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8/4/14 -Ten Diverse NYC Area Nonprofits Selected as Semifinalists for 2014 Nonprofit Excellence Awards

Contact: Anat Gerstein
p. 718-793-2211 x 100 | c. 646-321-4400

Organizations Range from Hyper-Local to National; Under $1 million Budget to over $60 million; Excellent Practices in Outcomes Tracking, Board Engagement, IT, Finances and Fundraising, Communications and More


NEW YORK (August 4, 2014) – Today, 10 diverse nonprofit organizations were announced as semifinalists for the 2014 New York Community Trust Nonprofit Excellence Awards. The Awards recognize outstanding management practices of nonprofits in New York City, Long Island and Westchester. The 10 organizations were selected, by a panel of 31 nonprofit management experts, from a pool of 77 applicants – a 25 percent jump over the prior year.

The semifinalists serve a wide range of constituents, including foster children, homeless individuals, people with mental illness and substance abuse problems, underserved youth, domestic violence survivors, individuals involved in the criminal justice system, and women in their childbearing years. Half of the semifinalists have applied in previous years; the organizations vary in size, two have budgets under $1 million, two have budgets of over $60 million.

Later this year, three winning organizations from among the 10 ­will win the Nonprofit Excellence Awards and receive a total of $60,000 in prize money, along with other noteworthy perks.

“This has been an incredible year for the Awards in terms of the number of applications we received.  The semifinalists represent the best of the pool and are all models of key best practices that showcase how nonprofits can employ strong management to better fulfill their missions,” said Michael Clark, president of the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York. As part of the application process, all 77 organizations are offered 360-degree feedback on their management practices with the goal of improving organizational performance.

This year’s semifinalists are:

Bowery Residents’ Committee: This Manhattan-based organization is a leading provider of housing and services to more than 10,000 of New York City’s neediest individuals.

Community Access: Based in downtown Manhattan, this organization expands opportunities for people to recover from trauma, mental illness and discrimination through affordable housing, training, advocacy and healing-focused services.

Equal Justice USA: This Brooklyn-based national organization works to make our criminal justice system fair and effective by ending the death penalty, strengthening programs that help crime survivors address trauma and rebuild their lives, promoting constructive responses to violence, and enacting other common sense criminal justice reforms.

Girls Write Now: Based in Manhattan, this organization provides guidance, support, and opportunities for at-risk and underserved girls from New York City’s public high schools to develop their creative, independent voices, explore careers in professional writing, and learn how to make healthy school, career and life choices.

Graham Windham: Since its founding in 1806, Graham Windham has been a vital force in providing innovative child welfare, educational, vocational, youth development and other social service programs to help New York City's children and families achieve life-changing outcomes.

Leake & Watts: From their roots as an orphanage supporting vulnerable children founded in 1831, Leake & Watts helps over 5000 children, adults and families in need to create strong foundations for success in the five core areas of child welfare, special education, early education, developmental disabilities services and juvenile justice services each day.

Planned Parenthood of New York City: For nearly 100 years, this organization has been providing affordable sexual and reproductive health services and information to individuals regardless of income, ethnicity, immigrations status or sexual orientation.

Row New York: Based in Queens and Manhattan, this organization empowers youth from under-resourced communities to build strength, gain confidence, and pursue excellence through the competitive sport of rowing, paired with academic support.

Safe Horizon: With 57 programs in all five boroughs, Safe Horizon provides support, prevents violence and promotes justice for victims of violence and abuse, their families and communities.

Washington Heights CORNER Project: Based in Washington Heights, this organization seeks to better the lives and health of those who use drugs through outreach programs, education, and referral services.

The 10 semifinalists will submit a second application, and six finalists will be announced in early October.  In November, three winning organizations will be honored at an Awards presentation. Winners will receive cash awards of $30,000, $20,000 and $10,000 and scholarships for the Programs in Social Enterprise in Executive Education at Columbia Business School.

Now in its eighth year, the Awards program has received more than 630 applications and recognized 23 organizations for management practices such as implementing a training program on organizational values for all prospective employees; using a website as an internal referral tool and external resource for people seeking specific information; and implementing a fundraising strategy that includes diversification of resources and financial opportunities and flexibility.

Applicants were asked about their practices in eight key performance areas of nonprofit management identified as crucial by nonprofit professionals nationwide, including:  Focus on Results; Board Governance; Financial Management; Diversity and Cultural Competency; Human Resources; Information Technology; Communications; and Fundraising and Resource Development.

“We’re pleased to help innovative groups share lessons of effective management that can be used by many of the 40,000 nonprofits in the city and suburbs,” said Lorie Slutsky, president of The New York Community Trust, one of the region’s leading funders of nonprofits.

“The nonprofit sector is constantly innovating management practices aimed at improving mission results.  This awards program helps us uncover those amazing new practices and share them with the nonprofit and grantmaking community,” said Ronna Brown, president of Philanthropy New York.

NPCC created the Nonprofit Excellence Awards in 2007, and serves as the program’s tax-exempt manager, in collaboration with The New York Community Trust and Philanthropy New York. Along with sponsor WNYC, the program is also supported by The Clark Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Google, Taconic Foundation, McGladrey LLP, Fund for the City of New York, and Programs in Social Enterprise in Executive Education at Columbia Business School.

A list of past Award winners is available at More information about the Awards, including the Awards' guiding Eight Areas of Nonprofit Excellence and a list of Selection Committee members, can be found at


Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York (NPCC) is an umbrella organization representing and serving some 1,500-member nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations throughout New York City, Long Island and Westchester. Established in 1984, NPCC informs and connects nonprofit leaders, saves nonprofits money, helps them manage and govern themselves better, and protects and strengthens the nonprofit community’s relations with government.  (

New York Community Trust. Since 1924, The New York Community Trust has been the home of charitable New Yorkers who share a passion for the City and its suburbs—and who are committed to improving them. The Trust supports an array of effective nonprofits that help make the City a vital and secure place to live, learn, work, and play, while building permanent resources for the future. The New York Community Trust ended 2013 with assets of $2.4 billion in more than 2,000 charitable funds, and made grants totaling $141 million. The Trust welcomes new donors. Information at

Philanthropy New York is the primary membership organization for private, family, corporate and public foundations based in the tri-state New York area. Its 285 member organizations—including some of the leading private, corporate, family and public grantmaking foundations in the world—recognize that a vibrant and well-managed nonprofit sector is fundamental to healthy communities. Collaborating in the Awards provides Philanthropy New York an important opportunity to celebrate management excellence among our members’ nonprofit partners, learn from their experience, and help build greater capacity in the sector. Philanthropy New York is the principal professional community of philanthropic foundations based in the New York City region with a mission of enhancing the ability of philanthropists to serve the public good. Philanthropy New York members recognize that without extraordinary grantees, there would be no effective grantmaking programs. (

WNYC is the most listened-to public radio station in the country, reaching over 1.1 million listeners each week. Consisting of FM 93.9, AM 820 and, WNYC aims to inform the public locally and globally on current events, politics, and civic affairs; export New York’s arts and cultural riches to the rest of the world; and, give voice to diverse audiences. WNYC produces signature programs including The Brian Lehrer Show, The Leonard Lopate Show, and Radiolab, among others, and also broadcasts the best offerings from NPR, American Public Media, the British Broadcasting Company (BBC), and Public Radio International. With more than 100,000 members, the station operates as an independent non-profit and has one of the largest membership bases of any institution in the city. (




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