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Charleston-based Blackbaud giving most employees $2,000 in stock, citing federal tax cuts

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Blackbaud’s global headquarters are on Daniel Island. Staff/File

Most Blackbaud employees will receive about $2,000 worth of stock this month, a gift the Daniel Island-based company says it's offering because of federal tax cuts approved last year.

Blackbaud — the Charleston area's biggest public company — says the one-time stock award caps a year in which profits soared nearly 80 percent thanks to an evolving business model with more double-digit growth on the horizon. But it credits the lower corporate tax rate in part for the bonus.

The stock award comes after a long run-up in Blackbaud's stock price, which has nearly doubled in value over the past two years. Blackbaud, which makes software for nonprofits, has come within striking distance of becoming South Carolina's highest-valued company, with a market value of $4.7 billion.

Chief executive Mike Gianoni said in a statement that the stock award will ensure that "all employees are owners and can participate in the company's success." Shares will be distributed Feb. 28 to workers who aren't already paid in stock.

That means about four in five of Blackbaud's 3,200 employees will receive shares in the one-time award, according to spokeswoman Amy Lucia. The rest already receive stock through a separate compensation plan.

Blackbaud is the first Charleston-based company to offer employees a gift tied to the rewritten tax code, but similar announcements have trickled out of corporate America since Congress approved the measure in late December.

Columbia-based South State Bank announced $1,000 bonuses that will clear on Friday for its 2,800 employees, including its main operations center in North Charleston. And several national names with a presence in the Lowcountry — AT&T, Lowe's and Wal-Mart, among others — have made similar promises.

Reach Thad Moore at 843-937-5703. Follow him on Twitter @thadmoore.

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