Blackbaud gifts International African American Museum with $1 million

The International African American Museum (IAAM) planned for construction at Charleston, South Carolina's Gadsden's Wharf, has receibed a $1 million boost from philanthropic software provider Blackbaud Inc.

The gift will fund the development of the museum's Digital Media Lab, through which visitors will be able to trace their family roots, research their ancestry and record family stories.

Construction of the IAAM and development of its programs is being headed by Michael B. Moore.

“Blackbaud’s significant gift helps us move closer to our fundraising goal and is a testament to the support the International African American Museum project is receiving by South Carolina’s most influential, purpose-focused companies," Moore said. “We’re overwhelmed by Blackbaud’s generosity and enthusiasm; especially the employees who are already rolling up their sleeves to help by sharing best practices of the arts and culture community, helping us leverage the full power of technology to create a special experience for visitors, and offering support through volunteerism.”

President and CEO Mike Gianoni said the company's support of IAAM was due to the museum's potentional to "break down barriers."

“We are incredibly moved to be a part of this endeavor and it’s a privilege for our company to help to bring a sense of connection and identity for those wishing to find answers and complete their own personal stories," he said.

The IAAM project was begun under the leadership of former Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley.

“Charleston and this museum reflect the struggle that still exists to rightfully mark, educate and celebrate African-American history," Riley said. "With IAAM, we have the opportunity to tell an American story and the pivotal role that Charleston plays in that story.”

The total cost of opening the museum is estimated at $75 million; fundraising is currently at 67 percent of that goal.

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