ITA Spotlight: NeonCRM
Monday, April 16, 2018
Posted by: Gary Hotze
Jeff Gordy, CEO & Co-Founder, NeonCRM, @NeonCRM
NeonCRM builds software that helps nonprofits manage fundraising, membership, events, and websites — and they started right here at a local Chicago nonprofit! See how they got their start and what they have planned to make an even more significant impact for nonprofits across the country.
In 25 words or less, what is Neon all about?
Neon helps thousands of nonprofits make good happen! We provide the technology they need to manage fundraising, membership, events, and websites.
What problem do you solve and how do you address it better than the competition?
The average nonprofit has data stored in 3 to 5 places that do not communicate with each other, plus very little time to get their work done and raise more money. Our CRM helps them manage all of their essential tasks and data in one integrated solution that saves time and helps raise more money.
Also, about 85% of our staff comes from a nonprofit background. We understand the challenges our clients are up against because we’ve been in their shoes. That helps us create solutions that make their lives easier.
How did you get started?
My co-founder Lei Zhang and I met in 2004 while I was working at the Kidney Cancer Association, a local nonprofit in Chicago. He had built a custom database for our organization, and I knew that together we could create a market-changing solution and change how nonprofits work for the better.
How has your company culture evolved as Neon has grown?
Our company culture has always been about inclusivity and working hard to do good. We believe our culture grows stronger with more diversity because we serve such amazing nonprofits that do incredibly diverse work to make our world a better place every day.
Our staff has more than tripled over the past few years, and it sometimes feels crazy that we’ve grown so much. We look to hire great people who are passionate about doing good and believe in empowering our growing client base to impact our world positively. Even though we all have different backgrounds and unique experiences, that common goal brings us together and makes Neon an extraordinary place to be.
What are your primary goals for Neon?
Our primary goal is to help more nonprofits become thriving, sustainable businesses for social good! If we continue to provide easy to use software that is solely focused on assisting nonprofits to grow, then we know we’re doing what we can to help. If our clients succeed, then so do we.
Where do you see Neon in two years? Five? Ten?
Neon has consistently grown 40-50% every year, and nothing would make us prouder than helping our nonprofit organizations to have more success deepening their impact at the local, state, national and global levels.
We want to become the leading software provider for nonprofit organizations and help them to increase their impact. We were honored to be listed in the top 2,000 fastest growing companies in the U.S. for the past three years by the Inc. 5000, and plan on increasing that growth even more over the upcoming years.
We will continue to focus on rolling out new products and more advanced features that address the ever-changing needs of nonprofits. In the end, we’re looking forward to working with and helping organizations that are looking to make a positive impact in the world.
What’s the No. 1 thing on your to-do list?
Finding new ways to make our nonprofit clients successful. If they succeed, we do as well. Technology is changing fast and finding new ways to use software to help nonprofits is a fun challenge.
In your opinion, what are some of the pros and cons of being an Illinois business?
Chicago is home for us. We love this city and everything it has to offer — including tech talent, local nonprofits, and food! As we expand, we may open satellite offices in other (warmer!) places, but Chicago will always be our HQ.
What are the most significant challenges you face as you scale your business?
Like a lot of startups, we face some unique challenges because we’re growing so fast. There can sometimes be a lot of changes happening in a short period, but our team is excellent at adapting quickly and being solution-oriented.
This one is all you. Anything else you want to tell us?
We’re excited to be new members of ITA and love being a part of the Chicago tech community!