Scholarship Management

Blackbaud Acquires AcademicWorks


AcademicWorks, a scholarship management company for K–12, higher education, foundations and grant-making institutions, has been acquired by Blackbaud, a cloud software company powering social causes.

AcademicWorks was founded in Austin, TX, in 2010. Since then, it has emerged as one of the largest providers of scholarship management solutions. The company’s cloud scholarship management platform enables students to apply for all awards at an institution using one intuitive and streamlined process, while providing institutions and foundations with improved awarding, reporting, compliance, communication and stewardship of those awards.

“Blackbaud’s sector-leading R&D investments will help accelerate our pace of innovation and continue to enhance the way we serve institutions, donors and students,” said Joe Price, president of AcademicWorks, in a statement.

Blackbaud, known for its products in the philanthropic space, already has a strong presence in the higher education, K–12 and grant-making markets, where it offers solutions for fundraising and advancement programs, donor and alumni relationship management, digital marketing, advocacy, accounting, payments, analytics and grant management. Bringing AcademicWorks’ capabilities to its solution portfolio will allow it to extend its offerings and drive connections between the advancement and scholarship offices, the company said in a news release Monday.

“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,” said Mike Gianoni, president and CEO of Blackbaud, in a statement.

Blackbaud’s leadership team also highlighted AcademicWorks’ significant experience in developing cloud software, a reputation for excellent customer service and its proven solution that has quickly emerged as a leader in its space, with more than 500 universities, academic institutions and foundations leveraging its cloud platform, making it one of the world’s leading scholarship management providers.

“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, in a statement.

According to AcademicWorks’ research, as much as 30 percent of scholarship funds on some campuses has gone unutilized, and many donors report limited communication and stewardship once scholarships are given. There are tremendous opportunities for technology to support greater effectiveness in the process, the companies said.

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 higher education and K–12 fundraising, financial management and analytics products, institutions will be able to streamline critical functions and create a more modern, intuitive experience for students and the administration, the companies said.

AcademicWorks is headquartered in Austin, TX. Blackbaud is headquartered in Charleston, SC, with operations around the globe, including in Austin.

For more information, visit this announcement website.

About the Author

Richard Chang is associate editor of THE Journal. He can be reached at [email protected].