The Engagement Gap: Mobile Solutions for Funding Social Enterprises
By Kate Reid
Social enterprises and organizations with a social mission have tended to be underserved from a software and technology standpoint over the last several decades. The millennial generation has heralded a new wave of people with high aspirations and passions for changing the world, and yet, many nonprofits and impact driven organizations seem to be failing to engage these philanthropists in any meaningful way. Classy, recently named one of Fast Company’s 10 Most Innovative Companies in Social Good, is a great example of a social impact organization working to combat the engagement gap between social enterprises and young philanthropists.
The Engagement Gap Issue
After the founders of Classy spent several years hosting fundraising events for social issues close to their heart, they began to identify a larger problem than just how to rally their friends and other young people together to raise money for an issue. The organization realized that for the next generation of philanthropists, the overall experience of online giving needed improvement – without a more meaningful way to engage this demographic, social enterprises and nonprofits were precariously close to losing out on some of their biggest champions. In an attempt to bridge this gap, Classy began to design an online platform that could help connect young event attendees with their nonprofit beneficiaries in a more meaningful way.
The Classy Platform
Classy is the world’s first operating system for social impact with the goal of solving social problems more effectively and efficiently. Initially, the Classy platform facilitated event registration and peer-to-peer fundraising that lead up to their own organization’s events. After a short amount of amount of time however, it was easy to see greater potential for the platform. Classy found that their attendee’s were using the platform to tell their own story and raise money from family and friends with the simple, intuitive and modern tool. Classy’s fundraising events started raising significantly more money and in 2011 the organization launched as a technology company with an improved version of the platform. This version opened the platform up to any nonprofit organization that wished to use it for its own campaigns and events with a focus on giving the donor, fundraiser, or advocate a remarkable experience on behalf of the organization
Since their launch in 2011, Classy has helped social enterprises all over the world raise hundreds of millions of dollars to tackle the world’s biggest social problems. In 2015, donations made on the Classy platform grew over 110% compared to 2014 (with donations coming from supporters in 194 countries). Mobile usage of the Classy platform also saw great growth in 2015, with over 50% of visits coming from a mobile device. Today, Classy is a staff of 80+ people and more than 2,500 nonprofits of all sizes leverage their online fundraising, supporter engagement, and performance management solutions to scale their operations and impact. These include organizations such as: Heifer International, Oxfam America, National Geographic, Team Rubicon, FEED, and Pencils of Promise.