Insights that fuel impact.

The Blackbaud Institute is a research lab that explores topics essential to the operations of nonprofits, foundations, CSR teams, and educational institutions.

Research to illuminate
the essential business
operations of the social
impact community

Grounded in the world’s
most robust
philanthropic dataset

and leading sector expertise

Committed to research for the real-world.

We arm you with data and insights to drive your mission forward. Our approach is informed by an appreciation for the complexities and ever-changing needs of the sector.

Data Driven

We draw from Blackbaud’s comprehensive dataset and facilitate new public qualitative and quantitative studies.


Our research is grounded in topics that have immediate, actionable business use for social impact organizations.


We are committed to providing well-rounded research that is timely, transparent, and free to access.

Research in Partnership

We’re proud to partner with leading academic and social sector institutions through the exchange of insights, experience, and expertise.

Meet the Blackbaud Institute Team

Catherine LaCour

Head of the Blackbaud Institute

Catherine LaCour brings 25 years of experience to her roles as Chief Marketing Officer for Blackbaud and Head of the Blackbaud Institute. She is a highly effective, seasoned executive, versatile business growth strategist, innovator and empathetic leader who has driven growth for public, private and nonprofit organizations. Catherine has an MBA from American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird) and a BS in Business from the College of Charleston. Catherine serves on the boards of the Coastal Community Foundation (Chair of Marketing and Communications) and Women’s Refugee Commission (Chair of External Relations); and sits on the South Carolina Department of Commerce’s Council for Innovation Initiatives. Catherine was named a 2017 Liberty Fellow as part of the Aspen Institute Global Leadership Network.

Carrie Cobb

Blackbaud Chief Data Officer

As the Chief Data Officer at Blackbaud, Carrie leads the Data Intelligence Center of Excellence, and is responsible for Blackbaud’s AI and data strategy; product innovation; data science and informatics disciplines; and data governance and ethics. She serves on the Advisory Council on Methodology for the Giving USA Foundation (Chair) and the Governmental Affairs Committee for the Nonprofit Alliance. A proud military spouse, Carrie also serves on the board of directors for the Palmetto Military Support Group. Carrie holds a B.S. in Applied Mathematics from Coastal Carolina University, an M.S. in Strategic Management from Indiana Wesleyan University, and a Chief Data Officer Certificate from Carnegie Mellon University. In 2023, Carrie was named to The Global Data Power Women List.

Lori Poer

Director of the Blackbaud Institute

Lori Poer is passionate about supporting the health and effectiveness of the social impact community. In her role at Blackbaud, Lori brings an empathetic and enthusiastic eye for the needs of those driving change across the nonprofit sector grounded in her own deep experience of leadership at high-impact organizations. She has owned the brand and communications functions at prominent nonprofits addressing international human rights and American educational inequity. She served as lead editor of the Washington Post bestselling book The Locust Effect (Oxford University Press) and has led and contributed significant research initiatives across the social and private sectors. She is an alumna of the University of Arizona.

Kate Averett Anderson

Research and Publications Lead

Kate Averett Anderson is a content strategist and art historian with hands-on experience in nonprofit development, donor engagement, and strategic planning. Prior to joining the team at Blackbaud as a Senior Content Manager for Global Brand, she received her MA from UNC Chapel Hill and managed communications, digital content, and outreach for a globally renowned arts and culture nonprofit. She is Vice Chair of the PACE Board of Directors for ArtSpace, a nationally recognized K–8 arts integration charter school in Swannanoa, North Carolina. Kate brings a collaborative, outside-the-box approach to her work, with a love for sharing ideas and an appreciation for the challenges and triumphs of the social impact organizations she serves.