SAN DIEGO, March 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Classy, a B Corp Certified social enterprise that creates world-class online fundraising software for nonprofits, announces the Classy Awards are returning for the first time in four years. Since 2009, the Classy Awards have brought together social sector leaders and influencers to honor the achievements of both nonprofits and social enterprises, who often work tirelessly with little recognition. Now accepting nominations, the Awards will have two new categories, with one focused on putting the spotlight on those who overcame immense challenges in 2020.
For seven years, the Classy Awards grew to become one of the largest social impact award ceremonies in the country, with prestigious winners including Habitat for Humanity International, Days for Girls International, Sama, and Action Against Hunger. After a tumultuous 2020 where demand on many programs was at an all-time high and resources stretched thin, the need to acknowledge the achievements of these organizations has never been greater. This was the driving force behind Classy's decision to bring the Classy Awards back in a fully digital capacity in 2021.
"We started the Classy Awards in 2009 with a simple goal, to recognize the incredible work of nonprofits and social enterprises in our community. We wanted to celebrate the ingenuity and dedication of a sector committed to helping advance our society," says Pat Walsh, Classy co-founder and Chief Impact Officer. "The Classy Awards have the power to elevate organizations and give them more credibility as industry leaders, boosting employee morale and strengthening the confidence of supporters."
This year, the Classy Awards will honor 10 organizations in the category of Social Innovation, celebrating the most innovative solutions to the world's toughest social and environmental issues. Additionally, one winner will be chosen in these additional categories:
- People's Choice: New for 2021, the People's Choice Award will be voted on by the general public from a list of Finalists and awarded to one innovative nonprofit program that stood out and drove impact last year
- Adapt and Overcome: In 2020, organizations had to overcome immense challenges in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this new award will honor one resilient organization that was able to make a difference under the most difficult circumstances
- Lifetime Achievement: This award will recognize one individual who has achieved excellence over a lifetime of service in the social sector
Introducing the 2021 Leadership Council Members
To help choose the winners of the 2021 Classy Awards, Classy has pulled together a Leadership Council composed of some of the most influential leaders in the nonprofit and social enterprise spaces. The Leadership Council is a distinguished group of executives from across the social sector including:
- Amrita Bhandari, Chief of Business Development at Acumen
- Erik Arnold, Global CTO, Tech for Social Impact at Microsoft
- Jan D'Alessandro, Head of Equity Initiative at Pledge 1%
- Sam Dorison, Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer at The Trevor Project
- Raj Kamachee, CIO and CTO at Team Rubicon
- Ami McReynolds, Chief Equity and Programs Officer at Feeding America
- Kimberly Mitchell, Senior Vice President for Military, Veteran and Gov't Affairs at National University
- Eric Nee, Editor-in-Chief at Stanford Social Innovation Review
- Robert Opp, Chief Digital Officer at United Nations Development Programme
- Woodrow Rosenbaum, Chief Data Officer at Giving Tuesday
- Michael Smith, Executive Director of Obama Foundation, My Brother's Keeper
- Michael Thatcher, President & CEO of Charity Navigator
"It's an honor to be a part of the Classy Awards. Following such a tumultuous year, Classy's proprietary nomination process allows nonprofits and social enterprises to demonstrate their innovation and adaptability in delivering on their missions in a multitude of ways," says Michael Thatcher, President and CEO of Charity Navigator. "I'm eager to weigh-in on the tremendous innovations this past year has seen within the social sector."
All U.S.-based nonprofit organizations and social enterprises are eligible to apply. Nominations are open today, March 16, through April 27, 2021. The 50 Finalists will be announced on June 9 at Classy's free, nonprofit conference, the Collaborative: Virtual Sessions, and the Winners will be announced on September 28, 2021.
Classy is a B Corp Certified social enterprise that helps nonprofit organizations maximize their impact through a suite of world-class, online fundraising tools to accelerate social impact around the world. Based in San Diego, CA and trusted by organizations of all sizes, from the fastest-growing nonprofits to some of the world's largest social organizations, nonprofits use Classy's platform to raise money, engage their communities, and advance their missions. Since 2011, Classy has powered tens of millions of donations from over 190 countries, and customers on its platform have raised nearly $3 billion for social good. Classy also hosts the Collaborative conference and the Classy Awards to spotlight the innovative work nonprofits are implementing around the globe. For more information, visit www.classy.org or follow Classy on Twitter @Classy.