Blackbaud donates $1M to International African American Museum

VIDEO: Blackbaud donates $1M to International African American Museum

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A software company based in the Lowcountry is making a $1 million donation to the International African American Museum.

Officials say the donation will go toward a digital media lab. Blackbaud of Daniel island says the lab will be an interactive experience to learn more about African American history.

"It's about access for people who aren't physically here," Blackbaud CEO Michael Gianoni said, adding people who couldn't visit the museum in-person could log on from home to participate in other ways.

"This is a unique project," Gianoni said. "It's here in Charleston where we're headquarted, but it's a global project. We're honored to be able to participate in this, and it's a space we know well because we serve like museums around the world with our technology solutions."

"The importance of Blackbaud's million dollar can't be overstated," former Charleston mayor Joseph P. Riley said. "This is a global company. They're the leader in the world in what they do. They're headquartered here; this is the largest gift they've ever given. As we go to other corporations and foundations, this imprimatur of Blackbaud will be very helpful."

The $75 million museum will be built on Gadsden's Warf along the Harbor in downtown Charleston. Riley said fundraising is ongoing and hopes to have full amount pledged by next spring to start construction. According to Riley, the city and county pledged $25 million; the state has given $14 million to date and $7 million was currently raised through private donations.

"Of course, we're talking to folks all across the country who have a real interest in being part of this," IAAM President and CEO Michael B. Moore said. "It's really special and important to us to have a company here in Charleston step up in this way and to offer their support. not only of what we're doing but at that stature of their support...I'm thrilled."

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