Blackbaud, Inc. announced its expansion plans for a new world headquarters on Daniel Island in Berkeley Country, SC. The leading provider of software and services for the global philanthropic community will build a state-of-the-art workplace and innovation center that expands its community outreach and is expected to create 300 additional high-tech jobs over the next 5 years.
The company already contributes richly to the developing high-tech corridor in the Charleston region and state of South Carolina in general. Blackbaud has operated in Berkeley County since 2000, is the largest publicly traded software company in SC, has ranked among South Carolina’s best places to work for six consecutive years, and was most recently recognized on Forbes’ 25 Fastest-Growing Public Tech Companies list and Forbes’ America’s Best Midsize Employers list.
“For nearly 30 years we’ve called South Carolina home, and we’re proud to deepen our roots in this great state with this generational investment,” said Mike Gianoni, Blackbaud’s president and CEO. In fact, more than half of Blackbaud’s rapidly growing workforce resides in the Charleston area, proving the great potential that exists at the intersection point of high-tech and philanthropy in the East Coast’s burgeoning “Silicon Harbor.”
“This community is very important to us,” Gianoni continued, “and this project improves our ability to give back in even more meaningful ways while boosting the local economy.” He credits the commitment from city, county, and state leaders to make South Carolina a place where technology companies and their employees thrive as paving the way for Blackbaud’s success.
The $154M expansion – approximately 360,000-square foot, eco-friendly campus – will ultimately accommodate thousands of the company’s global workforce, and will serve as a hub for the advancement of philanthropic interests in the Lowcountry and around the world. The new headquarters will offer unique community space to incubate emerging nonprofits and connect people with common interests. The site will also include facilities to host the company’s ongoing community development and corporate citizenship activities, like Camp Blackbaud, an employee-led STEM program that teaches elementary school children how to design and code.
Blackbaud plans to use the expansion to delight existing staff and attract top talent by adding innovative ideation and collaboration spaces, game rooms, ergonomic work stations, a coffee and tea bar, a modern cafeteria sourcing local food, a fitness center, hiking trails, and creative outdoor sporting, meeting and event space. “We are a purpose-driven company with employees who are deeply committed to advancing the social good movement,” said John Mistretta, Blackbaud’s executive vice president of Human Resources. “Our new headquarters project allows us to build a workplace that cultivates collaboration, promotes disruptive innovation and inspires employees to reach their full potential.”
Nikki Haley, South Carolina Governor, recognizes the contribution Blackbaud has made to the state since it started in 1989.
“[It] has been a terrific member of the South Carolina family, and this new expansion speaks to the company’s commitment to our state and its people. The 300 new jobs created by this initiative are a milestone, not only for our Lowcountry community, but also for our state as a whole.”
To mark the announcement, Blackbaud made a $20,000 donation to Daniel Island Community Fund (DICF) to support its Cainhoy Elementary and Middle School initiatives. The company chose to partner with DICF as a way to make a meaningful investment in its own backyard, focusing on the education of disadvantaged youth in communities that neighbor its new facility.
Blackbaud was joined by both state and Charleston-area leaders to announce the news, including Berkeley County Supervisor Bill Peagler, City Council Member Gary White, and South Carolina Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. “Thanks to dynamic companies like Blackbaud, South Carolina’s high-tech, knowledge economy continues to thrive. Today, we congratulate Blackbaud on all of the success it has achieved both within our borders and around the world,” said Hitt.
Holder Properties will build and lease the space to Blackbaud. Construction will begin in the fall of 2016 and expected to be completed in phases. Phase one of the new campus (planned for completion by 2018) will be located at the intersection of Fairchild Street and Central Island Street, while phase two will be located at the intersection of River Landing Drive and Fairchild Street. The company will remain at its current headquarters location at 2000 Daniel Island Drive until each new building is ready for occupancy.