Data Security

By John Stabinger
Posted on 4 August 2020 | 4:29 pm

On July 16, Blackbaud, Inc., the world’s leading provider of specialty software services to non-profit organizations, notified us that it had been the victim of a ransomware attack. The cybercriminal was able to access and copy Blackbaud-hosted data utilized by numerous Blackbaud clients, including the College of Charleston Foundation. Information about Blackbaud’s security incident can be found at

In its notification, Blackbaud has assured us that Social Security numbers, bank account, and credit and debit card data, are encrypted and, therefore, were not impacted and have remained secure. Additionally, the College of Charleston Foundation does not maintain any records that include any donor’s Social Security number. Blackbaud has indicated that certain other data, such as names, addresses (both physical and email), phone numbers, giving history, and philanthropic indicators were included within the data involved in the recent incident.

Blackbaud reports to us that it received confirmation that the only copy that the perpetrator made of the data has been destroyed by the perpetrator, and further advises that it has “hired a third-party team of experts to monitor the dark web as an extra precautionary measure.” Blackbaud concluded in its report to us: “Based on the nature of the incident, our research, and third party (including law enforcement) investigation, we have no reason to believe that any data went beyond the cybercriminal, was or will be misused; or will be disseminated or otherwise made available publicly.” Should we receive additional information that causes a change in those conclusions, we will advise you.

While we have been told there is no need for you to take any action regarding this incident, as always in the digital world, we encourage you to be vigilant. If you have any concerns or questions, please email This account is being actively monitored by our leadership to ensure that you receive a prompt and personal response.

Please be assured we take data protection very seriously and are grateful for the continued support of our alumni and friends.

Sincerely yours,


Christopher R. Tobin
Executive Director
College of Charleston Foundation

Mark A. Staples
Sr. Vice President & Chief Information Officer
College of Charleston | Information Technology