Serving Nonprofits. Strengthening West Virginia.

Congratulations to our 2019 WV Nonprofit Excellence Award Winners

By on October 16, 2019 in News

This year, we held our Fifth Annual West Virginia Nonprofit Leadership Summit in partnership with Volunteer West Virginia and the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation on September 25 – 26 in Charleston at the Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center. Over 275 people attended the conference. During this year’s opening session, representatives from several different foundations formed a Funder’s Panel that took questions from the audience. Jennifer Giovannitti, president of the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, gave the closing keynote address. Attendees of the Summit dined and networked at local restaurants and attended group sessions and workshops on serving nonprofits and strengthening West Virginia.

For the fourth year in a row, the WVNPA presented the West Virginia Nonprofit Excellence Awards during the Summit. Sponsored by the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation, these awards were created 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. 18 West Virginia nonprofit organizations submitted applications to be considered for the awards.

The winning organization in the small budget category was Coal River Group. The group’s three guiding principles are to clean up, restore, and educate citizens about the value of environmental stewardship for the three rivers and all the streams in the Coal River Watershed, to create a lasting series of programs to collect, interpret, and teach all citizens about the history of the region, and to generate regional economic growth based on growing tourism and entrepreneurial opportunities. “The Coal River Group is so grateful for the award,” said the group’s chairman, Bill Currey. “Being judged deserving of the award by our peers gives so much credibility to our volunteers’ efforts during the past fifteen years.”

The medium-sized organization award went to Philanthropy West Virginia, a statewide organization based in Morgantown. As a unique social profit organization, the only one of its kind in West Virginia, this organization roots its programs and services in its mission of strengthening philanthropy in the Mountain State. “We are honored and energized by this tremendous honor,” stated the organization’s President, Paul Daugherty. “Our board of directors and staff work hard to adopt and implement the best practices of our industry and to serve the Mountain State.” Last year, Philanthropy West Virginia’s programs engaged over 500 participants and 90 partners from a variety of communities, organizations, and issue-based groups

Mountaineer Food Bank brought home the award in the large organization category. Their mission is to feed West Virginia’s hungry through a network of member feeding programs and engage the state in the fight to end hunger. The food bank partners with over 450 organizations in 48 counties including food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, Backpack Programs, senior centers, and schools. They also work to foster healthier communities by hosting regular Town Hall meetings on hunger, an annual Hunger Summit, and joint programs to foster partnerships with local organizations. “Our entire organization was thrilled to be recognized as an award winner,” commented Executive Director, Chad Morrison. ”It truly shows the work that is being accomplished by the thousands of people in West Virginia that make up our staff, board, donors and volunteers. We couldn’t feed a single person without their support.”

WVNPA Executive Director Laura Lee Haddad was impressed with the field of applicants for this year’s awards. “Everyone on the selection committee was excited about the caliber of applications we received this year,” Haddad remarked. “It’s just a small example of the great work that nonprofits do in this state.” Winners were announced during the opening session of the Summit, and representatives from each organization were given beautiful glass awards created by West Virginia artisan Todd Turner of Appalachian Glass in Weston.

With a growing membership of more than 315 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.


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