The 2017 Classy Award Finalists

Recognizing the most innovative nonprofits and social enterprises.

The Classy Awards exist to put a spotlight on the most remarkable changemakers of our generation. The Winners & Finalists recognized are addressing the incredibly complex and equally severe problems we face today. Their efforts span global poverty and hunger, disease, education, climate change, disaster response and preparedness, and health care accessibility.

Action Against Hunger

Kenya, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger

Scaling-up treatment and prevention of severe malnutrition in children

Center for Media Change, Inc (d.b.a. Hack the Hood)

United States

Connecting low-income youth and small businesses to opportunity through education and mentorship

Crisis Text Line

United States

Providing free mobile support for crisis situations, from anxiety to abuse to bereavement

EDI Institute, Inc.

United States

Promoting behavioral health, recovery, and resilience through imagery created on mobile devices

Educate Girls


Impacting children in india through the world’s first Development Impact Bond in education

Ewaso Lions (Wildlife Conservation Network)


Saving lions in Kenya by empowering a peer-to-peer network of Samburu warriors

Flying Kites


Transforming communities through education and teacher training


United States

Redistributing excess fresh produce to fight food insecurity

Global Birthing Home Foundation


Reducing maternal and infant mortalities in impoverished communities through accessible, affordable care

Habitat for Humanity International

Madagascar, Bolivia ,Zambia, Peru, Ecuador, Kenya, Uganda, Sri Lanka, Ghana, Costa Rica, Cambodia, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Dominican Republic, India, Lebanon, Tajikistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kazakhstan

Helping low-income households access loans to build stability and self-reliance through shelter


United States

Providing free mental healthcare to post-9/11 veterans

Health In Harmony


Alleviating poverty, poor health, and environmental degradation through community-based programs


New Zealand, Australia, United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Canada

Delivering relevant recovery resources for an online generation


United States

Repurposing e-waste to connect low-income households with digital tools

iEARN-USA (International Education and Resource Network)

Yemen, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Algeria, Jordan, Israel, Morocco, Palestine, Lebanon, Tunisia, United States

Building empathy between educators and youth worldwide through virtual, project-based learning

Imagine Scholar

South Africa

Empowering and mentoring the next generation of youth leadership in rural South Africa

InnerCity Weightlifting (ICW)

United States

Building social inclusion and economic mobility through careers in fitness

Library For All

Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Cambodia, Haiti, Mongolia

Making relevant knowledge and educational resources accessible to all through a customizable digital library

Mission: Restore

Tanzania, Kenya

Training surgeons in East Africa to save lives and build healthcare networks

Waterkeeper Alliance

United States

Protecting communities by combatting pollution caused by industrial meat production

Plant With Purpose


Promoting sustainable community development to reverse poverty and deforestation


United States

Leveraging play to transform children's health and improve school culture

Prison University Project (PUP)

United States

Bringing educational opportunity to the incarcerated

Project HEAL

United States

Providing prevention, treatment financing, and recovery support to individuals suffering from eating disorders

Solutions for Change

United States

Delivering a permanent solution to family homelessness through social enterprise


Australia, India, Mexico, Israel, Palestine, China, Japan, Iraq, United States, Korea, Turkey, Italy, France, Hungary, Germany, United Kingdom, Canada, Sweden, Russia

Combatting antisemitism and building bridges to peace through education

The BairFind Foundation, Inc

United States, Lakewo

Revolutionizing the search for missing children through the power of sports marketing

The Trevor Project

United States

Working to end suicide among LGBTQ youth

World Partners for Development - Ghana (WPDG)


Designing innovative and affordable solar generators to combat energy poverty

YES! for Schools

United States

Collaborating with students and educators to create stress and violence-free schools

Search For Common Ground


Transforming Nepal’s culture of gender, politics, and marginalization through a hit TV drama

