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Shriners Children’s Exceeds Event Fundraising Expectations With Classy Live

Mission

Provide the highest quality of care to children and their families regardless of their ability to pay

Challenge

Planning and executing a once-in-a-century event to celebrate the anniversary of Shriners Hospitals for Children

Solution

With Classy Live, Classy’s event software, the event went on without a hitch and in-person and virtual attendees enjoyed curated experiences

We felt Classy was the perfect partner because we could grow with them and they could grow with us. We’ve been developing, designing, and launching together ever since.

– Marty Quessenberry, Former Executive Director of Digital Projects and Innovation

Celebration of the Century Results With Classy Live:

$1.6M

raised

$500k

raised from auction items

700

in-person guests

Shriners Children’s™ opened its first hospital 100 years ago in 1922 with the mission to provide the highest quality medical care to children and their families regardless of their ability to pay. Since opening its doors, Shriners Children’s has served 1.5 million children across the world with more than 100 access points of care.

Marty Quessenberry was the Executive Director of Digital Projects and Innovation—a long title to suit his long list of responsibilities. Marty and his team oversee not only the development and integration of Classy at Shriners Children’s 21 locations, but also develop, design, and launch all digital fundraising campaigns on a national level. 

More recently, he executed the Celebration of Century, powered by Classy Live, to celebrate 100 years of Shriners Children’s.

A Partnership Made in Heaven

Seven years ago, when Marty first joined Shriners Children’s, his first task was to evaluate the entire fundraising ecosystem from a technology perspective and put in place new opportunities to improve the overall donor experience. 

He researched other nonprofits and reviewed the tools they were using. Classy kept popping up, and after talking with other nonprofits using the software and meeting with the Classy team, he decided it was the only way to go. 

In 2016, Classy’s software was small yet mighty, and Marty saw an opportunity to not only use the tool but partner with the organization.

Classy Live Helps Throw the Event of the Century

Flash forward 6 years later, and Marty and his team are working on their biggest project yet—pulling off a once-in-a-century event celebrating Shriners Children’s anniversary, its mission, the children, community, and just how far the organization has come in 100 years.

Shriners Children’s hosted an in-person event on November 12, 2022, at Minute Maid Park in Houston, TX, while simultaneously live-streaming the event and offering curated content for virtual attendees. 

This was the first event of this magnitude for Shriners Children’s, making it challenging to set expectations. However, this wasn’t just a fundraising event. The primary goal of the event was to celebrate the children and the past 100 years of care, all while raising funds to propel Shriners Children’s into the next 100 years.

Shriners Celebration of the Century

With Classy Live, Classy’s event software, the event went on without a hitch. In-person attendees were swiftly checked in and could enjoy the day’s festivities which also featured a live auction and a Dierks Bentley concert. While on the virtual side, along with the day’s festivities being live-streamed, attendees enjoyed recorded interviews with patient families, a silent auction, and more.

Shriners Classy Live

I was sitting in Tampa with all my monitors, talking with the on-site crews and I’m thinking, ‘We’re pulling this off. It’s working. We’re not running into any major issues.

Marty Quessenberry

Former Executive Director of Digital Projects and Innovation

As the event came to a close, over 750 people participated in the virtual event and 700 joined in person. From this one event, $1.6M was raised.

Starting the Next Century Off On a High Note

As Shriners Children’s heads into its second century, they are looking for creative ways to utilize Classy to support its mission and new ways to thank and steward its donors. No matter the size of the gift, donations are being used to develop life-changing opportunities for children, thanks to its supporters.

Not all Shriners’ hospitals were built in 1922, which means each of their centennials is coming up. Each hospital is planning its own anniversary celebration and plans to use Classy Live to deliver a unique event experience for Shriners Children’s supporters. Classy can’t wait for the next 100 years and will be there cheering Shriners Children’s on at its bicentennial.

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