We are writing to inform our community about a data security incident involving Blackbaud, Inc., a software company and service provider for Washington National Cathedral. The privacy of our donors and the integrity of our systems are of utmost concern, and we are working with Blackbaud to better understand this incident.

What We Know

On July 16, 2020, Washington National Cathedral was informed that a Blackbaud software system had been the victim of a ransomware attack that culminated in May 2020. The attacker was able to copy data from a Blackbaud research tool commonly used to aggregate publicly available information on donors and prospects. Following an investigation by law enforcement and cyber-security experts, Blackbaud resolved the attack and received assurances that the copied data was destroyed. Blackbaud has provided more information regarding this incident on its website.

What You Should Know

Blackbaud’s investigation found that no encrypted information, such as Social Security numbers and bank account information, passwords, or credit or debit card information, was compromised as part of this attack. Information that may have been compromised includes names and addresses on records screened using the Blackbaud research tool.

The Cathedral’s primary fundraising database was not compromised as part of this attack; that database is hosted on a separate, secure platform. We have no reason to believe that information stored in that database, such as histories of philanthropic support, were compromised.

What We’re Doing

In addition to consulting our representatives at Blackbaud, we have been in touch with our colleagues at Beauvoir, St. Alban’s School, and National Cathedral School, who are also Blackbaud clients, to understand how this incident has affected each institution.

What You Should Do

While there is no need for our community to take any action at this time, as part of our commitment to transparency and responsible stewardship we wished to make you aware of this incident. As always, we recommend you remain alert for any suspicious activity and report any incidents to the proper authority.

Our people are the greatest asset that this Cathedral has; we care deeply about your safety and security. We regret any concern this incident may have caused. Thank you for your continued support.

If you have any questions, please contact Ann Schumacher, Director of Development Services at [email protected].org or 202-537-6276.