Search For Common Ground


Revolutionizing Palestine’s political scene through reality TV and SMS voting

The Positivity Project

United States

Empowering America's youth to build strong, character-based relationships

Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team

Oceania, South America, Africa, Central America, Caribbean, Asia, Eastern Europe

Putting the world's most vulnerable people and places on the map

Elizabeth Dole Foundation

United States

Bringing vital attention to the untold stories of military caregivers

Because International

Australia, South America, Africa, Central America, Haiti, Mexico, Asia, Europe

Providing adjustable shoes that protect children from soil-transmitted disease

The Nexus Fund


Making "never again" a reality by preventing mass atrocities and genocide


Kenya, Uganda, India, Jordan, Lebanon, United States

Employing low-income communities in digital work

Grassroot Soccer

South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Senegal, Kyrgyzstan

Revolutionizing adolescent health by combining soccer with HIV and sexual health education.

ALS Therapy Development Institute

United States

Empowering scientists to use individual ALS patient data to accelerate treatments

Search For Common Ground

South Sudan

Healing South Sudan’s war-torn communities through participatory theater, radio, and responsible journalism

Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE)


Helping women start businesses that address girl's and women's lack of access to affordable disposable menstral pads

Toilets for People

Peru, Nicaragua, Senegal, Haiti, Mexico

Building composting toilets in the developing world with local materials and labor

Ubuntu Education Fund

South Africa

Revolutionizing poverty alleviation through personalized pathways from cradle to career

Doc Wayne Youth Services

United States

Rethinking mental health care through the power of sports

The Common Good Institute, Inc

United States

Redesigning infrastructure approvals to create more jobs, increase competitiveness, and protect the environment

Language Bank

United States

Training and empowering refugees to be language interpreters

MSR Global Health

Kenya, Haiti

Providing low-cost, on-demand, community chlorine generation to increase access to safe water around the globe

The Good Food Institute

Latin America, India, China, United States, Europe

Harnessing markets and groundbreaking technology to end factory farming

Third Sector Capital Partners

United States

Accelerating America's transition to a performance-driven social sector

Selamta Family Project


Creating new, permanent families for orphaned children and marginalized women

Selamta Family Project


Preserving and strengthening families so fewer children become orphaned or abandoned

New York Common Pantry

United States

Reducing hunger throughout New York City while promoting dignity and self-sufficiency


Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, Angola, Burundi, Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Liberia, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Ethiopia, Mali, Gambia, Eritrea, Honduras, Chad, Yemen, Mauritania, Myanmar (Burma), Jordan, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Greece

Supporting refugees worldwide and advocating for humanitarian aid and acceptance



Promoting nutrition and economic opportunity through training communities on how to build mealworm farms


United States

Expanding access to safe and affordable gut microbiome transplants

Global Citizen Year

Brazil, Ecuador, Senegal, India, United States

Reimagining the gap year as a launch pad for global leadership


Africa, Central America, Caribbean, Asia, United States, Eastern Europe

Disrupting the cycle of poverty through sustainable job creation


Kenya, Haiti, Jordan

Building technology to provide affordable prosthetic rehabilitation to those in greatest need



A revolutionary online mental health program clinically proven to reduce stress, anxiety and depression in youth

Mission Asset Fund

United States

Providing zero-interest loans to help people establish or build credit

Snowball Express

United States, Puerto Rico

Serving the children of our Fallen Military Heroes



Empowering refugee women to improve early childhood development in their community


United States

Using technology to solve the world's hunger and food waste problems

Accountability Lab

Liberia, Nigeria, Mali, Nepal, Pakistan, Morocco

Celebrating honest government officials with a modern reality TV show

Coral Vita

The Bahamas

Growing climate change-resilient corals to restore dying reefs

DigDeep Right to Water Project (DIGDEEP)

United States

Bringing clean, running water to American families

Unfunded List

Argentina, South Africa, Australia, Peru, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Uganda, Colombia, Liberia, Central African Republic, El Salvador, India, Nepal, Israel, United States, United Kingdom, Canada

