Blackbaud's Intelligence for Good Transforms Artificial Intelligence into Impact

Friday, April 28th, 2017

Blackbaud, Inc., the world's leading cloud software company powering social good, announced that its modern, unique approach to social good-optimized intelligence has already helped customers identify untapped funding sources, find potential new advocates and advance their missions faster and more effectively. With an extensive long-term innovation roadmap around Intelligence for Good, the company anticipates these strong results to not only continue, but grow in scale and momentum. 

"Our customers – nonprofits, foundations, education institutions, hospitals and more – all are working to build a better world," said Kevin McDearis, Blackbaud's chief products officer. "We believe they deserve artificial intelligence and analytics as powerful as their ambitions. No other company can offer the wholly social good-optimized artificial intelligence and analytic capabilities that Blackbaud does through Intelligence for Good."

The New Conversation about Artificial Intelligence

Company leaders underscored Blackbaud's commitment to innovation powered by artificial intelligence while also pointing customers to the need for a comprehensive, industry-tailored approach.

"There's a lot of talk about artificial intelligence right now," said Steve MacLaughlin, Blackbaud's vice president of data and analytics strategy. "That's exciting because AI has tremendous transformative potential, but at Blackbaud, it's just the start of the conversation. We've been aggressively innovating our AI capabilities, and we're also doubling down on our leading-edge analytics, designing solutions with sector-specific expertise and growing our exclusive big data assets, because this conversation is so much bigger than just AI. When you put it all together, the social good community gets an unmatched advantage. That's what we're doing with Intelligence for Good."

The Science behind Blackbaud's Intelligence for Good

Blackbaud's Intelligence for Good is a comprehensive approach combining:

  • Exclusive big data specific for social good: Blackbaud offers unique access to substantial social good-specific big data, including the world's largest database on philanthropic trends.

  • Data science expertise of Blackbaud's Social Good Scientists: A team of data scientists with deep expertise with the unique needs of social good organizations like nonprofits, museums foundations, hospitals, schools and educational institutions.

  • Artificial Intelligence: Blackbaud embeds AI directly in its cloud solutions through SKY AI™ (powered by Blackbaud SKY, the company's integrated, open cloud capabilities). 

  • Analytics: Blackbaud's advanced analytics transform data into meaningful insights, which are seamlessly embedded in the company's cloud software through SKY Analytics and visualized in intuitive reports with SKY Reporting™. And Blackbaud's Target Analytics serves some of the world's most influential organizations with sector-leading analytics services.

Proven Results Already Advancing the Social Sector

Blackbaud's Intelligence for Good capabilities have already helped customers identify over $3 billion in unrealized fundraising opportunities. And on any given day, more than 40 million descriptive tags with prescriptive recommendations light up in dashboards for customer action. 

"Our major gift officers now believe that these predictive analytics can get them in to the right living rooms to sit with the right people that really want to make a difference by donating to the University," said Margaret Williams, director of prospect research for University of South Dakota Foundation, who leveraged Blackbaud's Intelligence for Good capabilities through Target Analytics in support of a $250 million fundraising campaign.

Another customer, Water Mission, reported that within minutes of going live on Raiser's Edge NXT™, the Blackbaud cloud solution (which leverages embedded SKY AI and SKY Analytics capabilities) identified new constituents with the potential to give $1,000 or more, representing nearly $1 million in potential new revenue for the organization — enough to provide 100,000 more people with safe water for the rest of their lives. 

Intelligence for Good is also powering marketing and advocacy work. Blackbaud's social listening capabilities leverage SKY AI and SKY Analytics to analyze data from social intelligence across 100+ social networks so customers can identify the social influencers to prioritize in campaigns. These capabilities have already identified millions of people highly engaged on social media that are likely to be passionate about customers' causes.

"We have an ambitious vision for what we can do in the future as we seek to power an ecosystem of good through leading-edge artificial intelligence and analytics," said Carrie Cobb, Blackbaud's vice president of data science. "But our Intelligence for Good capabilities are much more than a vision. They are already making a real difference for our customers today. And what we're showcasing today is just the tip of the iceberg."

An Expansive, Forward-Looking Investment in Innovation

Blackbaud plans to continue to build on this set of capabilities, both embedded in its cloud solutions through SKY AI and SKY Analytics and offered through its Target Analytics offerings, with enhancements ranging from increased natural language processing capabilities to new predictive tools incorporated in software roadmaps for 2017 and 2018 across a variety of the company's solutions.