Terri Harel
3 min

December Update: A Year in Review

After the Collaborative last June, we recapped our favorite Classy product moments. We’re six months down the road now, but the core themes of our team’s work remained the same, giving our nonprofit partners access to time-saving improvements and engaging new features. Here are three things you need to know about the Classy platform in 2016, and what to look forward to in the new year. 

The Year of “Changing the Tires”

(And Everything Else)

“Building a completely new platform while still maintaining a current one is like trying to change the tires on a car while it’s driving,” our lead developer Chris Beck likes to say. For added effect, he sometimes tacks on “…at 70 miles per hour down the highway.”

Chris Beck, Classy API Engineer
Chris Beck, Classy API Engineer

Dramatic or not, that statement describes the complexity of tackling a major overhaul of an entire platform. Classy’s product team made tremendous progress this year, not only swapping out old tires for new, but also upgrading the entire car in the process, from the inside out.

The core of the overhaul has been the new Classy API, which provides powerful and flexible roots from which all new products and features can sprout and grow.

Now that the product team has the new tires on, the team is excited to jump into 2017 with a focus on tough projects that required new data structures to start. This includes features like Classy Pay, major upgrades to the Classy for Salesforce Integration, and the brand new Registration with Fundraising product.

Image of Tim Gumto, Lead Classy for Salesforce Engineer

My highlight of the year has been building the foundation of the future for the Classy for Salesforce integration. Especially now that we grew the Salesforce team in 2016, we can do lots more.

Tim Gumto
Lead Classy for Salesforce Engineer

The Year of the Customer

While we always solicit customer feedback and ideas, this year the product managers and designers dug deep to build the new Fundraising Suite. The team talked endlessly with users to understand how they use the platform, what worked and what didn’t, and what they hope to get out of the product in the future.

This is an exercise in understanding donors and fundraisers, as well as how to make the day-to-day lives of nonprofit professionals easier.

Image of Matt Lackey, Fundraising Suite Product Manager

I’ve loved the amount of customer feedback we’ve been able to incorporate into all the new elements of the new Fundraising Suite.

Matt Lackey
Fundraising Suite Product Manager

Matt Lackey talking to Classy partners at the Collaborative in June.
Matt Lackey talking to Classy nonprofit partners at the Collaborative in June.

Even now, Classy Fundraising Suite Product Manager, Matt Lackey, and Senior Product Designer, Terry Breschi, have been running “design sprints” over the last few months. A design sprint is a five-day process that helps teams tackle big challenges in short bursts. At the end of the week, the team conducts user interviews to get feedback and learn about the quality of new designs. The sprint team brings together staff with diverse expertise to develop parts of what will be the next new Fundraising Suite campaign: upgraded Registration with Fundraising.

The Year of Design

More and more, nonprofits rely on top notch design and branding to attract and engage supporters. We saw nonprofits build beautiful microsites to tell stories that compel people to donate or even fundraise on their behalf. 

Good design for nonprofits is not a question. It is a staple of the modern web, and one goal of the new Fundraising Suite is to make stunning campaign design accessible to any nonprofit, regardless of resources or staff.

Image of Marshall Peden, Director of Customer Success

A major highlight this year has been Classy’s new Fundraising Suite of tools that facilitate customization and powerful design. We’ve seen both Classy beginners and more savvy users create incredible-looking pages and make the most of the dynamic interface. Another major component to powerful campaigning is email. So, I’ve also been excited about the advances in our engagement tools and functionalities.

Marshall Peden
Director of Customer Success

In 2017: Time for You to Grow

From the product team to the support team, everyone is excited about the potential for growth in 2017. Projects like Classy Pay, new Registration with Fundraising, and Classy for Salesforce Version 6 are built to help you:

  • Provide more enjoyable, more memorable donor experiences to retain them
  • Give more flexibility for donors to give how they want and when
  • Automate tasks that tend to take up the time you need to spend focused on bigger opportunities
  • Scale your fundraising efforts

Thank you to all of our customers and beyond for another incredible year at Classy!  

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