It’s Pro Bono Week! What are you doing to celebrate?

This is a big week for Blackbaud. As I push this post live, I’m gathered in Austin, TX, for the 16th annual bbcon – Blackbaud’s conference for the philanthropic community. And if you know me, you know I love bbcon (yep, this makes it 16 in a row). This conference is a great opportunity to learn, grow, meet new people and connect with long-time customers I now think of as friends.

This year it’s extra cool because we have the MicroEdge Solutions Conference running at the same time right next door. We are thrilled to have MicroEdge as a part of Blackbaud, and as a corporate social responsibility professional, to have people like me as customers. For people like us, bbcon+MicroEdge Solutions Conference+Pro Bono Week = a whole lot of goodness all at once.

Here’s the skinny on Pro Bono Week. Basically, it’s a worldwide celebration of different kinds of skills-based volunteerism, with people across many professions sharing their talents with nonprofits. If I have my story straight, the week grew out of the American Bar Association’s Celebration of Pro Bono, and October has now become the month when many companies and people turn their efforts to amplifying this kind of service.

At Blackbaud, we’re focused on skills-based volunteerism year-round, and although we’re a lot smaller than the big guys in the field we look up to, we take a lot of pride in the good work our associates deliver on this front. We’re a proud member of A Billion+Change, the pro bono movement, and plow a lot of energy into something we call Camp Blackbaud. This two-day camp is focused on teaching disadvantaged kids about careers in technology. In the Charleston-based program, held at our HQ, we help disadvantaged elementary school students develop an app — from idea to design to testing to launch — and open their eyes to what it’s really like inside a technology company. In Austin, TX, we partner with Latinitas, helping them to teach young girls to code.

Today, as Pro Bono Week kicks off, I want to give a big shout out to all my colleagues who make these camps happen. Check out this video to get a look at Camp Blackbaud in action.


Rachel Hutchisson is the vice president of corporate citizenship and philanthropy at Blackbaud, headquartered in Charleston, SC.  She is responsible for the company’s global corporate citizenship efforts, a role that allows her to leverage her 20+ years of experience of working with nonprofit partners.  She is a member of the board of directors for the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) International, the Giving Institute (producers of Giving USA), and the Coastal Community Foundation.  She is also a Past President of the AFP SC Lowcountry chapter. Rachel is a graduate of Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA, and received a master’s degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism.  A member of Phi Beta Kappa, she is a Renaissance Weekend participant and was the recipient of the Charleston Regional Business Journal’s Influential Women in Business Rising Star Award.  Rachel is an avid soccer fan and spends far too much time driving to remote parts of the state to watch her children play.  Connect with Rachel on Twitter at @RachelHutchssn or on LinkedIn.

Get nonprofit articles, best practice advice, fundraising ideas and invaluable industry reports and webinars delivered for free!