Giving thanks to Jim
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Jim loved Thanksgiving because it was a time to acknowledge, honor, and thank people. We want to create that space for him here. Join us in sharing your thoughts, memories, and stories of Jim in a perpetual thanks giving...
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2018-11-29 12:54:38 -0500
The challenge of writing anything about Jim is that there are no words that can accurately capture his story or the significance of what he spent his whole life trying to achieve. I know that well from my time at NationBuilder trying to do just that. Jim was the most vibrant, fascinating, creative, inspiring, challenging, and fearless person I’ve ever met and probably ever will meet. He pushed the boundaries of what is possible for someone to achieve in a human existence. At 18, his body started throwing curveballs at him that most people do not survive; but it only made him stronger and more determined.
Jim had unbelievable conviction and belief in what he was trying to do. He did things differently. He took chances and he made hard decisions. He had to do things that way because he was trying to achieve something that most people never attempt – he was trying to change the world and he had to believe that he could do it.
As many people have said, Jim was intimidating. That’s because you couldn’t hide with Jim. He had this way of cutting through the bullshit in any and every conversation that made you feel vulnerable. Jim didn’t have time for bullshit because he knew he was on borrowed time. And having faced death, he lived fearlessly.
Jim challenged everyone that he came into contact with to think differently about the world and to question everything including their own limitations. Like many people, I had a complicated relationship with Jim. He gave me many opportunities to push myself and take on new challenges and I probably learned more in my time at NationBuilder than I have in any other job.
One of my favorite things to do with Jim was brainstorm. I don’t consider myself to be the most creative person but Jim brought that side out of me. He had some insane ideas and he really pushed us to try to make them reality. I remember in one meeting brainstorming about a particularly off the wall event we were putting together, laughing as I watched a new employee’s face as they tried to comprehend bringing his crazy ideas to life.
We talk a lot about leadership. Well, Jim was a true leader. He inspired people to adopt his mission as their own. But leaders are human. They have weaknesses and they make mistakes and he was no exception. But as a leader he also saw peoples’ potential and he knew how to get the best out of them and out of himself. There was no one that he pushed harder than himself. Physically he pushed himself through challenges that no other human being on earth would have been able to overcome.
Now that Jim is gone, I hope that we can all honor him by being fearless, living like we’re on borrowed time, and believing in our own missions.
2018-11-29 12:53:34 -0500
God Bless Your Soul Jim,
2018-11-29 12:41:01 -0500
God Bless Your Soul Jim,
Although, I did not know you personally and never met you in person you have my heartfelt blessings and my heart goes to your loved ones left behind!
I opened several Premium accounts with Nation Builder different times within the last 10 years and paid a lot of money to the company for years , unfortunately, I was never delivered what I had paid for! I could never have a functioning and useful website! The Application never worked, or worked properly! All my money went done the drain! Even, when my domains were expired and no longer had the websites, I was continually charged and I’m still being charged monthly! I hope now that you have past, the ones who are left behind change the behaviour of the company and rectify all the wrongdoings in the Nation Builder! God Bless!
2018-11-29 12:17:56 -0500
Jim you will be greatly missed, but certainly not forgotten by very many people you have impacted their lives without knowing of whom I am one. Praying God’s comfort and strength to us all at this moment of grief knowing that you are resting with the Lord.
2018-11-29 12:12:28 -0500
Our condolences to Jim’s family, friends and colleagues, from the team at Right To Play UK
2018-11-29 12:03:44 -0500
NationBuilder has been an amazing company for me! My campaign was truly blessed with your involvement! I will use you again this coming year. I will pray for your company and for the loss of Jim. God Bless you all.
Kirk J. Torrance
2018-11-29 11:15:57 -0500
Jim was a friend and an inspiration. His passion to empower people to organise themselves and others around their ideals, lead him to create the tools which are now his legacy. I was lucky to be involved in the beginning of NationBuilder through Jim taking a chance with what we were doing at the
in Scotland, and I’m forever thankful for that. He was some guy; he will be missed, but not forgotten!
