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How a Social Entrepreneur Raised $18 Million

February 3, 2016 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


How a Social Entrepreneur Raised $18 Million

A Fireside Chat with Pat Walsh, Co-Founder, Classy.Org

Back in 2006, a group of friends wanted to dedicate some of their spare time to fundraise for an important cause that was near and dear to their hearts — the fight against cancer.

Their initial fundraising initiative was simple… really simple. The idea was to get their friends together for a pub crawl in Pacific Beach, San Diego and donate the extra cash to the American Cancer Society.

Nine years later, Classy is the world’s fastest growing fundraising platform for social impact organizations. Since 2011, they’ve enabled millions of people across 300K individual campaigns to help fund more than 1,800 organizations. From cutting-edge health programs to educational advancement, their customers are tackling the world’s greatest challenges with the power of the Classy platform. Most recently, they raised $18m from Peter Thiel – cofounder of PayPal and Palantir, and investor in Facebook, LinkedIn, Yelp, etc.

This June in Boston, Classy will be hosting the Collaborative, a three-day experience showcasing excellence in social innovation, culminating in the Classy Awards. In partnership with City Awake and presented by the UN Foundation and Southwest Airlinesthe Collaborative will convene top leadership from across the social sector and showcase innovative solutions to today’s global problems. Guests will include:

  • Sonal Shah, Executive Director, Beeck Center for Social Impact & Innovation at Georgetown University
  • Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director World Food Program
  • Andrea Tamburini, CEO, Action Against Hunger
  • Cheryl Dorsey, President, Echoing Green
  • Jim Binder, CEO/Managing Partner, Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation
  • Erica Williams Simon, TIME//Upworthy
  • Sergio Fernandez De Cordova, Private Sector Advisory Group, SDG-FUND at United Nations, UNDP, Sustainable Development Fund UNDP
  • Blake Masters, President Thiel Foundation
  • Michael Markarian, Chief Program and Policy Officer, Humane Society of the United States
  • Esther Ndichu, Humanitarian Supply Chain Director UPS
  • Daniel Lurie, CEO + Founder Tipping Point Community
  • Ben Powell, Founder and CEO Agora Partnerships
  • Rebecca Winthrop, Director, Center for Universal Education Brookings Institute
  • Caleb Harper, Principal Investigator / Director of the Open Agriculture (OpenAG) Initiative MIT media lab
  • View a full list of the Host Committee and Leadership Council



CIC Cambridge – Havana Room
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