July 12, 2016

Blackbaud Acquires Maryland-Based Social Media Tracking Firm

Liz Segrist  /  Charleston Regional Business Journal

Blackbaud, a Daniel Island-based software firm for nonprofits, has acquired Bethesda, Md.-based Attentive.ly, a 10-person tech company also focused on the nonprofit sector.

The acquisition price was not disclosed.

Attentive.ly's software tracks what supporters are saying about nonprofit organizations on social media. Through this "social listening," the company wants to turn those supporters into advocates on social media channels, the release said.

The acquisition will enable Blackbaud customers to find relevant conversations on social media and engage them, to encourage advocacy of their missions.

Attentive.ly was already part of Blackbaud's partner network, and its social media engagement platform has now been integrated into Blackbaud's digital marketing solution, Luminate Online.

"Once deeply integrated, Attentive.ly will activate an advanced level of social listening for Blackbaud customers, helping them organically grow campaigns," the release said.

Attentive.ly CEO Rosalyn Lemieux co-founded the firm with Cheryl Contee in 2012. Lemieux, along with the company's 10 employees, joined Blackbaud effective immediately. Contee will serve as strategic adviser to Blackbaud and remain as CEO of Fission Strategy, a consulting firm with offices around the country.

Blackbaud has acquired several companies in recent years. In 2014, the firm acquired New York City-based MicroEdge LLC for $160 million to expand its grantmaking, corporate giving and donation tracking capabilities.

Also in 2014, Blackbaud paid $35 million to expand its education offerings with the acquisition of Bedford, N.H.-based WhippleHill. In 2012, Blackbaud acquired Austin-based Convio Inc. for $325 million, expanding its on-demand solutions for nonprofits.

Blackbaud also recently announced plans to invest $154 million and create 300 jobs over the next five years as it builds a new tech campus and headquarters on Daniel Island. The company currently has 35,000 customers in 60 countries.