Classy Basics: Classy 101

What is Classy?

Classy is the world’s largest fundraising platform for social good organizations. We enable nonprofits and social enterprises to raise the support they need to solve humanity’s greatest challenges. We started Classy to mobilize our friends around local causes that we cared about. Now, any social good organization can use the Classy platform empower their supporters to raise money and rally support around a cause.

Since 2011, we’ve enabled 1.3 million people across 300K individual campaigns to raise over $130M for social good organizations (as of October 2014). From cutting-edge health programs to educational advancement, our customers are tackling the world’s greatest challenges with the power of the Classy platform.

How does the Classy platform work?

Social good organizations can launch online fundraising campaigns and events in a matter of minutes for specific projects or year-round initiatives that help them fulfill their mission.

Each campaign or event can be created in minutes and designed to match the organization’s branding and easily integrated into their website. As the organization starts to raise money, we track everything on the back-end to help them analyze how they’re doing and to strengthen relationships with their supporters over time. To see the full feature list, check out the tour.

Who uses Classy?

Social good organizations (nonprofit organizations and social enterprises) and their supporters (donors and fundraisers).

Classy’s customers include over 1,800 of the world’s top nonprofit organizations and social enterprises including Oxfam America, World Food Program USA, Teach for America and National Geographic. Our customers range from high-growth social good startups to some of the most respected nonprofit brands in the world.

At any moment there are hundreds of campaigns that are being run on Classy. We’ve had the honor of powering some of the most successful online fundraising campaigns of all-time, including Pencils of Promise’s ‘Schools 4 All’, Invisible Children’s ‘KONY 2012’ and Team Rubicon’s ‘Hurricane Sandy Campaign’.

Check out our customer page to see more.

Can organizations outside of the United States use Classy?

Currently we allow nonprofit organizations and social enterprises from the United States and Canada use the Classy platform. We have plans in the near future to open it up to Australia and several European countries.

Who are the people behind Classy?

We’re 50 passionate people working out of a historic building in downtown San Diego’s Gaslamp district. Although we settled in sunny San Diego, we hail from all over the country. Our team is eight years in so far (four as an fundraising events company and four as a software company), but we’re more excited than ever and we feel like we’re just getting started.

How much does it cost to use Classy?

Classy offers a variety of subscription plans that suit any-sized organization, starting with a free plan. Classy applies an industry-low fee to the funds that are raised through the platform ranging from 1-5% depending on the subscription plan that is chosen. Classy does not apply a fee to offline donations that are logged through the platform (but not actually raised online).

Can I try Classy first before deciding to go into a paid plan?

Absolutely. We now have a free plan (no monthly subscription fee) where you can run one campaign or event at a time. You can sign up for free here, or give us a call and we’ll walk you through the options.

What are the CLASSY Awards?

The CLASSY Awards are the largest social impact awards ceremony in the United States, highlighting the greatest champions of social progress. Once a year, top leaders from the social sector convene in San Diego to connect in an environment that drives collaboration around solving social problems.

The CLASSY Awards ceremony is often dubbed the “Academy Awards of Philanthropy”, but we like how AOL put it: “Hollywood has Oscar, Broadway has Tony, and now Philanthropy has the CLASSYs”.

Classy Basics: Raising Funds

What types of fundraising campaigns can you create using Classy?

Classy is designed to be your all-in-one online fundraising platform. Our goal is to make the platform flexible and adaptable enough so that any social impact organization can execute their online funding strategy with Classy. Using the campaign builder in your Dashboard, there are three main types of campaigns that you can create (and each one can be customized to further suit your needs):

  • Donation Campaigns
  • Peer-to-Peer (p2p) Fundraising Campaigns
  • Ticketed & Registration Events

Each of the above fundraising methods can be designed to match your brand and linked directly to your organization's website in minutes. There is no limit to the amount of campaigns and events you can create using Classy.

What are some common ways that organizations raise funds using Classy?

Organizations have raised funds via Classy in a variety of ways, but some of the most common include: Donation Drives (Capital Campaigns), Crowdfunding Projects, Year-end Appeals, Email Appeals, Run/Walk/Rides and ticketed Fundraisers & Galas.

Beyond hosting one-time campaigns and events, you can also add Classy's fundraising options as a permanent fixture to your organization's website. Typical uses include: Donate Buttons, 3rd-Party Fundraising (p2p) and Recurring Donation or Membership programs. You can also use our APIs to display donation tallies, fundraising leaderboards and to perform supporter searches right on your own website.

Can we create open-ended campaigns (campaigns with no end-date)?

