When does Support end for Sphere?
What is the future of Blackbaud Sphere?
Are there changes to Support or my Blackbaud Sphere Subscription?
As advances in technology continuously drive product innovation, Blackbaud releases new products, features, and services that help nonprofit organizations achieve their missions. This means that clients can realize new value from the consistent investment and advancement of many Blackbaud solutions while Blackbaud reduces new-feature development on more mature products.
Has Sphere Support changed?
Blackbaud announced our decision to stop development of new Sphere features in 2014. Since then, we've continued to invest in next-generation solutions like Luminate Online, TeamRaiser, and everydayhero, and have simultaneously focused Sphere development solely on ensuring product stability and security.
Sphere remains fully supported today, and Blackbaud is committed to delivering support to existing Blackbaud Sphere clients as they complete their migration to other Blackbaud online solutions or until the end date of a client’s active Blackbaud Sphere contract.
What to expect from my next Sphere renewal:
Clients with an active Blackbaud Sphere contract will have the option to renew their existing agreement upon their renewal date, but the last full, 12-month renewal term will begin April 1, 2018. All renewals after this date will be for an abbreviated term.
Other important dates:
- Effective 1/1/18, annual Sphere subscription rates will increase by 20% for all clients who have yet to contract their migration to another Blackbaud online solution.
- Effective January 1, 2018, clients with a $0 annual subscription plus transaction fees, who have not yet signed an agreement for another Blackbaud online solution, will renew at an annual subscription fee of $1,188, plus transaction fees.
- Effective 1/1/19, an additional annual subscription increase will go into effect for all clients requiring an abbreviated renewal term in 2019.
What are the options for a replacement solution for Sphere?
While most clients are moving to Luminate Online, TeamRaiser, and/or everydayhero, your account manager or migrations specialist will work with you to prescribe the right solution for your organization based on your unique needs. In order to ensure the most successful migration experience and forego upcoming rate increases, we recommend working with your account manager to begin planning your move to another Blackbaud online solution. To get started, please review the Blackbaud Sphere Migration Guide with your account manager, register for our upcoming web seminar, or chat now to start the migration process.
What does the migration process entail?
Migrating to a new solution takes time and planning, so we have created a Blackbaud Sphere Migration Guide to help you plan for your transition. You will want to allow about 3-6 months to evaluate your options with your account manager and make a purchasing decision. We then recommend dedicating about a month to data cleanup, followed by your new solution implementation.
When do I need to make my decision?
All migration decisions should be finalized by June 30, 2018. Your account manager will work with you to map out a timeline that works with your organization’s budget and event cycle and allows you to transition to your new solution in a timely manner.
What happens if I do not move to a new solution prior to March 31, 2019?
All Sphere renewal terms will end on or before March 31, 2019, at which point all remaining Sphere sites will be deactivated and become inaccessible. Blackbaud will not maintain Sphere data after March 31, 2019, so if you choose to not move to a new solution, it’s important that you export any data that you would like to retain prior to March 31, 2019.*
*Canadian charities have a retention obligation under Canadian Law which requires them to maintain donation receipts for two years from the end of the calendar year in which donations were made. If you are a Canadian client, please make sure that you have done your due diligence to fulfill this requirement prior to fully transitioning away from Sphere. Blackbaud is able to provide a copy of your donation receipts in PDF format if you would like to obtain this for your records. Please chat with support to let us know if you would like a copy of your receipts in PDF format. When chatting with support, please provide the date range for which you'd like to export the receipts.