San Diego Business Journal Classy, the giving platform that helps nonprofits connect supporters with the causes they care about, has unlocked new business growth via its first acquisition.

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Christopher Himes CEO Classy

Earlier this month, the company announced it had purchased Fondi, a virtual and hybrid events platform. The technology relaunched as Classy Live two weekends ago, said Classy CEO Christopher Himes, who called it a solution that provides its nonprofit customers with the best-in-class technology for their virtual and hybrid fundraising events.

 
Fondi’s technology serves as an all-in-one virtual events platform and was built to enable fundraising teams to increase revenue, engagement and retention, according to the company.


Terms of the deal were not disclosed.


“Nonprofits always raise money by gathering supporters in person. During the pandemic, they couldn’t do that anymore and needed to do it virtually,” Himes said. “What they realized is how many advantages there were to having a virtual or hybrid technology - the engagement is larger and the technical ability might be even better for those that are attending, because they can paddle raise with their phone and participate in an auction with their phone, for example.”


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Scot Chisholm Co-Founder Classy

“The phone also serves as a ticket, for registration, to tell them their seat assignment, among other things,” Himes added. “As well, the platform can record elements of the event that they can use to share with supporters that weren’t able to attend or even use it to market to new supporters.”

Classy’s co-founder and chairman of the board Scot Chisholm added, “After exploring multiple platforms and vetting Fondi’s technology against other potential matches, it was clear that the end-to-end offering, including how Fondi would fit with our current offering, made them the best choice.

At Classy, we offer the social sector the best technology out there to increase their funding and serve their missions, and with Classy Live, we know we’ll be able to serve our nonprofit customers more effectively and successfully years to come.

Monitoring Fundraising Progress In Real Time


Through the Classy Live platform, nonprofits will be able to host their day-of virtual and hybrid events as well as drive attendee engagement and encourage fundraising and donation activity. It will provide a texting and email messaging option before, during and after events; silent auctions and mobile bidding; polls and more. All of these services will be synced with a nonprofit’s Classy fundraising campaign, so attendees are able to see fundraising progress in real time.


Classy acquired Fondi’s technology from Lennd, an event operations portal that simplifies operations and logistics for events teams, less than six months after its $118 million Series D funding round.

 
With the Series D funds, Classy planned to invest in customer-forward product development and acquire technology that complements its existing platform, said Himes.


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Josh Parolin Vice President of Engineering Classy

As part of the acquisition, Classy will retain all of Fondi’s employees. This includes Fondi Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer Josh Parolin, who joins Classy as vice president of engineering. He will focus on the Classy Live events platform.


“I could not be more excited for all the possibilities that come with joining the Classy team and launching Classy Live,” said Parolin. “Having built my career in both the nonprofit and SaaS world, coming to Classy feels like a culmination of all the work I’ve done over the years. I know the impact Classy live will have for our nonprofit customers, especially as hybrid events become even more of the norm moving forward.”


Crypto Donations Next


In October, Classy launched a new digital payment integration with PayPal and Venmo, which will enable nonprofits to receive online donations through both payment methods, said Himes.

 
In the next few months, the company hopes to integrate a crypto donation option, he said, adding that he meets with start-ups almost weekly in search of the newest innovative technology.


Classy
FOUNDED: 2011
CEO: Chris Himes
HEADQUARTERS: Gaslamp Quarter
BUSINESS: A platform that helps nonprofits to connect supporters with causes.
EMPLOYEES: 240
NOTABLE: The Fondi deal marks Classy’s first acquisition.
WEBSITE: 
www.Classy.org
CONTACT: Info@Classy.org