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AFP and Blackbaud Announce Key Strategic Partnership

World’s Leading Cloud Software Company Powering Social Good; Will Support Fundraising Diversity, Emerging Leaders, Scholarships and Leadership Development

The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), the largest community of fundraising professionals in the world, and Blackbaud, the world’s leading cloud software company powering social good, have announced a new strategic partnership to support and train charitable fundraisers around the world and increase diversity and inclusion throughout the profession.

Through the strategic partnership, the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy will establish the Blackbaud Development Fund to support professional and leadership development for people of diverse backgrounds within the fundraising community. The fund will offer scholarships to support diversity attendance at AFP ICON, the largest conference in the world for the fundraising profession, and AFP LEAD, the fundraising community’s conference on leadership. In addition, the Blackbaud Emerging Leader Mentor program will connect young professionals and those new to the profession with mentors to help grow, evolve and further new fundraiser education; develop leadership skills; and create an inclusive and equitable future for the profession.

Blackbaud, a long-time member of the AFP Partners Program, is now also joining AFP’s Strategic Sponsorship program at the highest level and will serve as exclusive Presenting Sponsor of both AFP ICON and AFP LEAD.

The strategic partnership will support AFP’s mission to advance effective and ethical fundraising around the world through the provision of scholarships, leadership development opportunities, educational and diversity programs and thought leadership.

“AFP and Blackbaud have a long history of partnering together to help the fundraising profession—the IMPACT profession—create impact in communities around the world,” said Mike Geiger, MBA, CPA, president and CEO of AFP. “I’m energized about this new collaboration because we have re-imagined what it means to be partners working together to advance ethical and effective fundraising. We will be partnering not just on AFP ICON and AFP LEAD, but on programs related to supporting emerging leaders in the profession, promoting diversity and inclusion in fundraising and providing leading-edge educational opportunities to ensure fundraisers are staying updated on new trends and issues. I’m so appreciative of Blackbaud’s leadership and their great understanding and support of fundraising. This new relationship will greatly enhance the global fundraising profession.”

“Blackbaud believes the world will be a better place when good takes over. And every day, we see that great things happen when diverse people with different experiences, perspectives and backgrounds come together,” said Catherine LaCour, chief marketing officer, Blackbaud. “We are proud to partner with AFP to increase diversity and cultivate leadership in the fundraising profession. Working together, with more perspectives, we can drive greater social good.”

The AFP Partners Program provides participating organizations with year-round opportunities to engage the fundraising community and pursue corporate social responsibility through tangential support of the causes for which they work. Through thought leadership, marketing, content and professional development channels, AFP Partners position themselves as industry leaders committed to advancing philanthropy and ethical fundraising worldwide. Their financial and programmatic support also enables AFP to develop highly competent fundraisers and educate the public on the industry’s ability to fuel societal change in critical arenas like education, healthcare, community development, and equity and inclusion. For more information about the AFP Partners Program, contact Chris Amos, senior director, business development, at

Since 1960, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) has been the standard-bearer for professionalism in fundraising. The association works to advance effective and ethical philanthropy by providing advocacy, research, education, mentoring, collaboration and technology opportunities for the world’s largest network of professional fundraisers. AFP’s 26,000 members in more than 240 chapters raise over $100 billion annually for a wide variety of charitable organizations and causes across the globe. For more information, go to

About Blackbaud
Blackbaud (NASDAQ: BLKB) is the world’s leading cloud software company powering social good. Serving the entire social good community—nonprofits, higher education institutions, K–12 schools, healthcare organizations, faith communities, arts and cultural organizations, foundations, companies and individual change agents—Blackbaud connects and empowers organizations to increase their impact through cloud software, services, expertise and data intelligence. The Blackbaud portfolio is tailored to the unique needs of vertical markets, with solutions for fundraising and CRM, marketing, advocacy, peer-to-peer fundraising, corporate social responsibility, school management, ticketing, grantmaking, financial management, payment processing and analytics. Serving the industry for more than three decades, Blackbaud is headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina, and has operations in the United States, Australia, Canada, Costa Rica and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit or follow us on TwitterLinkedInInstagram and Facebook.