The Ebb & Flow BLOG

Blackbaud Establishes $25,000 Business Challenge Grant for Angel Oak Campaign

16July2013_AngelOakPreserve6Propelled by a wave of grassroots support for a beloved local icon, Blackbaud has joined the effort to Preserve Angel Oak.

The company has announced the establishment of a $25,000 challenge grant for the Lowcountry Open Land Trust, the nonprofit raising funds to preserve rural lands that shelter the iconic live oak tree located on Johns Island.

“We are excited to announce our commitment to the collaborative effort of preserving the Angel Oak Tree,” said Anthony Boor, Blackbaud’s interim CEO and CFO of Blackbaud. “Our charitable giving was fully planned when we saw the outpouring of local support for this Lowcountry treasure. It became clear, immediately, that Blackbaud could make a real impact on this effort, so we have adjusted our plans and are issuing a challenge grant to encourage other businesses to quickly get involved.”

The challenge is simple: Blackbaud’s leaders want to inspire other corporations in the area to adapt their plans, and help bring LOLT’s campaign to the finish line. Launched in late July, the Preserve Angel Oak campaign set a $1.2 million fundraising goal with nearly 10,000 individuals participating to date. The campaign was recently extended to November 21 to provide additional time for the community to get involved and show their support.

Any donation of any size made by a business between now and November 21 will be credited to the Blackbaud challenge pledge drive. Gifts can be made online or to Lowcountry Open Land Trust (43 Wentworth Street, Charleston, SC 29401).

“The outpouring of affection for this tree has been tremendous,” said Elizabeth Hagood, LOLT Executive Director. “Small businesses throughout Johns Island, non-profits and others have stepped up so generously. And today’s announcement by one of Charleston’s leading employers marks a tremendous opportunity for the entire Lowcountry business community to play a part in the Angel Oak’s future.”

In addition to acquiring the first 17-acre parcel, LOLT has its sites set on the adjacent 17-acre development track. Presently zoned for over 200 commercial and residential units, saving the entire 34 acres would permanently protect a critically important natural ecosystem at the heart of Johns Island.