services footprints to make it easy for smaller nonprofits to use this resource capability up to larger nonprofits. It will leverage a common core data model, a common engine with different configurations,” Spelhaug said.
To learn more about NRM, click here.
Nhu Te is senior content manager at Fundraise Up, the AI-powered online donation platform for enterprise nonprofits. In her work, she focuses on helping nonprofits create more impact through personalized donor relations, digital fundraising and thoughtful use of technology.