As we start 2022 here in CharityCAN’s home base of Waterloo, Ontario, in some ways it feels eerily like the start of 2021: working from home with limited contact with friends, family and coworkers, with lockdown measures in place to stop another COVID wave from crashing over our healthcare system.
In this Groundhog Day of a January it’s been too easy for me lately to feel down and sometimes hard to concentrate on anything that’s not just getting through the next day of home confinement, including our work here at CharityCAN.
That’s why it’s been nice for me today to take a look back at everything our fantastic team has done in 2021 to put things in perspective and to get me excited about the things we have coming up in 2022.
In company news, 2021 saw us implement a blind interview selection process that we’ve used to select our co-op students. We still have a pretty small sample size, but anecdotally the process has led to a diverse group of students selected as candidates.
Like many companies, we also experimented with reduced working hours over the summer. Feedback from employees was positive and we didn’t see any sort of difference in our business operations, so it’s something I hope we’ll do again this summer!
We also partnered with a company called Patch to make sure CharityCAN is carbon neutral going forwards.
Last but certainly not least, two employees (myself included!) welcomed new additions to their families.
Of course the other thing we love to look back on here is what we accomplished with our CharityCAN family of products over the year.
This year we saw the addition of some new data sets, including Canada’s private aircraft and marine craft registries and public sector salaries from Manitoba. What’s especially exciting about these new features for me is that they were created internally by an employee who took on the challenge of learning to code on the job – these were their first additions to our platform!
Besides the new data sets, we also added some major new features. After doing a lot of work behind the scenes, we introduced Donor Discovery, a new way to do prospect identification based on relationship and donation data.
We also launched Avenue Donor Data, a separate add-in for Raiser’s Edge NXT that allows you to view our CharityCAN Household Data alongside donor constituent records.
We added new features to our prospect profiles, like letting you export a customized PDF version of the profile, and letting you easily connect profiles to your organization so you can use their connections in our relationship path searches.
Through my volunteer experience this last year with Apra Canada (become a member if you’re not already!) and from participating in a study that found a significant return on investment from prospect research in the fundraising world, it feels like prospect research in Canada is still a rapidly growing field. We’re excited to be able to play a part in that growing world as more fundraisers start using data to make better fundraising decisions.
Here’s to 2022 and all the new challenges and successes it will bring!