This year marks the 14th annual Washington Post Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management. ("Do Good Grammies" sounds more fun, no?)
Offered in partnership with the DC's Center for Nonprofit Advancement, the membership association for local nonprofits, the award is not intended for the biggest & wealthiest charity on the block. Rather, it seeks out the most brilliant diamond in the rough; one managing to turn management issues into day-to-day triumphs (in areas such as finances, resource development, diversity, governance, etc.).
Susan Sanow, the Center's Deputy Executive Director of Programs, has been running the Award all 14 years. She's giddy about the fact that the New York Times has replicated the program.
"It's a great accomplishment with the two largest newspapers in the country are recognizing and honoring excellence in nonprofit management."
Following presentation of the award, the winner's best practices are presented to other applicants, and shared more widely after the fact. Per Susan, "One [nonprofit] wins, hundreds benefit."
I've worked with Susan in the past and was eager to join the Selection Committee for this year's award. We're in the midst of reviewing applications* right now, and to say it's inspiring work would be a bit of an understatement. It's not enough to say that the rounds of planning and delivery that nonprofit staff and boards go through each day to to serve their communities is astounding. It's not enough to say that the submissions I've been reviewing are equally astounding, or that I am humbled.
But I like how Susan expressed her own gratification: "If there's nothing else I do in my life, at least I know this is done."
The winner will be announced in late Spring. The hard work goes on all year.
Happy 2008 to our nation's nonprofits.
(And, as an aside, Happy One Year Anniversary to this here blog.)
*Applicant names withheld for confidentiality