Classy - Allison Guass-avatar1
Allison Gauss
3 min
social impact

VIDEO: Learn From the Best Social Impact Innovators

The Classy Awards nominations have ended and we searched for the most impactful and innovative social impact organizations on Earth. At the Collaborative + Classy Awards in Boston June 14-16, leaders and experts will come together to share ideas, make connections, and honor the sector’s best.

We spoke with three recent Classy Award Nominees to learn what they took from the event and how the connections and conversations at the Collaborative impacted their organizations. Carrie Pena, chief marketing officer at buildOn, Becky Rosaler, marketing and events coordinator at Plant With Purpose, and Julie Clugage, executive director of Team4Tech, shared their experiences applying for and attending the Collaborative + Classy Awards.

In a short video, they explained why other nonprofits and social enterprises should get involved.

The Benefits of Applying for a Classy Award

Past nominees said that working on their nomination profile helped them dig deep into their impact and really evaluate their model. “One of the most exciting internal realizations to come out of the application process is that we needed to standardize our approach to monitoring and evaluation a bit more. We actually ended up creating a monitoring and evaluation toolkit that we now provide to all of our NGO partners,” Clugage said. “I would encourage any organizations out there interested in applying to go through the process.”

The Classy Awards nomination profile truly dives into the substance and impact that organizations are making. “It went much deeper and really looked at the impact of our programs rather than just how interesting it was on surface level,” said Pena.

Classy welcomed organizations of all types—nonprofit, for-profit, or social enterprise—to create a nomination profile to be considered for the awards. The winners are decided by our Leadership Council, which unites innovators and experts in the social sector such as Stephanie Berzin, Co-Director of Boston College Center for Social Innovation; Chris Helfrich, Senior Director of the UN Foundation’s Nothing But Nets Campaign; and Sherryl Kuhlman, Managing Director of the Wharton Social Impact Initiative.

What to Expect From The Collaborative + Classy Awards

The Collaborative will be two full days of incredible speakers and panelists leading discussions about how we, as a society, can solve the world’s greatest problems. It’s an opportunity for all attendees to meet and learn from some of the most exciting and passionate people in the social impact sector. At Boston’s Seaport Innovation District, nonprofit and for-profit leaders will gather for panels and curated debates. The 2014 Collaborative featured speakers and discussions on addressing world hunger, education, climate change, criminal rehabilitation, and much more.

social impact

For a young organization like Team4Tech, Clugage explained, “It was just really exciting and gratifying to be able to share ideas with so many people who were doing exciting work around education in developing countries, learning from them, and also being able to get feedback on our model from them.”

While only a few organizations will receive a coveted Classy Award, the event is really about bringing nonprofits and social innovators together to share solutions and spark new ideas. Becky Rosaler from Plant With Purpose summed up the feeling of community and shared purpose, “It’s almost like you’re with your people. You’re with people who are on the same page as you, who want to see good happen in the world and who are working towards that.”

On the final evening, all attendees will be invited to the 6th Annual Classy Awards, an event profiling and honoring social impact organizations who are on the forefront of social innovation. Be ready to enjoy breathtaking videos, listen to incredible speakers from all cause sectors, cheer, and maybe even shed a few tears. After all of the networking and learning, everyone comes together for a final celebration to recognize the passion, talent, and hard work moving the sector forward.

social impact

Applying for a Classy Award doesn’t just put you in the running for a prestigious title, it makes your organization a part of a strong community of innovators and problem-solvers. But you don’t have to be nominated to attend the Collaborative + Classy Awards. Social entrepreneurs, nonprofit professionals, and consultants are welcome to learn from the community and join the conversation.

social impact

By bringing together the most passionate, creative, and impactful people in the social impact sector, Classy hopes to foster the discussions and connections that will change the world. We believe that the sharing of knowledge and experiences is the most direct path to social good. We hope you’ll join us to see just how far we can go.



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