Classy Secures $118 Million To Help Nonprofits Drive More Impact

By Annie Baker ● May 1, 2021
  • Classy, a B Corp Certified social enterprise that creates world-class fundraising software for nonprofits, announced today that it has closed a $118 million Series D funding round led by Norwest Venture Partners. These are the details.

Classy, a B Corp Certified social enterprise that creates world-class fundraising software for nonprofits, announced today that it has closed a $118 million Series D funding round led by Norwest Venture Partners, a mission-driven venture capital firm, which has previously partnered with other powerhouse technology companies like Udemy, Talkspace, Plaid, Gong and OpenDoor. Existing backers, Salesforce Ventures and Hinge Capital, also participated in the round.

Classy plans to use the funding to accelerate customer-forward product development and double the size of its product and engineering organization over the next two years to meet rising demand. And the company also plans to enter new markets, such as corporate giving, all to drive a greater impact for its 6,000+ nonprofit customers. 

Scot Chisholm, Co-founder and CEO of Classy – who will step down as CEO and transition into a full-time Executive Chairman role. And he will now lead Mergers & Acquisitions and new market expansion for the company while continuing to serve on the Board of Directors. 

Over the past decade, Chisholm’s vision for the company led to tremendous growth, helping thousands of nonprofit organizations raise nearly $3 billion for their missions. And Classy’s full suite of world-class online fundraising tools has powered tens of millions of donations from over 190 countries. He is handing the reins to Christopher Himes, a longtime Classy Board member and the current Chief Operating Officer. 

Himes’s background includes a 6-year tenure at Salesforce, including as an SVP where he worked with best-in-class cloud computing technology, and was an Executive Fellow at the Salesforce.com Foundation. Before that, he served as the CFO at Fair Trade and has held numerous board positions with nonprofits including There With Care and The Trust for Public Land.

As CEO, Himes is going to build upon the foundation Chisholm has laid over the past decade. Classy is also reincorporating as a Public Benefit Corporation, accelerating the timeline it initially put forth after becoming B Corp Certified in December 2020 and furthering its commitment to social and environmental responsibility. Himes will continue Classy’s track record of creating first-class technology to serve the social sector.

Now nearly 20% of total giving on Classy’s platform is done by donors who “subscribe” to nonprofits and pledge to give on a regular basis, and there’s opportunity to grow this number. And Himes will drive the company’s focus on its industry-leading recurring giving tools and build a billion dollar recurring giving business that helps nonprofits maximize their revenue seasonally and achieve their missions year-round.

David Su, Partner at Norwest Venture Partners, joined Classy’s Board of Directors, bringing his expertise in software and financial technology. And Depelsha McGruder is also joining the Board as its independent director. McGruder is the COO of the Ford Foundation and founder of Moms of Black Boys (M.O.B.B) United — a nonprofit dedicated to positively influencing how Black boys and men are perceived and treated by law enforcement in society.

KEY QUOTES:

“Through our new partnership with Norwest and the investment in our product and engineering teams, Classy will continue to elevate the sector and drive more impact for our nonprofit customers. As a trusted advisor and partner for the past seven years, Chris and I share a joint vision for how great technology can create meaningful value for organizations and the causes that need it most. Chris has already significantly impacted our customers thanks to his invaluable background in cloud technology and his vast knowledge of the social sector, and I have no doubt this impact will continue to grow with him at the helm.”

— Scot Chisholm, Co-Founder of Classy

“We know that great technology equates to more revenue for nonprofits, which means they have the resources to tackle complex social challenges. Our goal is to build the best technology possible for our customers and lead the industry in ROI by providing more efficient, streamlined and effective solutions that build sustainable income streams for nonprofits, so they can focus on the real issues.”

— Chris Himes, incoming Classy CEO

“Last year was especially challenging for nonprofits, forcing them to adapt their fundraising efforts to meet the needs of their recipients while increasingly leaning on technology solutions. As the social sector looks to reach new audiences on digital platforms, Classy is poised to support this growing market demand. We’re excited to support Classy in its continued endeavors to stimulate social impact throughout the world.”

— David Su, Partner at Norwest Venture Partners