Nonprofits Turn to Blackbaud Friends Asking Friends for Peer-to-Peer Online Fundraising

January 12, 2012

March of Dimes launches Bikers for Babies site providing 35,000 riders with online fundraising tools

CHARLESTON, SC – January 12, 2012 – Blackbaud, Inc. (Nasdaq: BLKB) today announced that leading nonprofit organizations are using Blackbaud Friends Asking Friends® as their fundraising event management solution to expand their online peer-to-peer fundraising programs.These organizations include: March of Dimes, The Arthritis SocietyCanada, The National Down Syndrome Society, and Rodman Ride for Kids. Inaddition, on a recent Blackbaud web seminar, organizers of the AmericanHeart Association’s Heart Walk shared that continued success withFriends Asking Friends has resulted in a 19 percent increase in yearover year online fundraising.

“We are pleased to partner with these leading organizations, four ofwhich have events included in this year’s Run Walk Ride 30, to providethem the event fundraising solution they need to reach their goals,”said Mark Davis, Blackbaud’s director of enterprise Internet solutions.“Our goal is to provide organizations with the tools their supportersuse on a daily basis. Friends Asking Friends enables online, mobile, andsocial giving, making it easy for participants and donors to interactwhere they spend the most time—including donating right from theirsmartphones.” 

Blackbaud Friends Asking Friends, delivered through the Blackbaud Sphere® platform, helps more than 800 nonprofit organizations more effectivelymanage their event fundraising campaigns. Forty-five million nonprofitsupporters have used Friends Asking Friends event fundraising toolssupporting over 38,000 individual fundraising events. Participants usingFriends Asking Friends raise six times more than non-users largelythanks to their ability to extend their fundraising efforts through amulti-channel approach including mail, mobile, web, email, and socialmedia. A recent Blackbaud study showed that participants using social media tools built into FriendsAsking Friends increased their fundraising success 40 percent from theprevious year.

March of Dimes, which advocates for stronger, healthier babies throughthe prevention of premature births, birth defects, and infant mortality,originally selected Blackbaud CRM® in January 2011 and recently added Friends Asking Friends to manage its Bikers for Babies event. In 2010, Bikers for Babies raised about $2 million, primarilythrough registration fees and corporate sponsorship. In 2011, more than35,000 people participated in 35 rides across the country. The March ofDimes looked to increase revenue by adding a peer-to-peer fundraisingcomponent to the event. 

“Blackbaud is uniquely positioned to support our global fundraisingefforts through both traditional and online means,” said CarolynPizzuto, March of Dimes vice president of revenue management. “BlackbaudFriends Asking Friends and the CRM software go hand in hand in enablingus to meet and exceed our fundraising goals. By running our Bikers forBabies events on Friends Asking Friends, we are able to leverage theviral power of online fundraising, enabling our riders to reach out totheir individual personal networks, improving participation.”

Since 2002, American Heart Association (AHA) has used Friends Asking Friends to fundraise for its annual HeartWalk program. In 2010, Blackbaud partnered with AHA to design andlaunch a new Heart Walk national website,helping to increase online participant registration by nearly 80,000 inless than two years. Heart Walk online participants use Friends AskingFriends as a single place to manage their online solicitations usingemail, mobile, Facebook and Twitter, as well as their “offline” checksand cash. While online donations continue to increase for the program,AHA has been able to maintain success in offline giving as well.

During November’s Blackbaud Events Boot Camp,Jodie Kolkowski, AHA’s national director of digital strategy, said thatonline continues to be the organization’s largest growth opportunity.“As we continue to partner with Blackbaud and invest in our online HeartWalk strategy, we also want to make sure we’re maintaining our offlinegiving,” she said. “Programs like Heart Walk began in offices andneighborhoods, and we encourage our participants to take a multi-channelapproach to their fundraising by communicating with potential donorsfor fundraising the same way they communicate with them every day. 

“It is important for our tools to support their team buildingactivities, everyday interactions and extend their donor reach onlinewith the social media, email, and mobile giving tools available withinFriends Asking Friends.”

The Rodman Ride for Kids,an umbrella matching gift charity raising funds for youth-focusedsocial service agencies that support at-risk kids in Massachusetts, willonce again use Friends Asking Friends for its 2012 ride. “Since usingFriends Asking Friends, our event participation and revenue hasexperienced tremendous annual growth,” said Tracey Goulet, theorganization’s executive director. “I’m proud to share that in 2011, ourfundraising increased by nearly $1 million compared to 2010. We’relooking forward to 2012 and feel Friends Asking Friends is the bestsolution in the marketplace to support our continued growth.”

Visit Blackbaud’s new event fundraising resource page featuring research, the Friends Asking Amy event fundraising blog, case studies and white papers designed to help nonprofits become more successful event fundraisers at

For more information on Blackbaud’s event fundraising solutions, visit

About Blackbaud

Serving the nonprofit and education sectors for 30 years, Blackbaud(NASDAQ: BLKB) combines technology and expertise to help organizationsachieve their missions. Blackbaud works with more than 25,000 customersin over 60 countries that support higher education, healthcare, humanservices, arts and culture, faith, the environment, independent K-12education, animal welfare, and other charitable causes. The companyoffers a full spectrum of cloud-based and on-premise software solutionsand related services for organizations of all sizes including:fundraising, eMarketing, social media, advocacy, constituentrelationship management (CRM), analytics, financial management, andvertical-specific solutions. Using Blackbaud technology, theseorganizations raise more than $100 billion each year. Recognized as atop company by Forbes, InformationWeek, and Software Magazine andhonored by Best Places to Work, Blackbaud is headquartered inCharleston, South Carolina and has employees throughout the US, and inAustralia, Canada, Hong Kong, Mexico, the Netherlands, and t
he UnitedKingdom. For more information, visit