April 1, 2022 marks the two-year anniversary of Passion Fruit Partners. It is hard to find the words to summarise all of the thoughts and emotions we feel as we look back and reflect on our second year in business, but we will do our best.
What started as a phone call between two former co-workers looking to find purpose in their work has evolved into an incredible journey shared with even more incredible people. From day one, we wanted to do things differently by prioritizing people over profits, staying true to our core values (Passion, Authenticity, Integrity, and Quality), and making sure that we never lost sight of the impact our work has on the amazing nonprofit organizations we work with.
As we look back and reflect on our second year as partners, we want to share a few milestones achieved, lessons learned, and final thoughts on our second year before we focus on what’s ahead.
At the end of year one, we had some milestones that we set for ourselves, some more easily quantifiable than others:
- Grow our team to 10 awesome people by April 1, 2022
- Do a team retreat in person in 2022
- Hit our growth targets, not at the expense of others
- Provide our team with personal development and opportunities to learn new skills
- Maintain work/life balance for all employees
- Stay true to our core values
- Give back to the community
- Be authentic
- Help others and lift each other up
This past week, we held our first in-person retreat with the Passion Fruit team at Loon Lake in British Columbia, centered around the theme of “Enjoying the Journey”. While reviewing our progress towards the milestones we had set with the team, we were reminded that none of what we accomplished would be possible without a team of incredible people who are passionate about what they do:
- Grew our team to 10 awesome people who demonstrate our core values each and every day
- Worked with 31 different nonprofit organizations
- Maintained a client satisfaction rating of 5/5
- Had 71% of our clients from year one return for additional projects or support retainers
- Brought on 20 new nonprofit organizations as clients of Passion Fruit Partners
- Gave back $10,000 to nonprofit organizations in 2021
- Average of 4.9 Salesforce Certifications per team member
- Grew our revenue by 177% YoY
- Had an incredible week at our first in-person retreat
- Remained authentic to who we are as a company and who we are as individuals
While our second year has continued to surpass our expectations in almost every way, we would be remiss not to mention the lessons learned along the way. To share a couple that stood out to us:
- The need for planning increases as we grow and take on more complex projects. Even though we are a small team, we need the help of other leaders to make sure we are delivering the best quality services for our clients and providing opportunities for our team to develop. At our first leadership retreat, we were able to sit down with Reagan & Junette in person to plan, and fully understand each of our roles at the company in order to play to our strengths.
- Hiring is hard. Culture is one of the most important aspects of our work, and finding the right people is incredibly difficult. We want to thank Scott, Arjan, Jim, and Cindy for choosing to join the Passion Fruit team, and Reagan for doing an amazing job of creating authentic relationships and leading the charge with recruiting.
- Life happens outside of work. Being able to spend time with family and loved ones has always been an important value for all of us at PFP. This year was extra special as we welcomed Clair’s son, Cody, into the world. As we celebrated work wins, we also celebrated personal wins and supported and lifted each other up through difficult times. Without a great team to provide coverage and fill in the gaps where needed, we wouldn’t be able to disconnect and enjoy life when it happens.
- Different perspectives are crucial to achieving the best outcomes. Having a larger team means that there are more tough conversations to be had and difficult decisions to make. This also means that there are more opportunities for learning from each other and growing our skill sets. Establishing a team that is willing to be open and honest with each other, while all leveraging our strengths has been one of our proudest achievements in the last year. We all share our different perspectives to elevate each other and ultimately make better decisions as a team. Having team members with unique backgrounds and life experiences makes us stronger together while making work more fun for all of us.
- Remember to have fun and enjoy the journey. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and forget to celebrate the little wins along the way. Ending the year with our retreat reminded all of us to have fun and treasure the time that we have together. While many of us had never met in person, only through Zoom, when we met it was as if we had all known each other for years, and we had a blast together! Highlights include roasting marshmallows and making smores by the fire, board game nights, our first-ever PFP Olympics, canoeing on the lake, and even conquering an escape room!
Closing Thoughts on Year Two
Similar to last year, we end the year extremely grateful for all of the incredible nonprofits we are fortunate to support and for all of the Passion Fruit team members. We enter our third year in business with excitement for what’s ahead and confidence in our team to continue executing at such a high-level. Thank you to Junette, Reagan, Jenn, Lihan, Scott, Jim, Arjan, and Cindy for bringing your authentic selves to work each day and for always looking out for the best interests of our clients. We couldn’t do it without you!
Ben & Clair