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Soraya Alexander Named President of Classy and COO of GoFundMe

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By Soraya Alexander

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Published October 12, 2022 Reading Time: 3 minutes

As Chris Himes steps back from his role as CEO, it is hard to find words to express the gratitude I feel for the years of partnership and for his customer-centered leadership through so many critical moments.

I am proud to look around and see a company unparalleled in its combination of relentless obsession over customer success, its focus on exceptional product and engineering innovation and excellence, and its ambition to radically transform individual giving for the most important sector on earth.

We have spent several years working together to build a team of incredible technologists that are supported and celebrated for delivering ever-greater value for our customers. Just over a year ago, we began conversations with the leadership team at GoFundMe out of a collective view that we could bring even more attention and support to the incredible causes fundraising on our platform. 

Several months into this partnership with GoFundMe, I am more convinced than ever of the potential and promise of this combined company. As part of my extended responsibilities, I am assuming the position of Chief Operating Officer of GoFundMe. This dual role as President of Classy and COO of GoFundMe recognizes the important part nonprofits play in the combined organization’s strategic focus and orientation.

This position ensures the needs of the nonprofit sector are considered in all key decisions while creating continued alignment across the two companies.

Partnering with me is Eric Pannese, who is being elevated to serve as our new Chief Product and Technology Officer, and Chris Silver, who is joining the Classy executive team as Senior Vice President of Marketing. Together, along with Chief Growth Officer Marc Ferris and SVP of Engineering Shantanu Bose, we will continue to serve this space and build the fundraising technology that we believe this sector deserves. 

During my years with Classy, I have been enormously proud of the technological and organizational milestones we have delivered for clients, including the acquisition and launch of Classy Live (formerly Fondi), our delivery of Classy Pay, the launch of new payment methods such as PayPal, Venmo, and cryptocurrency, and most importantly, supporting over $5 billion dollars processed through our platform. Our rapid innovation continues unabated with our embedded checkout experience, new revenue-driving features such as abandoned cart and recurring upsell nudges, and the development of robust, native integrations for data and analytics tools, including Google Analytics 4, Meta Conversion API, and Salesforce. 

Over the past several months, I’ve also gained a tremendous appreciation for the sophistication and care the GoFundMe team takes in helping people help each other. The two companies have collectively raised billions of dollars to help nonprofits and individuals raise more for good. 

But we are just getting started.

Classy and GoFundMe are uniquely positioned to build more connection points with individuals passionate about a cause. We believe that no matter the cause, there are individuals and communities interested in supporting nonprofits, if only they were aware of the impact these organizations were having. Ultimately, we want to connect every citizen philanthropist with the causes and organizations they care about. 

Just last week, we launched a pilot program to connect passionate GoFundMe donors with incredible Classy nonprofit customers supporting similar causes. The learnings from this pilot will be used to build a more robust program where the community of 100+ million engaged individuals can be connected with nonprofits working on causes they care about at scale.

It is truly awe-inspiring to see the ambition, reach, and impact of our combined organizations. Together, Classy and GoFundMe are changing the giving landscape and becoming the most helpful place on earth. 

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