Blackbaud Acquires Market Leading Scholarship Management Platform AcademicWorks


Charleston-based Blackbaud, Inc., the world’s leading cloud software company powering social good, announced the acquisition of AcademicWorks, Inc., the market leader in scholarship management for higher education and K-12 institutions, foundations and grant-making institutions.

“Anyone who has ever applied for, awarded, or managed a scholarship has experienced how much opportunity there is to streamline the application, tracking and notification process,” said Tim Hill, president of Blackbaud Higher Education Solutions. “Blackbaud agrees, and that’s why we’re so excited to announce the acquisition of AcademicWorks, which is revolutionizing this process for institutions, donors and students. Together, we’ll continue to improve scholarship management and deepen connections between advancement, stewardship and scholarship teams — and, ultimately, help drive life-changing outcomes for students.”

AcademicWorks is a cloud platform that enables students to apply for all awards at an institution using one intuitive and streamlined process, while offering schools and awarding institutions a common platform for improved awarding, reporting, compliance, communication and stewardship of those awards.

“With Blackbaud’s focus on offering our customers integrated, complete solutions to further their missions, this partnership is a great step forward,” said Mike Gianoni, president and CEO of Blackbaud. “Making AcademicWorks a part of Blackbaud will allow our customers to increase student access to available scholarship funds, enhance cross-functional visibility throughout the awarding and stewardship process and revolutionize donor communication for schools to help drive the cycle of giving and receiving. It’s another step forward in building a connected ecosystem of good that builds a better world.”

AcademicWorks brings a team with significant experience in developing cloud software, a reputation for excellent customer service, and a solution that has quickly emerged as the leader in its space, with over 500 universities, academic institutions and foundations leveraging its cloud platform, making it the world’s leading scholarship management provider.

“From the day we founded AcademicWorks in 2010, our goal has been to empower higher education and K-12 institutions, foundations and grant-making institutions with industry leading tools and innovation to manage scholarships,” said Brandon Phipps, CEO of AcademicWorks. “Blackbaud’s sector-leading R&D investments will help to accelerate our pace of innovation, and by building cohesive solutions, we can help customers drive unmatched efficiency and deepen connection between advancement, stewardship and the scholarship office,” added Joe Price, president of AcademicWorks.

According to AcademicWorks’ research, on some campuses, as much as 30 percent of scholarship funds have gone unutilized and many donors report limited communication and stewardship once scholarships are given, so there are tremendous opportunities for technology to support greater effectiveness in the process. Additionally, this acquisition offers powerful new opportunities to deepen connections across the ecosystem of good powered by Blackbaud solutions, connecting donors, grant-making institutions and education institutions to increase effectiveness and stewardship in scholarship management.

In the short term, Blackbaud will continue to sell AcademicWorks as a stand-alone solution. In the future, with AcademicWorks cloud solutions integrated with Blackbaud’s best-in-class higher education and K-12 fundraising, financial management and analytics solutions, higher education and K-12 institutions will be able to streamline critical functions and create a more modern, intuitive experience for students and the administration.

AcademicWorks is headquartered in Austin, Texas. Blackbaud is headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina, with operations around the globe, including in Austin, Texas. This acquisition also represents a positive development for Austin’s tech industry, where AcademicWorks is headquartered and Blackbaud has 300+ staff in a major office. All AcademicWorks staff is expected to transition to Blackbaud.

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