Dina Rulli is VP of People Operations at Classy. Classy may serve nonprofits with product, but Dina and the organization serve nonprofits in many other ways, too. More than the day to day, Dina tackles awe-inspiring initiatives, such as funding nonprofits and providing programs to employees to support those in need around the world. “It's the experience where Classy can launch products, support employees on volunteer trips, raise money, all while speaking to our mission and the core of who we are,” shares Dina in an interview with Holly Rushton of AppExchange. Bringing these personal experiences and growth opportunities to life for her staff is why Dina is a trailblazing partner. Let’s learn more about Dina’s journey in this interview.
Where did you get your start?
Dina: I started right out of school doing completely nothing related to what I do right now. I was in a merchandising role for a large apparel company in the Midwest. I decided to move to California, and soon realized that none of my skills were translatable. I was lucky enough to get into recruiting, and I worked at a small boutique firm in San Diego. Then for the next seven years, I worked for one of my clients. We went through an IPO, growing from 200 to 3,700 employees internationally. It was a crazy, super fun ride. Then, I got the opportunity to come to Classy to run their people operations function.
Tell us more about Classy.
Dina: Classy is a social enterprise that creates world-class online fundraising software for nonprofits. We're focused on modernizing the giving experience to accelerate social impact around the world. Our product does everything from crowdfunding to peer-to-peer fundraising, event registration management, and one time or recurring website donations. Nonprofits trust Classy to manage all of their online fundraising under one roof.
What do you love most about your job at Classy?
Dina: I have only done 50% of the job before, so more than half of it is completely new to me. I'm learning every day. I get pushed out of my comfort zone. I get to do things that make Classy a place that people love. We also give back to amazing nonprofit organizations.
You are a pioneer and a real leader. How do you do it?
Dina: I'm someone who does not like the status quo. I love change. I thrive in it. When things get stagnant, I legitimately get unhappy. I'm most proud of the philanthropic initiatives that we've been able to launch at Classy. I love that I get to work at a place that fosters employee excitement and connections around what we're doing to solve the world's biggest social issues.
How are you using your skills to make change in the world?
Dina: One of the big things that I've done throughout my career is work with veterans or underserved communities. I enjoy helping them find jobs where they can bring relevant skills and experience to the table.
I also use that same skill to hire other purpose-driven employees who can service our clients, and continue to solve the world's biggest social issues. I am committed to their growth; so we create programs and opportunities so that they stay committed to Classy and all of the institutional knowledge that they've gained here through the years.
What does being a Trailblazer mean to you?
Dina: I see it as being a rebel, but in the most positive sense of the word. It means challenging the status quo, never accepting the way things are done. It means that you can come back better and stronger than before. Some days I feel like I nailed it, and other times, a meeting may not go so well. Being a Trailblazer means being humble and continuing to evolve, so you can constantly get better.
What advice do you have for other partners that are trying to make their way and become a Trailblazer?
Dina: Don't be scared. Be okay with failing. You're never going to learn or hit your maximum potential by playing it safe, so just go for it. Break things. You will be more memorable breaking stuff and learning from it than just playing it safe.
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