Ramón Ramón Sánchez
2018-11-29 11:12:25 -0500
Jim fue un promotor del trabajo en Red, de la generación de Comunidad y de los principios que las sociedades se construyen tejiendo redes.
Gran visionario que lamentablemente perdemos.
Descanse en paz.
2018-11-29 11:07:27 -0500
I met Jim at the 2011 Campaign Tech conference in DC, when we both received awards as Campaign Innovators. (You can see more on that here:
). Before then, I only knew of NationBuilder and Jim’s name attached to it, but little else. Jim and I sat next to each other at the long table where all the awardees sat during the portion of the conference when we were being presented with the award and providing a few minutes of remarks to the audience. Jim and I were near the far end of the setup and he was inquisitive, funny, warm and often saying things I didn’t quite understand – because they were visions beyond what my small city electoral politics experience would ever anticipate and because, I thought and believe, Jim was really smart. He impressed me then as warm and open. As Micah Sifry notes in his remembrance on Civicist, Jim had so many ideas – I remember thinking that as he detailed all he’d done and was hoping to do even in the 30-45 mins we chatted. He was a game changer indeed and gone far far too young. My deepest condolences to all those who cared for or about him.
2018-11-29 10:19:04 -0500
To The Family of Jim Gilliam,
I offer my deepest condolences and sympathy for the loss of your loved one, Jim. There are many contributions and progressive technical inventions where Jim’s gifts and talents were used to help improve and ultimately change how thousands of folks all over this world managed their data and overall operations in numerous campaign, organization, government and business environments. I am grateful for his motivational training and support systems that personally helped me to run successful politcal campaigns. His purpose driven life will never be forgotten. May you always cherish the fond memories and great times that you shared with Jim. I pray that you will have peace and comfort during this period of bereavement. My hope is that you would continue his legacy by offering to help others seeking to embrace
and/or start a small business. Thank you for sending me an email that allowed for this awesome opportunity to share my appreciation and love for Jim.
2018-11-29 10:04:52 -0500
He helped build a progressive and democratic nation.
Mark Sara Koroma
2018-11-29 09:15:40 -0500
What a big Loss!….
On behalf of Street Youth Connection Sierra Leone (
-SL) I am sending my deepest condolences to the Family, Friends, Colleagues and Relatives of Jim Gilliam. May his gentle Soul rest in perfect peace.
2018-11-29 08:03:22 -0500
Jim helped make it possible for a group of women to share their power when he helped us form Newshounds 15 years ago. He helped us with so many tech issues that we would never have been able to solve on our own. He helped create the practice of regularly monitoring and critiquing Fox News, something liberals now take for granted but didn’t exist before Jim helped bring it into being. Thanks, Jim. I wish I’d have found a way to thank you more while you were still with us.
2018-11-29 07:11:29 -0500
Overcoming the struggling of life it’s what he always was teaching whit his tenacity and courage. Keep his memory as a brave man.
2018-11-29 06:06:35 -0500
May he rest in peace! Our sincere condolences to your family and friends.
2018-11-29 06:03:17 -0500
While I did not meet Jim personally, I had the opportunity to experience Nation Builder during my campaign for election. Dealing with cancer is no fun and he seemed to have put up a great fight. Thank you Jim! May you soar with the eagles and may your soul
2018-11-29 04:41:55 -0500
Bereavement is an intimate, personal journey that I believe cannot be shared. It can drain the emotional tank. It is clear that you all shared a family bond with Jim, that he was an inspiration, and it is this legacy that will enable you to replenish your emotional tanks by tapping into the wonderful memories, events and activities that Jim was involved in that filled your lives with joy and fulfilment. Jim’s body may be gone, but his spirit will reside in each of you in your individual life journeys.
2018-11-29 04:39:55 -0500
«The Public organization of Parents of Children with Disabilities "ARDI"in the Kyrgyz Republic has the deepest sympathy because of Jim Gilliam passed away. Please accept our condolences.
2018-11-29 03:07:28 -0500
Thanks for being so inspiring and humble. My thoughts go out to your friends and family.
