Nonprofit Management Awards Announced at Annual Axelson Center Symposium

Nonprofit Management Awards Announced at Annual Axelson Center Symposium


Honors given to Chicago Community Loan Fund, Literature for All of Us, and Waukegan to College

The Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management announced the winners of its Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence and its Excellent Emerging Organization Award as part of the Center’s 15th Annual Symposium for Nonprofit Professionals and Volunteers, June 2-3, 2014.

Chicago Community Loan Fund

Chicago Community Loan Fund wins Alford-Axelson Award (Large Category)

The 2014 Alford-Axelson Awards, given for exemplary nonprofit management practices, were presented to Chicago Community Loan Fund (Large Category; budget exceeds $1.7 million) and Literature for All of Us (Small Category; budget under $1.7 million), with an honorable mention awarded to La Casa Norte. The 2014 Excellent Emerging Organization Award, presented to an up-and-coming Chicago-area nonprofit, was presented to Waukegan to College.

Literature for All of Us

Literature for All of Us wins Alford-Axelson Award (Small Category)

The Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence recognizes nonprofits serving the seven-county Chicago region that exemplify outstanding nonprofit management practices. This year’s Large Category award winner, Chicago Community Loan Fund (CCLF), demonstrated effective management through its in-depth strategic planning process, cultivation and relationship building with volunteers, effective resource management, and transparency with stakeholders. The award review committee believes the effectiveness of these practices will fuel the expansion of CCLF’s economic impact, and directly enable the individuals, families, and communities it serves to thrive. Literature for All of Us was selected as this year’s winner in the Small Category. In making this selection, award review committee members praised Literature for All of Us’s well-defined mission, inventive programs, strong volunteer and client engagement, and strong commitment from the Literature for All of Us board of directors.

Winners of this year’s Alford-Axelson Award, sponsored by Fifth Third Bank, received a $7,500 cash prize and commemorative award symbolizing the organization’s dedication to modeling nonprofit managerial excellence. This award honors and continues the legacies of Nils G. Axelson, a devoted community healthcare leader and visionary, and Jimmie R. Alford, a leading contemporary thinker and practitioner in the nonprofit arena.

Waukegan to College

Waukegan to College wins Excellent Emerging Organization Award

Waukegan to College (W2C), the 2014 Excellent Emerging Organization Award winner, has had a profound impact on the young people and families of Wakuegan, Ill. Since 2009, W2C has nearly tripled its capacity from 25 students at its founding to 70 students served in 2014, and 100% of the high school seniors participating in W2C programming have matriculated to college. Their success is fueled by close monitoring of programming outcomes; a diverse funding base; and sustained partnerships with corporations, high schools, and universities. W2C received a $2,500 cash prize, a commemorative award, and a capacity-building package that will support improvement of services and efficiency. The Excellent Emerging Organization award is generously sponsored by MB Financial Bank.

La Casa Norte

La Casa Norte presented with Alford-Axelson Award Honorable Mention

“Effective nonprofit management is a vital part of an organization’s success,” said Axelson Center Director Pier Rogers. “These awards highlight the outstanding management work of all four honored organizations—Chicago Community Loan Fund, Literature for All of Us, La Casa Norte, and Waukegan to College—and also demonstrate how these practices fuel greater impact on the communities these nonprofits serve.”

The application period for the 2015 awards will open in Fall 2014. Learn more about both the Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence and the Excellent Emerging Organization Award, and review lists of past award winners at the Axelson Center website.

The Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management at North Park University is the source for informative and engaging nonprofit professional development in the Chicago region. Through regular workshops, webinars and an annual two-day conference, the Axelson Center delivers a superior educational experience for nonprofit managers, leaders and frontline staff, covering a vast array of topics from program evaluation to strategic planning, and communications to financial management. The valuable information presented through these programs enhances the impact of both the nonprofit sector and its professional staff. Visit for more information, including a full schedule of upcoming events.

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