Community Leaders At the Service of Society (CLASS), Inc. was founded by Deepali Sachdeva and Sudeep Kanjilal in 2002. The force behind of the founding of CLASS was an outcome of collective experiences, in-depth research and a desire to make more available to society. The need – a paucity of management capacity in the nonprofit sector – was painfully obvious. Change, as it so often is, was needed urgently and on a large scale.

Story of CLASS

CLASS was founded on the vision of changing our society. Grandiose as it is, the means are humble – make small but perceptible contributions which then translate into bigger, more tangible benefits for our communities. Perhaps the most important question is: what makes an NPO successful? This is particularly important given that the stated goals of most NPOs are invariably difficult to quantify and the organizations are not subject to the same parameters of success as their for-profit counterparts. The answer to this question is fundamental to determining whether the enormous resources being consumed by the non-profit sector are being utilized efficiently. CLASS was founded on the premise that there is under-utilization of resources and that it is possible to greatly enhance the return that society can get from investments in NPOs

One of the key resources deployed in this sector is the human capital, represented by the skill and time of the 90-odd million Americans who volunteer each year. Personal experience, extensive research and interviews with numerous other volunteers showed that volunteers preferred positions that allowed them to utilize their skills effectively and wished to volunteer in a structured environment where they could make better use of their time. Volunteers felt that this enabled them to contribute more to the community and found personal satisfaction in using their time more productively.

The founding team also determined that nonprofit organizations have their own business frustrations. They often lack business expertise and did not have the resources to hire someone internally or externally to assist in finding solutions. Those seeking volunteers also found that volunteers were often difficult to rely upon. Moreover, volunteer-staffed projects were more difficult to manage and consumed the already scarce managerial capacity. This sometimes made it counter-productive to take in volunteers. These problems, in essence, are two sides of the same coin.

With this in mind, CLASS was founded in June, 2002. The theory behind CLASS is to change the way people volunteer and contribute.

Today, many dedicated individuals are working towards this change and many more are joining them in this journey to bring a positive change in our community.