Providing feedback and recognition to unfunded grant proposals

Days for Girls International

Uganda, Ghana, Nepal

Opening the doors to opportunity and freedom for every girl, everywhere


United States

Helping students make measurable gains in reading and writing


Bermuda, Puerto Rico, United States

Building small business capacity for economic growth and shared prosperity with the Streetwise MBA

Takachar (Safi Organics)


Improving rural farmers' yields through a carbon-negative fertilizer

Pure Water for the World


Improving the health and livelihood of families with safe water and sanitation

Mama Hope

Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Ethiopia, Guatemala, India, United States

Building the next generation of empathetic leaders for global impact

Miracle Foundation


Empowering orphans to reach their full potential

The Hope of Survivors

South Africa, Australia, Philippines, United States, Romania, United Kingdom, Canada

Providing emotional and spirirtual support to victims of clergy sexual abuse

Allies Against Slavery

United State

Creating an empowering tool for professionals to identify sex trafficking victims and set them on a journey towards recovery

Miracle Foundation

Uganda, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, India

Improving the quality of care for orphans around the world by educating adults currently working in, or donating to, orphanages

Food Bank of South Jersey

United States

Providing daily meals to underserved kids throughout the summer

Community Startups

United States

Accelerating the next generation of social entrepreneurs

Kuli Kuli

Nicaragua, Haiti, Ghana/p>

Improving nutrition and livelihoods worldwide through the African Superfood, Moringa

The Prison Scholar Fund

United States

Increasing educational and employment opportunities for prisoners

Tap Cancer Out

United States

Empowering the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu community to fight for others

Build Change

Indonesia, Colombia, Philippines, Haiti, Nepal

Building capacity for disaster-resistant construction in vulnerable communities

Karam Foundation


Supporting refugee families who have lost everything through cash support and education


New Zealand, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Tanzania, Kenya, Singapore, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Israel, United States, Spain, Croatia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Czechia, Germany, United Kingdom, Canada, Russia

A global day of giving back

Vega Coffee


Providing economic incentive for low-income farmers to grow quality coffee

Seeding Labs

Chile, Uruguay, South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, Peru, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Kenya, Uganda, Colombia, Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Philippines, Vietnam, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, India, Mexico, Armenia, United States, Ukraine

Empowering talented scientists everywhere to address the world's biggest challenges

Humanitarian Tracker

Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, United States, Turkey, Europe

An online open platform that gives citizens a chance to tell the world their stories

Meds & Food for Kids


Developing the Haitian peanut value chain with extension services and purchases

ZOE Helps

Zimbabwe, Malawi, Rwanda, Kenya, Liberia, India, Guatemala

Empowering orphans and vulnerable children to never need charity again

International Justice Mission


Protecting, rescuing, and restoring child victims of cybersex trafficking

Village Enterprise

Kenya, Uganda

Ending extreme poverty for rural Sub-Saharan African families through entrepreneurship and innovation

Global Press

Argentina, Chile, Zimbabwe, Brazil, Zambia, DR Congo, Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Cameroon, Sri Lanka, Ghana, Nigeria, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Mexico, Bangladesh, Nepal, Jammu and Kashmir, United States, Kosovo

Training and employing local women in developing markets to become professional journalists

Team Rubicon

United States

Leveraging the skills of America's veterans to reinvent disaster relief

African Entrepreneur Collective

Tanzania, Rwanda

Supporting and investing in African entrepreneurs to drive economic development


Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Nigeria, Honduras, Guatemala, India, Myanmar (Burma), Mexico

Revolutionizing the cookstove market

National Math and Science Initiative

United States

Empowering high school students to succeed in college

Nuru International


Integrated programming helping smallholder farmers escape extreme poverty

The Exodus Road

Thailand, India

Combating human trafficking to find and free modern day slaves