FROM LEFT: Whitney Allard, Joselyn Nuñez and Andy Poser of the Capital Good Fund talk in their Providence office. The organization was one of five nonprofits to be honored June 4 by the Rhode Island Foundation with 2014 Best Practice Awards.
COURTESY RHODE ISLAND FOUNDATION
By Patricia Daddona PBN Staff Writer
PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Foundation recognized five nonprofits with 2014 Best Practice Awards on June 4.
The winners and their awards were: The Providence Student Union, the Advocacy Award; ecoRI News, the Collaboration Award; the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the Communications Award; the Capital Good Fund, the Innovation Award; and the Providence Children’s Museum, the Leadership Award.
“These organizations emerged from a highly competitive process and an impressive group of nominees,” said Jill Pfitzenmayer, vice president of the Foundation’s Initiative for Nonprofit Excellence. “There is something valuable in each of their remarkable examples that can help every nonprofit achieve more.”
Each winner receives an unrestricted grant of $1,000 and tuition waivers for up to two board or staff members to any INE programs for one year. There were 27 nominations, said Chris Barnett, senior public affairs officer.
The Providence Student Union was lauded for its public policy advocacy effort to increase the number of students who qualify for free bus service to and from school.
“PSU's youth leaders worked very hard to engage fellow students, build partnerships, and increase public demand for a successful change to Providence's transportation policy. Now, up to 1,800 hundred additional Providence high school students will be able to access school,” said Roselin Trinidad, student leader for Providence Student Union.
EcoRI News was honored for its EcoRI Earth program, which diverts waste from the state’s central landfill by collecting food scraps from 80 customers in the Greater Providence area and distributing them to urban farms for composting.
Joanna Detz, ecoRI’s executive director, said collaboration with more established organizations has helped the organization grow.
Deb DeBare, the Rhode Island Domestic Violence Coalition’s executive director, said her nonprofit’s “KNOW MORE” public education campaign, which used traditional and new media strategies to target specialized populations including men, youth and the Latino community, would make the community safer.
The Capital Good Fund won for incentives it instituted to make it easier to open an affordable bank account and have a tax refund direct deposited into it.
“Everyone, from policymakers to regulators to civic groups and nonprofits, recognizes the importance of having a checking and saving account. The problem, however, is that millions of Americans remain unbanked,” said Andy Posner, CGF’s founder and executive director.
Janice O'Donnell, the Children’s Museum's executive director, said that increasing operational efficiencies by defining strong strategic priorities, restructuring staff and adding expertise to create a strong executive team, has enabled the museum to set priorities.
“We are achieving major goals and have greatly enhanced our offerings and deepened our impact in the community,” she said.
The award program is sponsored by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island.
“BCBSRI is committed to strengthening and celebrating Rhode Islanders’ health and wellbeing, and having a robust network of leading community organizations is critical,” said Peter Andruszkiewicz, president & CEO. “We can all learn from the examples of excellence set by [these] honorees, and BCSBRI is proud to help share their stories.”