In October 2018, Classy reached an incredible milestone of $1 billion raised on our platform. That milestone was due to the collective effort of our Classy community: nonprofit organizations funding programs around the world that support disaster response, advocate for human rights, cure disease, fight injustice, protect our environment, and so much more.
Here at the Classy headquarters, our team has been celebrating this community for their dedication and hard work to scale their impact since the official launch of Classy in 2011. Celebrations aside though, this moment was an opportune time for us to reflect back on the journey we’ve all made together.
The Sheridan Story, a Classy customer in Minnesota committed to fighting child hunger, became an integral part of that journey when they received the billionth dollar raised on Classy. So, with the help of our partner Southwest Airlines, we flew out to the Twin Cities to meet them and get a hands-on look at their mission in action.
The Hands-On Experience
Upon arriving, Rob Williams, the founder and executive director of The Sheridan Story, told us about his inspiration to create the organization after learning that over 90 percent of the students in his community were on reduced lunches, often taking home food from school to eat over the weekend. To help solve this problem, Rob and his team host food packing events for their volunteers and then deliver the prepared meals to schools in the area.
To date, The Sheridan Story serves more than 5,400 students in 144 schools, and they’re continuing to grow their impact through a combination of grassroots events, online fundraising, and local business partnerships.
The Sheridan Story invited us to join a group of local volunteers at their warehouse to participate in one of these exciting food packing events. The energy in the warehouse was palpable, and it took less than two hours for all of us to pack 7,600 meals together.
Living the Impact
The following day, we went to a local elementary school to assist volunteers and distribute the food to children who had signed up for the weekend food assistance program. It was inspiring to see how passionate the volunteers were and to hear their stories about what moved them to get involved.
For example, we got to hear from the volunteer who actually donated the billionth dollar to The Sheridan Story. She shared why it’s important for her and her sons to support the foundational values of food and family, especially when there were children in her community going without food on the weekends.
Further, she told us that The Sheridan Story’s work helping solve this issue inspires her to continually give as a recurring donor. This way, as a recurring giver, she can help build lasting support for the organization’s programs to feed these children for years to come.
Overall, it was such rewarding opportunity to see, firsthand, how our Classy community members are changing the world for good. And we left Minnesota feeling enriched by the grassroots efforts of community members coming together to make a difference.
The most incredible part is that The Sheridan Story is just one of the thousands of organizations that helped raise $1 billion dollars for social impact on the Classy platform. The sky’s the limit, and we are so thankful to be on this journey to the next ten billion with some of the most dedicated and innovative nonprofit partners.
Stacy Meyer is the customer success manager for The Sheridan Story. What she loves most about her role is working directly with nonprofits to help them make the most out of their use of Classy—to gain an understanding of their fundraising goals and then come up with creative ideas on how they can engage their audience to achieve those goals.