The West Virginia Nonprofit Association (WVNPA) held their Second Annual West Virginia Nonprofit Leadership Summit on October 27 – 28 in Huntington. Over 100 people attended the conference. David Grant, author of The Social Profit Handbook: The Essential Guide to Setting Goals, Assessing Outcomes and Achieving Success for Mission-Driven Organizations and former CEO of the Dodge Foundation, gave the keynote address. Attendees of the conference dined and networked at local restaurants and attended group sessions and workshops on serving nonprofits and strengthening West Virginia.
A new feature of this year’s Summit was the inaugural West Virginia Nonprofit Excellence Awards. These awards were devised to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of West Virginia nonprofit organizations and increase awareness of the impact of the nonprofit sector in communities throughout the state. Awards were given in three categories: small organizations, medium-sized organizations, and large organizations, according to budget size.
The winning organization in the small budget category was Future of Nursing West Virginia. Future Nursing is an action coalition comprised of a diverse array of stakeholders charged with transforming health care through nursing. The organization works toward the goal of creating a culture of health for West Virginia through advancing nursing practice, education, and leadership.
The medium-sized organization award went to West Virginia Child Advocacy Network (WVCAN). WVCAN is made up of Child Advocacy Centers around the state. Their mission is to better serve children and families when allegations of child abuse arise by supporting the growth, development, continuation of the Child Advocacy Centers and multidisciplinary teams in West Virginia. When the organization was founded in 2006, there were only two nationally-accredited Child Advocacy Centers in the state, but by pouring energy, resources, and a strategic vision into their mission, WVCAN is proud that by the end of 2016, their network will consist of twenty such centers.
Carnegie Hall, in Lewisburg, WV, won the award in the large organization category. In partnership with their community, their mission is to present and promote quality artistic performances and exhibitions, educate the community in and about the arts, encourage active community participation, and present programs which appeal to a broad audience, while preserving the historic significance of the Hall. Carnegie Hall strives to bring artists and performers into the community so that local residents, regardless of income, can be exposed to and enjoy cultural experiences they would not have otherwise.
“The WVNPA is pleased to recognize these outstanding organizations,” says WVNPA Executive Director Laura Lee Haddad. “They exemplify the best of the nonprofit sector in our state and serve as an inspiration to all of us.” Representatives from each organization were announced during the opening of the Summit and given beautiful glass awards created by West Virginia artisan Matt Turner who owns Appalachian Glass in Weston.
With a growing membership of more than 280 nonprofit organizations, the WVNPA was founded in 2012 in order to serve nonprofits in the mountain state. Membership in the WVNPA is open to all 501(c)3 West Virginia nonprofit organizations. The WVNPA is a member of the National Council of Nonprofits and serves as a clearinghouse for a wide range of benefits, services, best practices and planning that strengthen the nonprofit organizations that make up a valuable part of West Virginia’s economic and community fabric.