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Announcing the 2017 Classy Awards Winners

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Published June 16, 2017 Reading Time: 4 minutes

The Classy Awards Winners were first announced in Boston to an audience of more than 1,000 nonprofit professionals, funders, entrepreneurs, and social sector leaders. The 10 winners were chosen from hundreds of Nominees that implemented creative solutions to some of the world’s toughest problems. Many of the 100 Finalists shared their expertise and ideas as speakers at the Collaborative.

We created the Classy Awards to offer some much-needed recognition to some of the most remarkable and effective programs in the social sector. To identify the most impactful and innovative social programs creating change today, the 100 members of the Leadership Council evaluate all Finalists.

Programs are judged on the following criteria:

  1. Scale, scope, and leadership expertise of the problem being addressed
  2. Innovative approach
  3. Ability to solve the problem
  4. Organizational effectiveness and resource management

Join us in congratulating the 10 Classy Awards Winners and check out the life-changing work they complete all over the world.

Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, Missing Maps

Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) uses data-sharing technology and collaborative cartography to create maps for areas affected by natural and manmade disasters. With accurate geographical information, humanitarian organizations can reach more people in need and reduce the number of overlooked survivors of natural disasters.

Mission Asset Fund, Lending Circles

Approximately 45 million people in the United States do not have access to affordable credit. This means 45 million people cannot finance a car, own a home, or, in some cases, have a bank account. Hard-working families then turn to payday lenders, whose astronomical interest rates perpetuate poverty. Mission Asset Fund’s Lending Circles offers interest-free loans, financial training classes, and community to help people build and improve their credit.

Days for Girls International, Days for Girls

Lack of feminine hygiene solutions and education is a major hindrance to girls’ education in African, Asian, and American countries. Days for Girls International works for a more free, dignified, and educated world by providing health education and feminine hygiene solutions. Their DfG Kits give girls the long-term resources they need to be hygienic and comfortable in school and at home. By combatting ignorance, stigma, and material need, Days for Girls empowers young women worldwide.

Sustainable Health Enterprises, SHE28

Along with stigmatizing girls and women, the taboo around menstrual cycles has a massive economic cost for communities. To jumpstart local business, SHE28 channels existing resources into the manufacturing and distribution of menstrual pads. This sustainable and replicable business model is complemented by health and hygiene education in schools and communities.

Because International, The Shoe That Grows

Because International tries to make things better by making better things. They strive to innovate and improve upon vital tools that help children live better lives. The nonprofit organization’s first program, The Shoe That Grows, created a durable sandal designed to expand by five sizes and last up to five years. These long-lasting, well-fitting shoes help protect children from injury and disease in 20 countries.

Habitat for Humanity International, MicroBuild Fund

Since 1976, Habitat for Humanity has brought affordable, decent shelter to people in nearly 1,400 communities in approximately 70 countries. Their Microbuild Fund offers capital and expertise to microfinance institutions, allowing low-income families to finance safe homes. More than 272,000 people have gained access to better housing through the Microbuild Fund.

International Justice Mission, Protecting Children From Cybersex Trafficking

International Justice Mission (IJM) protects people in the developing world from human trafficking, rape, and police brutality. In the Philippines, IJM combats the spread of cybersex trafficking by partnering with local authorities. Together, they investigate and prosecute criminals and also rescue children and connect them with social services. Working with the Philippines government, IJM has helped rescue more than 1,275 sex trafficking survivors.

OpenBiome, Safe Access

C. difficile causes extreme gastrointestinal inflammation and diarrhea. Furthermore, it’s one of the most common hospital-acquired infections in the U.S. It affects about 500,000 Americans and the condition leads to as many as 30,000 deaths each year. Immunocompromised individuals and others are at risk of infection, particularly when the microorganisms that protect the digestive system are weakened. Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT) is a new treatment that cures 90 percent of C. difficile patients who don’t respond to antibiotic treatment. Openbiome makes treatment easier, safer, and more affordable by collecting and screening healthy stool samples and providing them to doctors for transplant.

Grassroot Soccer, SKILLZ Street

Although global child mortality has drastically decreased in recent decades, the unique health challenges of adolescents in developing countries haven’t made nearly as much progress. Grassroot Soccer uses the global appeal of the world’s most popular sport to bring reproductive health and HIV/AIDS education to adolescents through trusted mentors. Their SKILLZ curricula use soccer-based activities and group discussions to bring culturally appropriate education to young people in 45 countries.

Samasource, Samasource

Samasource believes that talent is equally distributed across the world, even if opportunity is not. This nonprofit social enterprise guides low-income people into stable, dignified careers in digital work. By providing professional training and a first job, Samasource sets their employees on a career trajectory to overcome ingrained poverty. Employees in Kenya, Uganda, India, and Haiti perform data processing and voice services for clients such as Getty Images, Glassdoor, and Google.


We are honored to present the 2017 Classy Awards to these organizations. Their innovative programs are improving lives all over the world and their scalable solutions will impact some of the greatest social problems for years to come. Congratulations to the Classy Awards Winners and thank you to all of the Nominees and Finalists.

Classy collaborative

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