Meet the 2022 Classy Award Winners: 13 Nonprofits Driving Lasting Impact Around the World

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The winners are recognized for programmatic excellence in the fields of education, workforce development, poverty relief, sustainability and more

SAN DIEGO, June 14, 2022 — Today, Classy, an online fundraising platform whose mission is mobilize and empower the world for good, announced the 2022 Classy Award winners. The 13 award winners were selected from a competitive pool of over 1,700 programs that participated in the application process.

Now proudly in its ninth year, the Classy Awards is one of the largest social impact awards in the country. This year’s 2022 Classy Award winners include a diverse array of organizations, from internationally recognized nonprofits tackling global issues such as food scarcity and access to healthcare to local programs that are creating equitable opportunities for workforce development and education. In 2021, the winning organizations collectively operated programs in 22 countries, reached more than seven million people, supported 70,000 students, and have dedicated a total of 186 years to their causes and missions.

This year’s class of winners includes 10 organizations awarded for their achievement in social innovation, one nonprofit awarded for its resilience in the face of ongoing challenges, a People’s Choice winner, presented by LinkedIn for Nonprofits, which was determined by public vote, and a Lifetime Achievement Award, given to a nonprofit professional who has demonstrated excellence over the course of their career in the social sector

 These 13 winners include:

  • Social Innovation: The following 10 Classy Award Winners are recognized for providing the most innovative solutions to the world’s toughest social and environmental issues.
  • Adapt and Overcome: NY Sun Works serves 65,000 students in 200 New York City and urban New Jersey schools and provides STEM-based lessons around subject areas like climate change and energy and water management. When the remote learning environment became necessary during the pandemic, NY Sun Works acted quickly to ensure students and teachers alike did not miss a beat. The result was the introduction of Home Hydroponic STEM Kits, which were distributed to 12,500 students in 79 schools with a remote-ready curriculum and online teacher training.
  • People’s Choice Award: Presented by LinkedIn for Nonprofits, America Needs You was selected by the public for its Fellows Program that helps first-generation college students complete internships, graduate, and secure employment after graduation. 260 Fellows are anticipated to graduate in 2022—the organization’s largest class yet.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Kailee Scales has been named the winner of the Lifetime Achievement award, honoring an individual for a lifetime of service to the social sector. Scales began her career as a fundraiser and organizer for Barry Ford, a Congressional candidate in Brooklyn, New York. She has collaborated with the WHO, UN, global CEOs and heads of state including Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden, in developing solutions to the world’s most complex problems. In June 2021, Scales was tapped by Adam Braun to serve as the CEO of Pencils of Promise. Pencils of Promise has built more than 580 schools that currently serve over 110,00 students across Ghana, Guatemala, and Laos. 

The 2022 Classy Award winners were carefully selected from an appointed Leadership Council of distinguished social sector leaders and executives. The Leadership Council determined the winners by reviewing a proprietary profile built by Classy designed to elevate and standardize programmatic innovation and direct community impact..

“Classy Award nominees set the bar for ambitious, innovative, and impactful work in service of the greater good. These groundbreaking nonprofit organizations work tirelessly, often with too little resourcing and recongition, to drive change in their communities,” says Soraya Alexander, Classy’s COO. “We started the Classy Awards in 2009 as a way to phonor this incredible cohort of organizations that give so much to the world. Congratulations to this incredible group of Classy Award winners, and a deep thank you for the work that you do.”

Learn more about the Classy Award Winners and their specific programs here. To search for more organizations making an impact in today’s society, you can view all Classy Award applicant profiles at

About the Classy Awards

The Classy Awards is one of the largest award programs of its kind, recognizing excellence in social innovation. The year-long initiative identifies and evaluates organizations addressing hundreds of social problems around the world. The winners are determined by the Classy Awards Leadership Council, an honorary board of leaders and experts whose unique perspective and valuable insight establish this recognition as one of the highest honors in the social sector.

About Classy

Classy, an affiliate of GoFundMe, is a Public Benefit Corporation and giving platform that enables nonprofits to connect supporters with the causes they care about. Classy’s platform provides powerful and intuitive fundraising tools to convert and retain donors. Since 2011, Classy has helped nonprofits mobilize and empower the world for good by helping them raise nearly $4 billion. Classy also hosts the Collaborative conference and the Classy Awards to spotlight the innovative work nonprofits are implementing around the globe. For more information, visit

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