Charleston-Based Supplier of Software for Nonprofits Builds New Headquarters

blackbaud-siliconharbor-featureBlackbaud, the Charleston-based supplier of software and services specifically designed for nonprofit organizations, will build a new headquarter on the Daniel Island’s campus. The forthcoming development is a $150 million exploration plan, and it will add more than 300 jobs. The software company already employs nearly 3,100.

Over the next five years, Blackbaud plans to invest in payroll and new offices, and its new corporate home in Charleston will act as a centralized location for what CEO Michael Gianoni has deemed a “generational investment.” The new office complex will be 360,000-square-feet, and the first phase of construction is expected to begin by 2018. Blackbaud has yet to announce the timeline for the second phase of the building project. The first phase of construction will begin at the intersection of Fairchild and Central Island streets. The second phase is expected to take place at Fairchild and River Landing Drive.

The software company has outgrown it’s existing building, located on Daniel Island Drive, as the company has added individuals to its workforce over the past few years. This prompted the company to lease space to deal with the overflow. Upon realizing that the lease on their main building would run out in 2024, they began a search for a new place to house their global headquarters.  Ultimately, Blackbaud decided they wanted to remain on Daniel Island. They chose to move just one mile down the road so that it continued its residency in Charleston as it has for the past 30 years, after relocating from New York.

Atlanta-based Holder Properties will develop the new headquarters, which will be equipped with a fitness center, game rooms, hiking trails, and a cafeteria that’s stocked with locally sourced food. Additionally, the office will include space to “incubate emerging nonprofits” and flesh out its Camp Blackbaud program, where they teach local elementary school students to design and teach.

The office complex is among a number or developments planned for Fairchild Street. Apartment complexes, offices, and a gas station are soon to be in development, according to city records. If the incentive package from the County Council still needs final approval, the Blackbaud property tax breaks over the next 30 years as long as it invests a minimum of $150 million by 2029. Additionally, Blackbaud will receive financial incentives from the S.C. Commerce Department in return for investment. The expansion will be the biggest economic development deal in the county since 2015 when the $500 million automobile factory was announced.

According to Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt, the tech company will be able to claim tax credits because they’ve promised to create 300 jobs over the next five years. Also tasked to hit minimum pay requirements, the salaries are expected to be “pretty good.

Since 1989, the company has grown exponentially, bringing on countless individuals from the Lowcountry’s tech community. According to securities filings, Blackbaud added 1,000 worldwide employees to its payroll over the past five years, and the company plans to continue that level of growth. The company provides services and builds software for the philanthropic industry, growing the market valuation more to more than$2.7 billion. Consequently, Blackbaud is South Carolina’s third-largest publicly traded company.