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Blackbaud: Vendor for Evangel University experiences data security breach

Published on Aug 26, 2020 by Paul K. Logsdon



SPRINGFIELD, MO — Evangel University officials have been made aware of a data breach at Blackbaud, a third-party vendor that works with colleges and other organizations in the fundraising world. The file that was hacked did NOT include confidential or financial information such as credit cards and bank accounts.

Evangel officials notified its affected donors via email on Wednesday morning, August 26, 2020.

According to a Blackbaud announcement, “Blackbaud encounters millions of attacks each month.” The company reported that in May of 2020, they were victims of a ransomware attack, a process where “cybercriminals attempt to disrupt the business by locking companies out of their own data and servers.”

While the attack was successfully fended off, it was not before some data was downloaded. “Prior to our locking the cybercriminal out, the cybercriminal removed a copy of a subset of data,” the release said.

Officials with Blackbaud and the FBI are confident the case is closed, and the data is now secure.


Assurances from Blackbaud

“We believe the strength of our cybersecurity practice and advance planning is the reason we were able to shut down this sophisticated ransomware attack. We have already implemented changes to prevent this specific issue from happening again,” said Blackbaud.

More details on their security, risk, compliance and privacy programs can be reviewed here.


Letter to Evangel donors

Recently, Evangel University was notified by one of our third-party vendors, Blackbaud, of a data breach incident that occurred earlier this year and involved some of your personal data.

Blackbaud works with many universities across the country to manage fundraising and constituent engagement efforts. The hack was a ransomware attack which resulted in accessing and copying a file containing names, contact information, and charitable donation amounts of our donors. The stolen data file did not include confidential or financial information such as usernames, passwords, credit cards, bank accounts, or Social Security information. Blackbaud chose to pay the ransom and received the data back to their possession.

As soon as Evangel was made aware of the breach, we engaged expert assistance to review the situation to more fully understand what had happened and the impact on our alumni and donors. We continue to work with Blackbaud to avoid this type of situation in the future and to more fully protect the information of our Evangel University community.

Our relationship with all of our alumni, donors, and other constituents is of utmost importance to us. Should you have any questions, please reach out to our Advancement Office at 417-865-2815 or


Dr. Michael Kolstad
Vice President for University Advancement


About Evangel

Evangel University, with the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary (AGTS), is a comprehensive Christian university committed to excellence in educating and equipping students to serve the church and society globally. Evangel and AGTS serve more than 2,300 students from all 50 states and numerous foreign countries, offering 70 undergraduate majors and 19 master’s and doctoral degrees.


 PHOTO BY Paul K. Logsdon