2017 marked Planning Center’s 11th year! As we reflect on the last twelve months, and look forward to the New Year, there are a few highlights, blessings, and special moments we would like to share with you.
This year 3,738 new churches subscribed to our applications, and the number of churches using our free People app more than doubled from 2,400 in December 2016 to 4,950 this month.
To keep up with the continually growing number of churches using our software, our team had to grow too! This year Planning Center hired seventeen new employees, making 2017 our fastest growing year ever.
In our hiring spree, we welcomed one new product manager to revamp our Registrations team, five new agents to the friendly ranks of support, three designers and seven developers spread out across our applications, and one new office admin to support our fast-growing staff! We also created a Communications Team (my homies) from a ragtag group of four employees in need of a home.
We did some fun things together as a team, too!
- Packed 2,000 boxes for the Children’s Hunger Fund.
- Took over the Carlsbad Lagoon for Family Fun Friday, a day of volleyball, Chick-fil-A, jet-skis, and concussion-inducing rafting for everyone and their kids
- Drank absurd amounts of La Croix. Absurd as in we have cabinets dedicated to storing the flats of La Croix we purchase. No, I’m not joking.
- Went away for a star-studded weekend in Hollywood on our annual retreat.
- Watched every Star Wars movie over the course of May the 4th while we worked.
- We received new swag to add to what can now be an almost exclusively Planning Center wardrobe.
- Shared about our apps at 11 conferences.
- Six employees took their one month sabbatical (earned by working at Planning Center for 5 years).
- All 29 remote employees flew in to Carlsbad four times, so all of us could work in the same time zone together.
- Enjoyed a delightful evening of dinner and dancing at the La Costa Resort with the JP Hunten Band for our 11-year anniversary celebration..
- Added 40 posts to our blog, most of them describing new major features to our apps.
One of the coolest things many employees did together was to go on a Servecation. At the end of 2016, Jeff Berg gave every employee five days of paid vacation (in addition to our regular quota) to use in 2017 to serve others—a Servecation.
Several employees took advantage of the extra time off and used it to serve in Guatemala, Puerto Rico, and Houston to help with Hurricane Harvey relief. In October, eight employees, including our whole leadership team, traveled to Uganda to serve alongside Cherish Uganda.
This year of Servecations blessed our team and the people served in such amazing ways, Berg decided to extend the opportunity to 2018!
We also did a lot of work on our apps this year!
Planning Center is not, and never will be, satisfied with the status quo: we are constantly adding and updating features on our applications, often in response to your customer feedback!
Some of the big highlights from this year…
- Check-Ins released an installable application for both desktops and mobile devices.
- We launched Giving in Canada and our very own Canadian, Matt, sang about it.
- Registrations and Check-Ins joined forces for a long awaited integration—Checkistrations.
- People partnered with Checkr to secure churches with background checks.
- Resources did a thing and now room and resource reservation conflicts are easily resolvable.
- Giving made donating a little easier by enabling Apple Pay for iPhone users and allowing the giving form to be embedded on your church website.
- The Services team released brand new versions of Media pages, the People page, and the Media Player!
We have a strict No Spoilers policy, so I can’t offer any sneak peeks into our goals for 2018, but I can tell you we are excitedly looking forward to the new features and updates we have coming for all of our apps in the coming year!
I was one of the seventeen new hires in 2017—I only experienced eight months of this year—so I am excited to start 2018 alongside this fantastic team and participate in another great year at Planning Center from start to finish.
We’ll see you next year!