2018-11-29 02:26:27 -0500
May the love demonstrated in this community continue building on Jim’s legacy. His NationBuilder project weaves people together, helps to shape purpose and accomplish important things. In today’s divided times, this should remain humanity’s supreme focus. Thank you Jim.
2018-11-29 02:15:52 -0500
2018-11-29 01:39:03 -0500
For perhaps my first time in my life, I have nothing to say. :) Really though, I’m utterly shocked. You’re one of the strongest people I know (knew) and I thought for sure you would pull through. I recall our lunch when I asked 1000 questions about your book and your thoughts on God. Perhaps now your ideas and mine are merging… and that beautiful thread that connects each of us has a face, and a name, and you are standing in his light and calling him God.
P.S. I bet you got some pretty cool wings up there (with a ridiculous wing span!!). Spread them wide and fly, my friend!
P.S.S. Why do I have the strange feeling you’re reading all of these messages??
2018-11-29 01:12:23 -0500
Rest on Peace, thank you for welcoming my son into your company. Angels will walk you through the door of Light.My sincere condolences to your family and friends.
2018-11-29 01:08:23 -0500
Thank you, Jim, for everything you have created and done.
You will be missed.
2018-11-29 00:59:59 -0500
I never had the chance to meet Jim in person, but I did speak to him during a video interview he did with my husband (who ended up going to work at Nationbuilder). Jim wanted to speak with me directly about any concerns I had, which I thought was very kind.
So while I can’t speak to Jim and who he was as a person, because I did not know him beyond that experience, I can speak to him as a person who dealt with chronic illness and cancer. I too have had cancer, and also dealt with chronic health problems over my lifetime. I know how draining fighting for your health can be, and there have been times I have been so overwhelmed with making sure I am getting my tests and treatments that I have had to pass on doing many of the things I loved. So it’s a testament to his passion, drive and spirit that he managed to grow a company like Nationbuilder. That’s not an easy thing to do even if you have perfect health. I tip my hat to him as a brave fighter that did not give up and wish him peace from his suffering and battles.
2018-11-29 00:33:12 -0500
I am sorry I did not have the opportunity to meet this very fine and dedicated person, who was thought of so highly by so many individuals. But by reading the letter making us aware of his passing, I can tell that he was an awesome individual who stood and fought for this great country of ours. May he rest in peace and may his family find the comfort offered by Our Lord God!
2018-11-29 00:14:42 -0500
Jim was a friend, a mentor and an inspiration. I started building communities and campaigns on NationBuilder when it was still in public beta back in April 2011.
I remember the 1st time meeting Jim in LA a few years ago. I went to shake his hand and he said “Sorry Brad but a handshake just won’t do it” and gave me a huge hug in front of a roomful of people.
Later in the day I remarked to him “So you got us all to fly out here on our dime for a conference so we can teach you how to better sell NationBuilder to us.”
He looked up at me with that mischievous smile of his and said “You SO get me, Brad. You always have.”
I designed the first Presidential campaign website on NationBuilder. Back then I didn’t know the difference between a div tag and a Maytag. Jim, Jesse Haff, Brian Tippy and others at NB held my hand, encouraged me and watched me grow as a designer.
I have met so many wonderful, brilliant people through my association with Jim and NationBuilder. Taylor Pineiro, Will Conway, Jay Godfrey, Ian Patrick Hines, Ned Howey, Mariana Spada, Corey McCann and so many more.
Maybe that is Jim’s greatest legacy. Inspiring communities.
Good travels Jim.
2018-11-29 00:13:47 -0500
Jim was our next door neighbor when he was a teenager in Chapel Hill, NC. He was a talented and kind soul. I am so sorry to hear of his passing at such a young age. My heart goes out to his family. Rest In Peace, Jim.
2018-11-28 23:54:59 -0500
NationBuilder helped our small rural community pass an education initiative that was and is imperative in a state that funds public education 47th-49th in the nation –
– the Education Foundation of Eagle County appreciates Jim and NationBuilder more than you’ll ever know. Thank you Jim – you are missed.
2018-11-28 23:26:29 -0500
Rest In Peace!