By Classy, Special for USDR
It was a night to remember for ten organizations who took home a Classy Award—recognizing the most innovative solutions to the world’s toughest social issues.
Classy, the leading online and mobile fundraising platform for social enterprises, created the Classy Awards to bring much-needed attention to the work nonprofits are doing across the globe.
“For-profits have many opportunities for recognition through award shows and industry accolades,” said Pat Walsh, Classy’s Co-Founder and Chief Impact Officer. “But as we deepened our connection to the nonprofits and social enterprises we serve, including those outside of our network, we realized there wasn’t a formal way to recognize their progress or achievements across the sector—so we created one.”
Out of hundreds of program nominations, 100 finalists were selected based on rigorous judging criteria. The winners were then chosen by the Classy Leadership Council, an honorary board of 100 industry leaders and cause experts including Kim Rubey, Head of Global Social Impact at Airbnb; Kate Brandt, Lead for Sustainability at Google; Jesse Schultz, Manager of Social Innovation at Warby Parker; and Steve Davis, President & CEO at PATH.
From global poverty and hunger relief, to health services, educational advancement, and social justice, the Classy Award winners are tackling some of the world’s most complex problems through the specific programs that were nominated.
This year’s winning programs and respective organizations are:
- Days for Girls by Days for Girls International
- Lending Circles by Mission Asset Fund
- MicroBuild Fund by Habitat for Humanity International
- Missing Maps by Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team
- Protecting Children from Cybersex Trafficking by International Justice Mission
- Safe Access by OpenBiome
- Samasource by Samasource
- SHE28 by Sustainable Health Enterprises
- SKILLZ Street by Grassroot Soccer
- The Shoe That Grows by Because International
To learn more about the winners and their innovative programs, click here.
In addition to the ten program winners, Classy recognized Ray Offenheiser with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his unmatched dedication to advancing the sector. As President and CEO of Oxfam America, Ray grew the organization eightfold, became one of the strongest members of the global Oxfam confederation, and established its influential presence in Washington, D.C. promoting a social justice approach to the fight against global poverty.
The Classy Awards ceremony capped off the Collaborative—Classy’s three-day experience that convenes top social innovators from around the world to incite meaningful dialogue and accelerate progress in the social sector. Hot-button issues were discussed by a range of influential speakers, including Boston Bombing Marathon Survivor, Adrianne Haslet; Linda Sarsour of the Women’s March; Laurie Barnett, Managing Director Communications & Outreach at Southwest Airlines; Vox’s Liz Plank, and more.
The Collaborative + Classy Awards will return to Boston next year from June 12-14, 2018; visit classy.org/collaborative to get involved.
The 2017 Collaborative was presented by Classy, Fluxx, Plenty, Southwest Airlines and The Boston Foundation, in partnership with Appirio, Benevity, Omatic Software, Qlik, TripAdvisor, Twilio, and other sponsors.
Classy is the world’s leading fundraising platform for social enterprises with the goal of solving social problems more effectively and efficiently. Since launching in 2011, Classy has helped more than 3,000 social enterprises including Oxfam, World Food Program USA, and National Geographic to raise hundreds of millions of dollars. Classy also hosts the Collaborative, a three-day summit and awards ceremony that convenes impactful social enterprises and celebrates achievements in the sector. Based in San Diego, California, Classy employs a staff of over 200 people and was recognized by Glassdoor in 2017 as one of the Best Places to Work. Other recent recognition includes Fast Company’s 2016 10 Most Innovative Companies for Social Good, Entrepreneur Magazine’s 2016 10 Most Brilliant Companies for Social Impact, and a “Rising Star” recognition in the first-ever Forbes Cloud 100 list. Classy is backed by investors including JMI Equity, Mithril, and Salesforce Ventures. For more information, visit www.classy.org or follow Classy on Twitter: @Classy.