June 18, 2019
 
Excellence Awards Announced at Nonprofit Awareness Day

June 14, 2010 — Calling himself “struck by the breadth of your impact,” Governor Deval Patrick recognized the ten finalists for this year’s Nonprofit Excellence Awards in his opening address at the second annual Nonprofit Awareness Day at the State House today.

“You create community itself,” he told the 275 attendees in Gardner Hall. “You have a big economic footprint. The sector employs 14% of the state's workforce and is responsible for about $87 million in economic activity."

The economy was a recurring theme during the event, which was produced by the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN). In his remarks, Robert DeLeo, Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, said, “Your work is integral while we try to put Massachusetts back on its feet.”

Senator Robert O’Leary, recipient of the Legislator of the Year Award, thanked the sector and recognized that its efforts are “critical to the economy.”

The sector’s contributions to Massachusetts communities were the focus of a new public service announcement that premiered during the event. Featuring Theo Epstein, general manager of the Boston Red Sox, and Paul Epstein, associate director of health and the global environment at Harvard Medical School, the 30-second video showcased the impact of nonprofit work on the environment, human services, and youth and families, among others.

Awards Presented in 10 Categories

Before announcing the winners of this year’s Nonprofit Excellence Awards, Geeta Pradhan, director of the New Economy Initiative at The Boston Foundation, explained that a committee comprised of community foundation representatives and academics culled through 150 nominations before settling on ten winners.

The winners “span the spectrum of needs served by the sector,” she said, adding that their size and age varies, too: the smallest winner has one employee and a budget of $82,000; the largest has 300 employees and a budget of $300 million. One is only three years old; another is 75.

The winners are:

MNN Nonprofit Advocacy Award: Sociedad Latina, Roxbury. Noting that the Advocacy Award is meant for organizations that “create a sea-change to replace our small interventions,” Pradhan credited Sociedad Latina for training all its clients—even those too young to vote—on civic engagement and how to advocate for themselves and others.

MNN Nonprofit Capacity Building Award: Jericho Road Project, Lowell. Dedicated to providing long-term, wide-ranging, and free capacity-building services in Lowell, Lawrence, Worcester, and Lynn, the Jericho Road Project is credited with creating “communities of high-performing nonprofit organizations that can better serve their respective missions.”

MNN Nonprofit Collaboration Award: Growing Places Garden Project, Clinton. Announcing this award for the day’s smallest recipient, Pradhan quoted Andrew Carnegie, who said, “Collaboration is the fuel that allows common people to obtain uncommon results.” Growing Places Garden Project provides gardens and nutrition education so that people can grow food on their own.

MNN Nonprofit Communications Award: May Institute, Randolph. “We’re so busy doing the work that we often forget to let others know what we are doing so that more resources flow to the sector,” Pradhan said as she introduced the awardee. May Institute was honored for the impact of its National Standards Report that guides tens of thousands of families impacted by autism as well as a traveling exhibit to show the voices and faces of autism.

MNN Nonprofit Governance Award: Family Health Center of Worcester, Worcester. More than half of this organization’s board is comprised of patients, who, along with the rest of the board, “is ever mindful of its oversight responsibilities to establish strategic goals and to ensure that resources are prudently employed.”

MNN Nonprofit Innovation Award: Project HEALTH, Boston. Founded in the Boston Medical Center Pediatrics Department, Project HEALTH enables doctors to prescribe food, fuel assistance, housing, or other resources for patients. A Family Help Desk fills the prescriptions by connecting patients with these key resources.

MNN Nonprofit Leadership Award: Vincent Perrone, Veterans Inc. Calling Perrone “a dealer in hope,” Pradhan noted that the recipient established the structure for this organization, the largest provider of supportive housing for veterans in New England, and has fought for funding opportunities and provided strong leadership statewide.

MNN Nonprofit Management Award: East End House, Cambridge. Announcing this award for one of Greater Boston’s first social service centers, Pradhan noted that “nonprofit management is not just a skill taught in business school but it is an art to meet a double bottom line: meeting mission and value and providing that value in a highly complex and competitive environment.” East End House was honored for its management team’s strategy to create powerful change through systems of evaluation and accountability.

MNN Nonprofit Young Professional Award: Nina Dudnick Seeding Labs. Dudnick, a molecular biologist, has equipped labs in 14 countries by recruiting students and staff at biotechnology companies to donate surplus materials as well as expertise.

MNN Nonprofit Social Entrepreneurship Award: Abundant Table, Boston. A social enterprise of Pine Street Inn’s food service department, Abundant Table sells 1,000 meals per day to area organizations, generating approximately $1 million in s gross revenue annually and enabling the training of 100 students per year.

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