Notepad with "5 things we learned in 2020 to take into 2021" written on it, alongside a cup of coffee, a piece of cake, and a pen - all on a blue table

5 things we learned in 2020 to take into 2021

Every learning point is a stepping stone to a better business, more happy clients, and an engaged team

2020 was a weird year for us, as it was for most people, but in the last 12 months we've learned a few things that we're taking into account for our plans for 2021.

Some of these might be useful for you too, and we'd love to know what you're planning for this year.


1. Online fundraising for charities is even more important during the COVID-19 crisis, and alternative gifts are a really effective ways to do this

The world has been going online more and more over the last 20 years, but the COVID-19 crisis saw a massive leap in online operations for charities as well as other types of organisation.

As in-person fundraising, revenue-generating events, and High Street campaigns ground to a halt in the wake of lockdowns and social distancing, charities had to look for other ways to generate much-needed funds to keep their important work going. 

Despite the recession and waves of redundancies, our client Concern Worldwide has continued their year-on-year online revenue growth through their alternative gift site (with a bit of help from us).

How Concern Worldwide uses alternative gifts to generate revenue


2. Drupal 9 is a very easy upgrade to implement

We had just finished our new website when Drupal 9 was released. We'd originally built it in Drupal 8 with the intention to upgrade as soon as the new Drupal core version was available. 

So, once Drupal 9 was out, Andrey (one of our senior Drupal devs) set about implementing the upgrade. This was all done and dusted just two weeks after the D9 release date, which included upgrading a few of the contrib modules we'd used to create the new running on Drupal 9 within two weeks of it's release - and how we did it


3. It’s possible to have a truly enjoyable and productive internal conference even if we can’t be together

We're a fully distributed team, with SystemSeeders being spread across multiple countries and time-zones. So, it's really important that we frequently make time to be together and focus on us as a team.

However, our well-laid plans to gather in Minsk in 2020 for Frontend United and take a few days aside from the conference to work on our business and have some fun were not to be.

Instead, we ran an internal online conference and hackathon over two weeks and it worked out exceptionally well. It's not something that we'd done before but we'll definitely do it again. 

Team building in the time of COVID-19: The story of SeedCon 2020


4. It’s not just us who love the MaterialBase V2!

Material Base is a base theme for Drupal created by our own Andrey Yuratev. It's now in it's second version and has been used on several of our own sites. 

Material Base is created to conform to Material Design principles, and so is a powerful and adaptable theme. 

Since its release, we've been hearing some really good feedback from others on its effectiveness and ease of use.

Meet Material Base V2


5. Giving some of our profits away is more important than ever

Every year we donate 10% of our company profits to charity. The choice of who we donate to is up to our team members who nominate and vote on our donation recipients.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated problems, many charities had even more demands on their resources, and were simultaneously struggling to generate income. We spit our donations amongst 8 worthy causes around the world.

8 charities benefited from SystemSeed profit donations in 2020


Tell us what you learned last year or what you'd like help with this year. 

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