Yes. A common misconception about online fundraising is that campaigns should always have a finite end date. This is true in many cases, but some of the most fruitful fundraising initiatives are open-ended and last all-year-round (think myCharity:Water).

With Classy, you can create campaigns with or without an end-date. Open-ended (or “rolling”) campaigns allow your supporters to engage with your organization all-year-round by creating personal fundraising pages, hosting a 3rd-party ticketed event or making a donation. For more information on building an effective year-round fundraising program, see The Long Term Value of Classy.

Can Classy power Walk, Race and Ride fundraising events?

Most definitely. Classy's registration and fundraising tools are the perfect mix for your Run/Walk/Ride event. Give your participants the option to purchase a registration and/or create a fundraising page (or team fundraising page). You can even allow participants to “fundraise for entry” where you set a goal for them to reach, and when they achieve it, they are automatically sent a registration to participate in the event. Classy also provides corporate donation matching for event sponsors (available in the Pro plan only).

For more information, check out the webinar that we co-hosted with the Run-Walk-Ride Fundraising Council..

Classy Basics: Reporting & Payments

Can I run reports and export data?

Yes. All of your donor and fundraiser data is stored safely in your Classy account. You are provided a suite of reports that can be sorted, filtered and exported. Each campaign that you create on Classy will also have it's own set of corresponding reports and analytics. You can even add custom fields to fundraiser registration and donation forms to collect additional information about your supporters. For more information on how to sort, filter and export your reports click here.

Is a contact record created for every donor or fundraiser?

Yes. A contact record is automatically created for every new donor and every new fundraiser and stored safely & conveniently in your dashboard. Each contact's donation and fundraising information is automatically logged every time they engage with your organization. You can view a history, manage contact information, and communicate with any contact at any time. You can also segment groups of contacts by data sets (i.e. location, date, etc.) and communicate that way.

What is a member profile?

A member profile is the supporter-facing side of a contact record. It provides your supporters the ability to access any live fundraising pages or registration pages, edit their own contact information, reprint donation receipts and update credit card info on recurring donations. They can also make new donations and create fundraising pages directly from their member profile as well. A supporter must log-in to access their member profile.

For organizations in the entry level plan, member profiles are branded with neutral colors and might display information from multiple organizations if the supporter has engaged with multiple organizations on the Classy platform. For organizations in the Pro Plan, member profiles can be designed to match your organization's branding, and when the supporter signs-in to their profile, they will only see information from your organization.

Is Classy a CRM platform?

We have some features that you would find in a CRM system, and sometimes smaller organizations will use Classy for their online fundraising and CRM. Larger organizations will typically connect their CRM (or database) to Classy, or export/import, so all their donor/fundraiser information matches. We've recently developed a integration with Salesforce as well!

What payment processors does Classy support?

Currently we support the following:

* Authorize.Net is only offered to organizations in the Pro plan. Please email for more info.

When are funds transferred?

Funds are transferred in real time.

Classy Basics: Integrating with Your Website

Can I integrate Classy with my website?

Classy is designed to be plugged right into your website. Whether you're looking to just add a Donate/Fundraise Now button to your website or build a custom micro-fundraising site with progress bars, leaderboards and more, Classy can help. Use our branded pages, masked domains and API documentation to make fundraising an integral part of your website experience. Whether you're a technology novice or an expert developer, there's a perfect option for you. For a more detailed explanation, please see: How do I integrate Classy into my website?.

Why should I have a fundraising option on my website year-round?

Supporters are increasingly using their birthdays, athletic milestones, anniversaries, and other life events to fundraise for the causes they care about. By including a permanent fundraising option on your website you allow supporters to fundraise around the events in their own lives. The events that matter most to them! For a lot of people this provides a more engaging and gratifying way of supporting your nonprofit than simply making a donation.

Including a year-round fundraising option on your website also lets you bring in revenue month after month. If you want to have a well-balanced online fundraising program, it's important to build sustainable revenue streams (like those from monthly recurring donations, and year-round fundraising).

For specific examples of nonprofits that have adopted year-round fundraising, check out our blog Creating Fundraising Opportunities All Year-Round.

Does Classy have APIs?

For the tech-savvy, Classy has a powerful set of APIs that can help you take your fundraising to the next level. Our API calls enable you to pull a wide range of data from your account on Classy, including top fundraisers, top fundraising teams, tickets sold, amount raised, and much more!

To request of a copy of our full API documentation, shoot us an email at and a member of our team will be in touch with you shortly.

What third-party apps are currently integrated with Classy?

We work hard to integrate with the best third party platforms available in order to provide the ultimate online experience for our clients and their donors.

We currently integrate with the following applications:

If you would like to suggest a possible integration, you can email your idea to