Why Participate?

A CLASSY Award is one of the most prestigious recognitions within the nonprofit industry. The CLASSYs have become a nationally-recognized honor, awarded to the most outstanding and compelling philanthropic achievers by their peers and supporters. Beyond this recognition, the intrinsic value of the CLASSY Awards lies in the opportunity for charitable organizations to tell their stories and spread awareness for their causes.

Here are a few of the benefits for participating...

Media Exposure

CLASSY Awards nominations are often picked up by some of the top media sites in the country, including Huffington Post, MTV and NBC affiliates. This year's CLASSY Awards nominees are expected to receive more than 250 million media impressions throughout the six-month process.

"Our PEOPLE Magazine article was big, but the CLASSY Awards are even more valuable to the future of this organization!"

Andrea Roberts, Founder of Reece's Rainbow and 2011 CLASSY Awards Finalist

"The CLASSY Awards process is a fantastic way to galvanize our volunteers and spread the word about the work of Strong Women, Strong Girls. As a result of our experience, we have received national press recognition, connected with a new community of innovative organizations, and created new partnerships. It has been a powerful and positive experience for all of us!"

Lindsey Hyde, President of Strong Women Strong Girls and 2010 CLASSY Award Winner for Philanthropic Business of the Year

"We were Tweeting and Facebooking during the event and when we told everyone we won, so many people went to our website that it crashed."

Scott Ritter, Executive Chair of Northwestern University Dance Marathon, 2011 CLASSY Award Winner of Most Influential College Student Organization

"We tried and tried forever to get recognition of the Sixth Grade Roll-a-Thon in the local media. The CLASSY Awards changed all that. This honor is much more valuable than some 30-second spot on the evening news. The whole town is talking about it! I've been stopped on the street a half dozen times for congratulations. As for the media coverage - since we've received the Award, there have been several articles written about the efforts of Bella's class. Finally, they have gotten both the honor and the recognition they always deserved."

Mark Dunning, Father of Bella Dunning, 2011 CLASSY Award Winner for Most Successful Fundraiser by an Individual or Group

National Achievement

CLASSY Awards Winners and Finalists have gone on to receive other prestigious national recognitions. Two previous Finalists have received President Awards, and several have been recognized as CNN Heroes.

Increased Donations & Program Growth

The attention given to CLASSY Awards participants often drives increased donations to support their cause, resulting in expanded programs and services. In several cases, CLASSY Awards Winners have gone on to expand their reach from a local or regional level to a national level based on the recognition they've received.

"Winning the CLASSY Award in 2011 was an absolute game changer for us. It significanlty elevated our visibility in the eyes of corporations, while opening doors for our organization that we've simply not seen before. Since the CLASSY Awards, we've raised unprecedented revenue for the 5th Annual OMG! Cancer Summit which has blown any other years' totals away."

Matthew Zachary, Founder of Stupid Cancer Foundation, 2011 CLASSY Award Winner for Most Innovative Use of Social Media

"You can draw a straight line from the CLASSY Awards to the incredible growth and success of Marley's Mission. When we reflect on our growth from 2010 to 2011, we've seen our revenue multiply ten-fold. That growth is directly connected to our participation in the CLASSY awards. It provided a national platform for our vision and attracted new, energetic supporters. Because of that growth, we now have the ability provide therapy 7 days a week and have doubled the number of children we treat. The CLASSY Awards played an integral role in changing the lives of children at Marley's Mission."

Gene Talerico, CEO of Marley's Mission, 2011 CLASSY Award Winner for Best New Charity

"Even before the CLASSY Awards happened we started getting calls and emails from new supporters to find out what they can do to help. We had volunteer requests, clothing donations and just interest in general about what we are doing here at StandUp. Getting our name out there is the hardest part of all of this and StayClassy has made our job a little easier."

Kim Goodeve, Director of Outreach Center Operations for Stand Up for Kids Oceanside, 2009 CLASSY Award Winner for Best Individual Fundraising Effort

Recognition by Leaders in the Industry

One of the greatest benefits of participating in the CLASSY Awards is the opportunity to share your efforts with your peers and other leaders in the nonprofit and social enterprise sectors. CLASSY Awards nominees are reviewed and evaluated by previous CLASSY Awards winners and the Leadership Council, and the CLASSY Awards Weekend provide a one-of-a-kind experience to collaborate and network with the most well respected and forward thinking leaders in the industry.

"There is simply no other charity event that catalyzes, promotes and inspires the new wave of social innovators and its supporters as does the Classy Awards. As the philanthropic sector evolves and strives to be more inclusive, innovative and challenges us to approach our society's biggest challenges in brave new ways, we rarely acknowledge, share and elevate to the appropriate heights those success stories. The CLASSY Awards celebrates real accomplishments and shines a bright light on the work and passion of many truly inspired individuals & organizations doing important work."

Tony Rodriguez, Sr. Director of Business Development, Guidestar USA, 2010 and 2011 CLASSY Awards Partner

"There is a new wave of doing good, a new style of charity and a new business of giving back. We're happy and proud to be in the same room with all of you and be part of that change with all the people who believe with all their heart that with just a little bit, you can truly make a massive difference."

Jordan Melull, CEO of Nika Water, 2011 CLASSY Award Winner for Philanthropic Small Business of the Year

Meet the Leadership Council →