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Philanthropy Thought Leader Uncategorized

Celebrating Excellence in Nonprofit Management

By Lisa Cremin, director of community advancement, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta

The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta has a powerful annual award, Managing for Excellence. It is given to two nonprofit organizations that are exceptionally well-run in their operations, management and governance, and exhibit innovation, among other criteria. Now in its 33rd year, the 2017 recipients are Literacy Action and Trees Atlanta, representing organizations below and above $2 million in annual budgets, respectively.

To earn this award, nonprofits go through a rigorous application process that includes a two-phase formal written application and in-person site visit processes that include both the staff and board leaders of the candidate organizations, Community Foundation staff and volunteer review committee members in consort with and the award’s sponsor, The Boston Consulting Group. We seek to learn about the nonprofits’ successes as well as their challenges. One aspect of being an effective nonprofit is recognizing where you want to improve and overcoming barriers to have measurable impact on constituents served.

Each of this year’s winners has made a strong impact on our region over a long-term period. Literacy Action is working to improve the reality that approximately 22 percent of the Atlanta region’s population is considered ‘low literate’. Working with low-income, undereducated adults, this year alone 71 percent of Literacy Action’s students have moved up at least one grade level. And their student body represents over 37 different nationalities which is evidence of our position as a global community.

Trees Atlanta is helping Atlanta maintain its designation as a city in a forest. They have planted more than 119,000 trees since 1985, helping to improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions. And they are not just planting trees, they are building neighborhoods and providing volunteer opportunities for residents of all ages.

There are more than 4,000 nonprofit organizations in our region, all working to address our challenges and lift our communities. Through Managing for Excellence, we are proud to shine a light on Literacy Action and Trees Atlanta. These two organizations, in different ways, embody the spirit and practice of nonprofit effectiveness, making great strides to make our region a better place.

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