The suitcase is finally unpacked, and the email pile is a bit more manageable – but the bbcon buzz hasn’t worn off yet! bbcon 2013, Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits concluded last week, and as I remember some of my favorite moments during the conference, one tops them all.

Each year, Blackbaud recognizes nonprofits that are using technology to make a positive impact on their mission, constituents, and society through the Nonprofit Impact Awards. Unknowingly, this year I plopped down right behind the winners before the awards ceremony. I got to see the pride in their eyes as they walked back to their seats clutching their trophies.

Unfortunately, it’s all too often that nonprofit professionals don’t get recognized for the meaningful work they do. That is why it was so exciting to see seven organizations get honored this year.

The first winner also received the “Best Use of Social Media” designation during a bbcon panel I participated in – the Social Media Police: Nonprofit Edition. It is definitely the standout campaign of the year so far. (At least in my fellow panelists and audience members’ eyes.) The fact that they used Blackbaud technology to leverage their social media success makes it even more cool!

  • Most Impactful Use of Blackbaud Technology – Human Rights Campaign – The Human Rights Campaign had the opportunity to capitalize on two landmark marriage equality cases to increase visibility and enhance the national dialogue. The organization turned to social media using Blackbaud’s Registrant API to get new supporters to sign up, Blackbaud’s Survey tool to gain immediate feedback, and Blackbaud’s Donation API to convert new and existing supporters into donors. Read the case study.

Here are the other winners of Nonprofit Impact Awards:

  • Best Interactive Campaign – Heifer International – Heifer International needed to develop a fundraising campaign that would stand out among others and engage donors during the busy 2012 holiday season. By implementing an interactive campaign, the organization was able to customize its communications with constituents and potential donors, experiencing a year-over-year increase in holiday donations of 28 percent and outperforming every major metric during the competitive season. Read the case study.
  • Best Use of Interactive Technology – The Tenement Museum – The Tenement Museum needed a system that could collect visitor information for future follow up while making the booking process easy and seamless, both online and onsite. By merging its CRM system with an interactive system, patrons were able to book space on tours in real time which eliminated double-bookings and improved the overall visitor experience. Read the case study.
  • Best Use of Peer-to-Peer/Special Events – Central Parks Conservancy – Central Park Conservancy wanted to build its acquisition base by increasing the percentage of its local supporters living in buildings adjacent to and near the park. By launching peer-to-peer fundraising events it was able to host multiple parties in buildings adjacent to the Park which allowed for more than 1,500 attendees to be exposed to its mission and provided them with the chance to donate. Read the case study.
  • Best Use of Integrated Marketing – ANERA – Due to the influx of new refugees from Syria to Lebanon’s refugee camps, ANERA had to raise funds quickly to respond to the increased need of essential supplies. The organization used multiple communication channels and technology services to request donations across all platforms which resulted in raising over $5 million worth of medicine and health care supplies. Read the case study.
  • Best Use of Analytics – St. Joseph’s Indian School – St. Joseph’s Indian School wanted to determine which group of donors it should focus on for renewals, reactivation, sustainers, and major gifts for the highest return-on-investment. Using a wide array of tools, the organization analyzed historic and current giving trends across all channels to better identify and define groups of donors which allowed them to tailor programs and campaigns for each group. Read the case study.
  • Best Use of CRM  Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) – ELCA needed to reconcile its constituent records from events into a single, up-to-date database so it could better track and analyze attendance at affiliated events. Using the customizable features of Blackbaud CRM, ELCA was able to efficiently capture information for more than 2,000 attendees at its largest event, move their information into a central database and share information on constituents across the organization. Read the case study.

Be sure to watch out for the call for nominations next year. *You don’t have to be a Blackbaud customer to win.

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