New C-Suite, Pilot Donor Programs At GoFundMe, Classy
Acquisition Of Classy By GoFundMe Completed

The GoFundMe and Classy fundraising platforms combination continues to be a work in process via a reorganization of the C-Suite with Classy’s CEO Chris Himes transitioning to an advisory role.

Classy Chief Operating Officer Soraya Alexander is the new chief operating officer of GoFundMe and president of Classy. Eric Pannese, Classy’s senior vice president of product and design, is the new chief product and technology officer, and Chris Silver, vice president of product marketing for Classy, is the new senior vice president of marketing.

Classy was acquired by and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of GoFundMe. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition closed this past January and became official in May.

GoFundMe had shut down its fundraising application in March 2021 that it had launched in 2019, following up on its acquisition of CrowdRise in 2017. The platform ended support for third-party integrations and the public Application Programming Interface (API) after March 31, 2021. Charities had until this past Dec. 31 to view and export donor and fundraiser data and content from GoFundMe Charity.

Both companies started in San Diego about 10 years ago. GoFundMe has approximately 400 employees and Classy has 392. Classy had raised almost $184 million from investors. After seed and Series A funding rounds from angel investors in 2010 and 2012, respectively, Classy raised about $65.5 million in three subsequent rounds of funding, according to Crunchbase data. Alexander declined to discuss revenue of the combined entities.

There were 54,000 campaigns which raised $1 billion from 12 million donations on the Classy platform during 2021, according to data from the firm, and this year is projected to surpass $5 billion raised all-time on the platform. GoFundMe has been used since 2010 to raise and deliver more than $19 billion from over 200 million donations as of August 2022.

The majority of Alexander’s professional experience is customer-facing, which is the bread and butter of GoFundMe, which relies on consumers to rally around a cause or a neighbor’s plight. Classy has roughly 6,000 nonprofit clients, according to Alexander. The combination of the two can be lead generation of donors for various causes. A pilot program is underway with 20 Classy clients that would match those clients to GoFundMe campaigns, introducing donors using those GoFundMe to Classy client organizations, she said.

“It is too soon to share anything … early results are promising,” said Alexander. The pilot is being run by a team comprised of both Classy and GoFundMe staff.

There has been internal discussion as to whether the algorithms, if the pilot program is successful, will be marketed to other donor management system platforms. She said there has been discussion of a cooperative database but that would be down the road.

“Over the past several months, I’ve gained a tremendous appreciation for the sophistication and care the GoFundMe team takes in helping people help each other. It is truly awe-inspiring to see the ambition, reach, and impact of our combined organizations,” said Alexander. “And, despite billions of dollars raised collectively on both GoFundMe and Classy, we are just getting started with what’s possible.”