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© 2016 Opportunity Internationala 501(c)3 nonprofit.

Nonprofits Stay Classy at Weekend in San Diego

By Ally Lynch

The CLASSY Awards, in San Diego last weekend, were all about partnership. I was there representing Opportunity International and joined by YAO – San Diego co-chair Mari Gottlieb as Opportunity’s Mother’s Day Global Opportunity Quilt was one of 64 Regional Finalists for the awards.

Opportunity may not have won, but we were honored to be a part of this. It was an interactive, inspiring weekend hosted by Stay Classy and co-sponsors that included eBay, Event 360, Network for Good and more. The finalists were there not just to celebrate each other’s achievements from the past year but to collaborate and help each other become better leaders, finding new ways to address challenges plaguing the nonprofit sector. On top of the Awards Ceremony on Saturday night, the weekend included The Collaborative on Friday, which connected philanthropic innovators from countless backgrounds to share ideas and encouragement. We discussed new platforms or models, and embraced fresh perspectives on how to best change the world.

Highlights of the weekend:

  • It was a truly diverse group. The organizations involved had varying missions and they ranged in size from small start-ups like The Adventure Project to large global movements like Movember.
  • Special guests from the CLASSY Leadership Council inspired us with their wisdom both at The Collaborative and at the Awards Ceremony.
  • The Collaborative Day sessions allowed us all to work together to tackle significant issues in the nonprofit industry. My favorite of the day was the collaborative session on messaging from Katya Andresen, Chief Strategy Officer at Network for Good. A group of about 20 reps workshopped the messaging and storytelling challenges faced by The Soldiers Project.
  • Getting inspired and energized by the impact the Regional Finalist organizations have already made. Check out the 4th Annual CLASSY Awards Impact Video (at the bottom of this post).

It was a great weekend and we were proud to be a part of it. Stay Classy, San Diego!

Schedule board for The Collaborative.Schedule board for The Collaborative.

A workshop session.A workshop session.

Learning Session by Stay Classy founder & CEO Scott Chisholm workshops how to create a movement and build a community to inspire action.Learning Session by Stay Classy founder & CEO Scott Chisholm workshops how to create a movement and build a community to inspire action.

Chisholm’s Learning Session, with The New Children’s Museum exhibit “Pictures of Garbage” in background.Chisholm’s Learning Session, with The New Children’s Museum exhibit “Pictures of Garbage” in background.

My tickets to the big awards show.My tickets to the big awards show.

Mari (left) & me on the red carpet.Mari (left) & me on the red carpet.

Blinded by flashbulbs on the step-and-repeat.Blinded by flashbulbs on the step-and-repeat.

Gearing up for the big Awards Ceremony.Gearing up for the big Awards Ceremony.

4th Annual CLASSY AwardsImpact Video from StayClassy on Vimeo.

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