Every year I come back to work after the holiday break (which in our business isn’t actually a break) and feel inspired to write an energizing, joyful, grateful blog post about how wonderful life is and how the dream goes on.
It’s a little hard to do that today, here in rainy Washington, DC, which is being taken over by...well. Words cannot describe. But today, like most days, I wake up grateful that we’ve built a place where our work truly has meaning, and where we come to work surrounded by colleagues who hold each other up. The old adage holds true: The days may be long sometimes, but the years are short.
So, a retrospection on 2016: The little company that could is still chugging. It’s even more clear to me than ever before that it’s our love for each other and our clients that keeps us going. It’s all of the crazy fun, the coming together in crisis, the rejoicing in the new, and the laughter that fuels this effort.
On the client side, we grew like mad in 2016. We wrote a lot of code, launched a ton of campaigns, held a lot of hands. We welcomed a number of new clients to the Jackson River family. And we’re still tallying year-end results, but every single one of our amazing clients blew away their fundraising goals. Gangbusters. Big lists, big dollars, big smiles.
And there’s a lot of work to be done, starting, like, now. We are steeling ourselves for helping our clients to fight the fight that’s coming. We’re right in there with them and couldn’t be prouder to be by their sides.
On the Springboard software side, our super-duper product manager Kara Cruoglio stewarded the platform through four major and sixteen not-so-major releases (a whopping TWENTY releases in one year). That’s a lotta code encompassing 26 brand new features like social advocacy via Twitter, advocacy quick-sign, sustainer upgrade, multiple ask strings, and a fancy new data warehouse; 48 enhancements ranging from tweaks to significant upgrades like our new donor portal; lots of new integrations with systems like Luminate CRM and Silverpop Transact; many new payment methods like ApplePay and Braintree/Paypal, beyond the 15 existing payment methods we already support; and another release full of goodies, Springboard Version 4.13, coming up next week.
We’ve formed some deeper partnerships with our email service providers, our CRM partners, and other consultants and friends in the space, and we’ve worked a lot, collaboratively, on joint projects. It’s been a great way to expand the Jackson River family.
We gave a well received, standing-room-only talk on the Modern Digital Team at NTC in San Jose last Spring, and we continue to get calls to consult on how nonprofits can become digital-first organizations. If you’re interested, see our slides, read a blog post on Becoming a Digital-First Organization, or watch a video interview we did with Tony Martignetti’s Nonprofit Radio.
Heading into 2017, though, what touches my heart the most is our people. Not only did we hire some wonderful new folks like Scott Williamson, Scott Phillips, and Robert Romore, we brought back the indomitable Ben Clark, who was with us from the early days of the company. Both Misty McLaughlin and Ben Clark welcomed babies into our Jackson River family, and now Orri and Eleanor are sporting their Jackson River Onesies.
In all, we’ve got an incredible, talented, dedicated team of nonprofit-loving techies and strategists. We are a group of people who genuinely love and care about each other, and we have a sense of community which is particularly remarkable to witness in a virtual environment.
Of all the things we can be most grateful for as we enter into 2017, it’s each other.
Happy New Year to you and yours.