2021 has come to a close, and in thinking about all that we have to celebrate as a community, it’s impossible not to think of all we have to mourn. The loss of loved ones, the anxiety and isolation, the daily heartbreaks both big and small. And yet.
And yet, throughout it all there have been profound moments of joy. There have been unexpected victories and major accomplishments; beautiful moments alongside excruciating ones. There has been strength and resilience. Community and love.
We experienced all of the above at NationBuilder in 2021 and are grateful to have had so much to celebrate in the midst of it all. Namely: we grew our incredible (fully-remote) team, acquired a company, promoted our Chief Strategy Officer, Hilary Doe, to President, published our 2nd book, and realized we’re one of less than 2% of companies who have a majority female leadership team. 2021 also included the 10th anniversary of Jim’s speech “The Internet is My Religion” - a speech that continues to change lives.
And most importantly, our customers—leaders from all over the world—stepped up over and over again to support their communities with ingenuity, fierce determination, and heart. From feeding thousands in the aftermath of a natural disaster to winning a historic fight for equality, leaders from Switzerland to Santa Barbara showed up and got out front. They started nonprofits, networks, campaigns and movements from scratch, and also greatly accelerated and amplified the efficacy of decades-old organizations.
The ten leaders and organizations we’ve highlighted in this Year in Review exemplify what’s possible when service, community, and generosity collide. We’re honored—along with our ecosystem partners—to be a part of what they’re creating.
As we all grapple with the upheaval and chaos of this time, our relationship to leadership has never been more important. Solving today’s biggest challenges isn’t about one leader—it’s about millions. That’s why we’re focused every day on building the infrastructure that makes it possible for anyone, anywhere to easily mobilize their community and lead them to action.
And we’re seeing the impact of baking what leaders are learning in this digital era into our product, with our customers raising more money, sending more text messages, hosting more online events, and mobilizing more volunteers in 2021 than ever before.
Choosing to lead is no small thing. But when people make that choice, whether it’s the choice for a day or the choice for a decade, lives change. Our collective future changes. We’re grateful to all the people who said yes this past year when it really mattered. Who chose to lead in spite of all the reasons not to. May your example inspire the many new leaders who’ll be needed in the days to come.