University of Michigan taps Blackbaud for CRM

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The University of Michigan has tapped Charleston, SC-based Blackbaud to replace its fundraising technology and prospect research services. Previously, UM was working with an internally developed system.

Blackbaud, which provides software and services to nonprofits, will centralize data from over 40 fundraising units—including various schools and departments—within UM on three campuses.

 “The units tended to operate somewhat autonomously,” said Blackbaud's SVP of products and services, Charlie Cumbaa. “But oftentimes, an alum will have multiple relationships within the university, so [UM] needed a more common system to manage those relationships in a more coordinated fashion.”

Specifically, Blackbaud's Enterprise CRM will help the University to improve reporting and information deployment, integrate with other University financial and data systems, as well as streamline accounting and technical support.

Blackbaud's Target Analytics will provide the University's gift officers with real-time data and prospect information.

Cumbaa said that the University of Michigan, like most universities, believes the Internet is  increasingly important for fundraising. “When students are in college, they do everything through the Web: get assignments, plan their class schedules and even talk to teachers,” he said. “But when they graduate, they just get a card that says, ‘Welcome to the alumni association.' Today, continuing that online relationship is very important.”

According to Cumbaa, the University's database has between 700,000 and 800,000 constituents.

More than 1,000 users including fundraising development officers, major gift officers, administration and other campus leaders have access to constituent information.

Last July, the University asked Blackbaud for an assessment to demonstrate whether its service would be able to support its needs. On Friday Blackbaud was contracted. The full implementation of the technology will roll out in two stages.  

University of Michigan currently has enrollment of more than 41,000 undergrad and graduate students.


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