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Start-up Helps Raise Over $130 Million For Non-Profits

We are entering the second golden age of American philanthropy, but it’s not just wealth from the Baby Boomers. Millennials are the most socially-minded generation ever, with 87% of Millennials raising money or making a donation in 2014. Classy exists to help social good organizations make the transition into this new era of philanthropy and maximize their potential impact with newer generations.”  ~Scot Chisholm, CEO & Co-Founder of Classy

growing communitiesA new player to our ongoing quest to find companies doing well while doing good has given renewed meaning to the term start-up. Don’t be fooled by the start-ups seemingly one-dimensional name. Classy is one of the world’s fastest growing non-profit fundraising platforms. The ever expanding team is offering start-up excitement a logical organization to charitable growing communities worldwide. Classy began with Scot Chisholm and his two buddies on a quest to raise money for the American Cancer Society when his mother began fighting breast cancer. Growing communities were gathered and funds were raised from three annual “Pub-Crawls,” concerts and crowdfunding. The creative events were devoted to benefiting one local non-profit organization at a time. The fruits of this event-filled labor now serve many, including themselves. The effect is profit for Classy and funds raised for the non-profit organizations that utilize Classy’s business model and tools. The passion commonly known to those fighting for causes is combined with the efficient application of reality to engage and fund raise. 15,000 organizations have now been helped to raise over $130 Million from 300,000 campaigns. An obvious growing community has been encouraged by fostering the sustainability of groups well focused on social good. Crowdfunding is a major contributor to the lasting effects of visions fueled by working smart.

Growing Communities of Non-Profits Can Think Big and Work Smart

growing communitiesI have always been fascinated by the manner that one experience leads to another. Chisholm-CEO, Todd Crutchfield-COO, and Pat Walsh-CIO combined two passions in founding Classy. Breast cancer and beer. It’s true, and they can pound their pilsner proudly because it worked. Chisholm is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. This may explain the profitable pub-crawl savvy. The Classy platform company settled in San Diego, California and is now staffed by over 80 efficiently passionate people supporting non-profit organizations and social enterprise. Is there really that great of a need?! Definitely. The crisis of need is generally what draws people to form caused-based organizations. Without guidance this passion can be an organization's worst enemy. The same passion that drives the formation is the same passion that can overshadow the larger picture. Passionate people work hard. Passionate people don’t always work smart. Fortunately, Classy claims to help non-profit groups be self-sustaining and accomplish more with less effort. Most social cause key players are down in the trenches fighting to change things, and screaming “Oh no! We need money, now! We have to save this dog, this person, this community, or the environment.”  The same emergency repeats time and again. Proper technique for marketing, fundraising, and timing prevent disengagement caused by a repeating theme that shows no progress. Modern philanthropists want to be able to see their donation make a difference. They want to see communities forming and growing because of their involvement. Crowdfunding donations can to lend to the credibility of a little-known campaign and inspire further donations. What an organization does with their money after it is raised and collected will likely determine if the same donors return to donate again.

Related: Crowdfund One Dream

What's The Catch?

Make no mistake that this is a business. They do charge fees for their services based on three subscription options. The options range in price from no annual fees to $12,000. A percentage of donations is charged and decreases from 5% to 1% commensurate to the increase of the annual flat rate. You can even try the platform for free before considering a paid plan. There is a library of articles and webinars that are accessible free on-line:

  • Blog - Follows non-profit and fundraising
  • Guide- Fundraising resources for technique and retention in free downloads
  • Customer Stories- Cause-centered organizations share their experience.
  • Webinars-Educational Webinars

Why Invest In A Non-Profit?

Growing communities We all have choices. We can pay the tax man, or invest in a cause that satisfies  personal passion. As charities are knocking the proverbial door down seeking funds, what type of organization would you be more inclined to donate to ~An organization funded to solve one crisis or an organization with tools to help utilize your contribution in a lasting way? I think we can all agree on at least one point: it is rewarding to witness a supported organization utilize contributions, whether time or money, in a manner that makes donations multiply. That is the point at which a donation becomes an investment and people are empowered share their smart decision to be part of change.  Aha! growing communities fueled by crowdfunding again. Classy’s metamorphosed from three guys planning events & raising urgently needed funds, to a company who spread their time and money creatively. A well-planned annual event became a crowdfunded start-up company. While their clientele list includes non-profit start-ups, like Team Rubicon and Pencils of Promise, it also includes World Food Programme and other widely recognized organizations. Any non-profit organization is welcome to utilize the platform for their own campaigns. Cause-focused groups can accomplish increased progress with less effort and reach a wider network donors with resources like Classy. I am intrigued by any concept that could preserve efforts and protect the integrity of groups who depend on the involvement of their communities. Entities who support non-profit development, support growing communities on many levels. Crowdfunding continues to increase the size of what we regard as "our" community, whether members are funders or the funded. Our focus extends from our own backyard to a community created by national and international participants when we use the innovative finance of crowdfunding. 

Related: Creative Fundraising With $200 And An Essay

Do you think a service like CLASSY would be helpful to small non-profits to merit the percentage of monetary donations are charged?



If you want to learn more, take a look at some of the most commonly asked questions we receive about real estate crowdfunding on a daily basis and find out why so many people are crowdfunding real estate projects across the country with Patch of Land.
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