NEWS: Application Period Open for Axelson Center’s Annual Nonprofit Management Awards

Nonprofit Management AwardsApplications are now being accepted for the 2015 Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence and the 2015 Excellent Emerging Organization Award—two annual honors presented by the Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management at North Park University to Chicago-area nonprofit organizations.

The Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence recognizes nonprofits serving the seven-county Chicago region who exemplify outstanding nonprofit management practices. Applicants are evaluated for their strength in the Hallmarks of Nonprofit Managerial Excellence℠: mission and program; leadership and governance; strategy and innovation; human resources; financial strength and performance; resource generation and external relations; and accountability and integrity.

The Alford-Axelson Award is named for the leadership and legacies of Nils G. Axelson, a devoted community health care leader and visionary, and Jimmie R. Alford, a leading contemporary thinker and practitioner in the nonprofit arena. Winners of the 2015 Alford-Axelson Award will receive a cash prize of at least $5,000. Recent winners include Chicago Community Loan Fund and Literature for All of Us (2014); Concordia Place and Between Friends (2013); and Center on Halsted and Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation (2012).

“Nonprofit organizations that win the Alford-Axelson award have demonstrated their ability not only to deliver programs and services, but to manage and lead their organizations in ways that contribute to overall sustainability,” said Pier Rogers, director of the Axelson Center. “A review committee comprised of nonprofit and civic leaders use the Hallmarks of Nonprofit Managerial Excellence to assess the organization’s management and leadership. Emerging as a winner after such scrutiny is a major accomplishment, which many of the past winners have proudly shared with their donors and other constituents.”

Learn more and download the 2015 Alford-Axelson Award application. Organizations interested in applying are also strongly encourage to submit an intent to apply form prior to completing the application.

The Excellent Emerging Organization Award is presented to an up-and-coming nonprofit serving the Chicago region that shows its leadership through financial stability, sound management practices, strategic vision, and innovation in its programs and service delivery. Past winners include Waukegan to College (2014), Porchlight Counseling Services (2013), and Empowerment through Education and Exposure (2012).

“The Excellent Emerging Organization Award’s past winners demonstrate that small, new organizations can move towards nonprofit excellence,” said Rogers. “Having limited resources doesn’t negate the possibility of getting started on the right track with a vision of excellence and sustainability.”

The winner of the 2015 Excellent Emerging Organization Award will receive a $2,500 cash prize sponsored by MB Financial Bank and a capacity-building package that will support improvement of services and efficiency. Learn more and download the 2015 award application. Organizations interested in applying are also strongly encouraged to submit an intent to apply form prior to completing the application.

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 workshops, an annual conference, and an intensive three-day program for new nonprofit executive directors and CEOs, the Axelson Center delivers a superior educational experience for nonprofit leaders, volunteers 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 www.northpark.edu/axelson for more information, including a full schedule of upcoming programs.

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