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Allison Gauss

Behind Classy’s Core Values: Always Be Learning

This post is part of a series designed to give you a closer look at the core values that define the Classy culture, and what they mean to the people who drive Classy forward. This post focuses on how the company aims to “always be learning.” Earlier we introduced you to our core values, “Lead by Example” and “Create Meaningful Value.”

Classy aims to lead the social impact sector into a new era of technology, efficiency, and progress. Every step of the way, we seek to educate organizations on how modern fundraising strategies can accelerate their work. But a good teacher knows they are forever a student.

One of the core values that guides our company culture is “Always Be Learning.” This is a smart edict for anyone to live by, but for a forward-thinking technology company, it’s a necessity. Even employees who have been with Classy for years are constantly researching and sharing new information.

Whether it’s through interviewing nonprofit professionals, participating in external webinars, or simply digging into some great books, Classy is working to stay at the forefront of the social sector.

I want to expand my world. The bubble of our everyday lives is so small. I want to hear what everybody else is experiencing in theirs. And maybe I can bring a little of that into my bubble.

– Arin Gullen, Account Executive

Brain Food Friday

Once a month, we combine food, fun, and learning for Brain Food Friday. The entire company gathers for lunch and a short presentation from a few employees. Afterwards, we work together on an exercise to apply what we learned.

core values

Although all of our Brain Food Fridays are meant to help us in our mission to mobilize and empower the world for good, the topics are diverse. To foster creativity and innovation, we learned about the early years of Pixar and how they have maintained their company culture as they grow. One memorable Friday, we watched a documentary on the origins of one of our clients, Love Your Brain. They work to prevent head injuries and support survivors. After seeing the founder’s tenacity and courage after his own injury, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

We have also hosted speakers from our clients, PCI and the Emilio Nares Foundation. It’s always inspiring to have one of our amazing nonprofit partners in the office.

How to Solve the World’s Biggest Problems

We like to think of nonprofits and social impact organizations as professional problem solvers. Our June Brain Food Friday was led by The CLASSY Awards team, who showed us how social impact organizations analyze and approach complex problems.

After explaining that solving a problem requires you to become an expert on it (more learning!), we watched a video about one international social issue.

A short clip from the video we watched.

After hearing the heart-wrenching stories of those buying and selling kidneys in Bangladesh, The CLASSY Awards team asked the rest of us to take on the perspective of a social impact organization and think about the nature and causes of the problem. In pairs, we worked through a page of questions to analyze the situation.

When we regrouped to discuss our conclusions, we got to see firsthand why there are so many nonprofit organizations tackling these important issues from different sides. No group came to the exact same conclusions about the issue’s main problem and contributors. Our thoughts and solutions were compatible but extremely varied.

Beyond learning about a serious health and human rights issue, this Brain Food Friday helped us see just how much research and thought goes into how an organization would even approach such a problem.

Learning Never Stops

Classy has experienced rapid growth over the past year. Our team is frequently onboarding and educating new employees on the social sector and fundraising best practices. But our core value to “Always Be Learning” applies to everyone. All of the sales team, new and old, gather and share ideas with each other on the future of the nonprofit space.

Within the marketing team, we are constantly sharing new research and commentary.

core values

As the sector evolves, there will be new strategies, technologies, and organizations to learn about. We at Classy plan to keep gathering and sharing this knowledge with our nonprofit partners.

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