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$5,000 nonprofit award unveiled; new element to nonprofit summit

By Fritz Mayer
November 28, 2012

From Bethel Woods Center for the Arts to the Discovery Center, nonprofit organizations play a large role in Sullivan County, and all of the nonprofits were invited to the first annual Sullivan Nonprofit Summit in March 2011.

The response was greater than organizers expected with about 150 individuals turning out. In March 2012, at the second summit, 165 people attended representing 78 organizations from “the arts, education, museums, healthcare, human services, agriculture and the environment.

To build in that success, the 2013 summit organizers have arranged to have a contest with a $5,000 award going to the nonprofit that best demonstrates “innovation in the areas of collaboration, marketing, organizational operations and programs.”

At a news conference to unveil the award at the government center in Monticello on November 20, Amanda Langseder, a co-chair of the Nonprofit Leadership Summit, said tough economic times are bringing change to the nonprofit sector. She said, “What we are beginning to see with resources becoming slimmer, some nonprofits are choosing to become catalysts of change and innovation. It is this new energy that we are looking to feature and honor with the Nonprofit Innovation Award.”

Glenn Pontier, a vice-chair of the steering committee, said applications for the award are being accepted through January 15, and the applicants will be narrowed to a final three, who will then be asked to give presentations at the third nonprofit summit at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts on March 6, 2013.

To participate, an organization must be based in, or offer services in, Sullivan County. Nonprofit experts from outside the county will determine the winner, and the two runners up will receive prizes of $500 each.

County chair Scott Samuelson was also at the press conference and said nonprofits often provide services that government cannot. Of the award, he said, “The idea that one of the nonprofits will come up with an idea that will help consolidate services, or that will help streamline all of the work that the nonprofits do—I can’t imagine a better goal or focus.”