While the leadership journeys of many of our CFO guests began on an upper floor of a glass-and-steel skyscraper affording a wide-angle view of a cosmopolitan metropolis, that of Blackbaud CFO Tony Boor started at street level in Las Cruces, New Mexico, on the edge of the Chihuahuan Desert.
Less than an hour’s drive north of El Paso, Texas, Las Cruces is home not only to the main campus of New Mexico State University but also to a full schedule of holiday festivals and a varied collection of retailers—including motorcycle shops such as the one that Boor first visited in the mid-1970s.
“When I was 13 or 14 years old, I walked into a motorcycle shop to buy my first bike and they ended up hiring me to sweep floors and haul trash,” recalls Boor, who over the next 10 years segued from maintenance to the service department, to parts management, to sales management, to being general manager of the store.Read More
“Thinking back now on being that young and running a business, I realize that I got a chance very early in my career to experience a firm from the other side of the desk, as I oversaw people much older than me and dealt with things like payroll, books, and accounting,” continues Boor, whose hours at the shop populated his high school and college years.
Nonetheless, in a family with a father who worked at the nearby White Sands Missile Range as a nuclear electrical engineer and other sons who were embarking on engineering careers of their own, the motorcycle shop entry on Boor’s resume did not go unnoticed.
Thus what might be surmised to have been a collective sigh of relief may have been heard when he decided to pursue an engineering degree at New Mexico State, thereby keeping safe the Boor family tradition. Or would it?
“I was actually in my senior year of college when I decided that I didn’t want to be an engineer because I knew from working in the motorcycle shop that I loved business,” reports Boor, who remembers his parents not being at all pleased that the timing of his decision was coming so “late in the game.”
“It ended up taking me a little longer to be done with school, but I did switch over to accounting,” explains Boor, who would subsequently work for a number of the original Big Eight accounting houses before stepping into the ranks of corporate finance professionals—where the same qualities that had once served him well at the bike shop appear to have propelled his climb upward.
Says Boor: “A lot of what I learned in those very early years of my life and career had a big impact on how things have gone for me, even in these finance leadership roles.” –Jack Sweeney
“I would suggest dedicating a high percentage of time to three key focus areas: interpersonal and executive presence skills, strategy, and ensuring that you have the best possible team members working with you.” –Tony Boor, CFO, Blackbaud
Made Possible By
CFOTL: Tell us about Blackbaud … what does this company do, and what are its offerings today?
Boor: We’re public on Nasdaq, with about $1.1 billion in revenue this year and a $4 billion market cap. We’re the leading provider of software to the social and corporate impact space, which includes for-profits as well as nonprofits. We sell into a lot of financial institutions and big corporations, providing solutions for employee giving, employee matching, and employee volunteering—these kinds of things—for big corporations.
We just purchased a company called EVERFI in December 2021. They’re creating curricula that we take on behalf of corporations back into school systems—material on financial literacy, diversity, inclusiveness, and all kinds of really neat stuff that schools can adopt or companies can use for training their own employees. We help nonprofits to manage their donor relationships.Read More
If you’re giving to the American Heart Association or a cancer cause or whomever and you’re getting these letters and donor relationship management stuff, you’re seeing the core of what our business was built on. We also have financial solutions that are purpose-built for nonprofits to help them with fund accounting and encumbrances and 990s and all of the unique things that nonprofits have.
We have systems that help private K–12 school systems with tuition management, enrollment, and all of the associated relationships with students. If your alma mater is reaching out to you for donations to your university, they’re probably using one of our tools to run the alumni foundation. Grateful patient programs for foundations at hospitals are also enabled by us. We work with major corporations, as well as financial institutions like JPMorgan and Bank of America.
Last year, over $100 billion was donated, granted, or managed through our systems on behalf of nonprofits—including 17 million separate donations. Sixty thousand teachers reached 3.4 million students with learning modules from our EVERFI solution. On our corporate impact side, employees tracked 12 million volunteer hours last year alone through our YourCause platform. It’s a pretty neat space to play in. We serve roughly 40,000 clients, from small to midsize nonprofits to the very biggest, helping cancer and heart health and ALS organizations—to name a few—along with many hospital systems. It’s a really neat company.
Blackbaud | www.blackbaud.com | Charleston, SC