The Classy Awards are more than just a nonprofit awards competition. This event is an opportunity to have your work put on a public platform, connect with other like-minded leaders, and realize the full potential of the work you do. But don’t take it from us. We’ve compiled five of our favorite blogs, written by past participants, that best articulate the value of the Classy Awards.
1. To Be Surrounded by Talented and Compassionate People—Just Like You
“And yet, those of us who are drawn to nonprofit work, those who prefer to fight the good fight, those who are willing to accept challenges that often seem insurmountable, will tell you that there is nothing we would rather do. We will tell you that we feel honored and humbled by the opportunity to improve communities and save lives. We will tell you that the people we meet along the way are the finest we have ever encountered. We will tell you that we rarely worry about finding meaning in life. The individuals who choose careers in the nonprofit sector aren’t saints. They’re just ordinary people who are doing their best to make a difference in an imperfect world.
I am proud to be a member of this tribe and honored to serve alongside some of the most talented and compassionate people on the planet. I am also grateful to the inspired team at Classy who decided to elevate this sector by building an award show around it.”
From The Classy Awards Showcase a Different Kind of Achievement by Barbara Van Dahlen, Ph.D., Founder and president, Give an Hour.
2. To Learn From Those You Wouldn’t Typically Meet
“Leaders from across the nonprofit spectrum spent two days in discussions focused on the power of ideas, passion, innovation, and collaboration for addressing society’s most urgent issues. And let me tell you, I came away renewed, inspired, and awed.
The event was a conference dedicated to mission-driven socially-conscious organizations seeking new and effective ways to address issues ranging from education to veterans services to poverty to animal rights to healthcare and more. Organized by the Classy Awards in conjunction with the United Nations Foundation and capped by an Oscars-style awards ceremony, this event brought together hundreds of nonprofits working everyday to improve our world.
Seemingly formless, I spent time with dedicated, fervent, and tireless fighters for children, the poor, animals, veterans, immigrants, those suffering from disasters, the disabled, and many others. The innovative ideas, camaraderie, collaboration, and optimism that pervaded both the organized talks and the impromptu hall meetings gave me new hope and inspiration that we truly can improve the world.”
From Passion and Collaboration in the Nonprofit Sector by Gary Gero, President, Climate Action Reserve.
3. Access to a National Stage to Showcase Your Solution
“I just had the time of my life!
I spent the weekend at the Classy Awards. The yearlong initiative identifies social impact using a comprehensive application and evaluation process, culminating in a weekend-long celebration that attracts the top leaders of the social sector. Social innovators they call the greatest champions of social progress. Hard to believe I was among this elite group of social innovators.
Even before attending the weekend celebration I was sold on the whole idea of the Classy Awards. They truly believe that bold solutions are needed to address new and existing challenges.”
From Reflections from the Classy Awards by HyeSook Chung, Executive Director, DC Action for Children.
4. A Chance to Thank Your Colleagues and Supporters
“I was delighted to join some of my Action Against Hunger colleagues and over 2,500 individuals for a very special evening at the Classy Awards, the largest awards ceremony for the nonprofit community in the world. Our Classy Award belongs to our colleagues in the D.R. Congo and throughout the world as well as you, our friends and supporters who make our work possible. Together we are creating brighter futures for children worldwide.”
From And the Award Goes to … Action Against Hunger! By Mary Taylor, Director of External Relations, Action Against Hunger.
5. To Become More Informed About Trends That Directly Impact Your Work
“The Collaborative and Classy Awards kicked off with a panel presentation on relief aid featuring UNOCHA, UNICEF, and World Bank’s Innovation Lab. The discussion covered social progress and innovations in delivering aid around the world, and disaster preparedness was a central point of discussion. ‘Preparedness and prevention is a new business model for addressing disasters,’ said Lesley Bourns of UNOCHA, and her fellow panelists agreed. When we identify a community’s most vulnerable members, and better prepare them for possible disasters, we’re actually helping them get back on their feet in the aftermath of a disaster.
This shift in how we look at disaster relief has impacted many organizations working in humanitarian aid, and is helping [our own organization] strengthen and build resiliency in communities around the world.”
From 5 Things I Learned at the Collaborative and Classy Awards by Mary Dolan, Director of Communications, Operation USA.
It can be difficult to quantify the true value of participating in the Classy Awards—how do you measure discovering a best practice to apply to your program’s strategy, or a new partnership that will help you advance your mission? To really grasp the worth of the Classy Awards, you’ll ultimately have to experience it for yourself.