Managing For Excellence Award

Effective, sustainable programs are the result of strong organizations. Through our work with nonprofits we have been able to identify key factors that drive an organization’s success. A few of those factors include: board and staff engagement, sound fiscal health, mission driven operations and of course, commitment to excellence. 

In 1984, The Community Foundation launched its annual Managing for Excellence Award. Each year, local organizations are invited to compete for the prize. This award is presented to an organization that exhibits outstanding nonprofit management. The redesign includes a more robust award package for winners, year-round exposure for the winners to create connections with potential donors and other individuals of influence and presentation as an industry leader at nonprofit events in the community.

Program Redesign
In 2014, the Managing for Excellence program underwent a redesign in order to better leverage the award and provide a richer experience for our donors and for the winning nonprofits. The redesign includes a more robust award package for winners, year-round exposure for the winners to create connections with potential donors and other individuals of influence and presentation as an industry leader at nonprofit events in the community.

Winners will be selected from two budget categories (organizations with budgets between under $2,000,000 and organizations with budgets above $2,000,000) and will receive:

  • $75,000 to each of the two winners (an increased from the previous award amount of $25,000)
  • Consulting services by Boston Consulting Group
  • Press release
    1. 1/2 page ad in the Atlanta Business Chronicle
    2. Assistance with press package to help nonprofits make announcements
  • Inclusion in the Foundation's Extra Wish booklet, sent to all Foundation donors
  • Donor breakfast featuring the Managing for Excellence Winners, hosted by Alicia Philipp and sponsored by The Boston Consulting Group
  • Special events throughout the year featuring Managing for Excellence winners, including a facilitated conversation for donors and connections with professional advisors
  • Recognition at specific Foundation donor events
  • Sponsored table at the Association of Fundraising Professionals National Philanthropy Day

2016 Competition
  • Friday, July 10: Pre-recorded orientation posted on website (see below)
  • Monday, August 24, 5:00 pm: Round One Application deadline
  • Monday, November 9, 5:00 pm: Round Two Application deadline (invitation only)
  • Mid-January 2016: Site Visits
  • March: Winners announced

Application Process

  • Organizations submit Round One Application
  • Review Committee reads all Round One Applications and invites up to five organizations in each budget category to submit Round Two Applications
  • Invited organizations submit Round Two Application
  • Review Committee reads all Round Two applications and selects finalists to receive site visits
  • Review Committee conducts site visits
  • Review Committee selects one winner from each budget category
  • Winners announced in early 2016

Eligibility Requirements
Nonprofit organizations must meet certain requirements to be eligible to apply for the Managing for Excellence Award. Please review the guidelines for more information. 


On July 8, 2015, an orientation was recorded that shares information on the Managing for Excellence process and application materials. Nonprofits interested in applying are strongly encouraged to watch the orientation recording here.

For the orientation handout, please click here.

2014 Winners
Small- to mid-size category - Dad's Garage Theatre
Large-sized category - Families First

2013 Winner
Quality Care for Children

2012 Winners
Small- to mid-size category – Arts Clayton
Large-sized category – Jewish Family & Career Services

2011 Winners
Small- to mid-size category – Moving in the Spirit
Large-sized category CHRIS Kids

2010 Recipients
Winner Partnership Against Domestic Violence
Finalist – Literacy Action, Inc.

2009 Recipients
Winner – Open Hand
Finalist - Jewish Family & Career Services

2008 Recipients
WinnerAtlanta Botanical Garden 
FinalistAtlanta Children’s Shelter 

Click here to see a full list of previous years’ winners.

Please contact Kristina Morris, program officer, at or 404-588-3213 if you have questions about the Managing for Excellence Program.    

Managing for Excellence Awards History
Year     Organization 
2007    Atlanta Community Food Bank (winner)
            Sheltering Arms 
2006    The Alliance Theatre (winner)
            Progressive Redevelopment, Inc.
2005    Center for the Visually Impaired (winner)
            Atlanta Children’s Shelter
            St. Jude’s Recovery Center
2004    Bobby Dodd Industries (winner)
            AIDS Survival Project 
            Open Hand
2003    Cool Girls, Inc. (winner)
            Open Hand
            AIDS Survival Project
2002    Skyland Trail - George West Mental Health Foundation, Inc.(winner)
            Georgia Center for Children
2001    Consumer Credit Counseling of Greater Atlanta (winner)
            Center for Puppetry Arts
            Center for Family Resources
            St. Jude’s Recovery Center
2000    Zoo Atlanta (winner)
            Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta
            Cool Girls, Inc.
            Georgia Justice Project
1999    AID Atlanta (winner)
            Christian Council of Metro Atlanta
            Georgia Council on Child Abuse 
            Senior Connections
1998    CHRIS Kids (winner)
            AID Atlanta
            Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta
            Georgia Council on Child Abuse 
            VOX Teen Newspaper
1997    Georgia Shakespeare Festival (winner)
            Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta
            Georgia Council on Child Abuse 
            Positive Impact
1996    St. Joseph’s Mercy Care Services (winner)
            Georgia Shakespeare Festival
            Georgia Council on Child Abuse
            Our House
1995    Jerusalem House(winner)
            Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta
            St. Joseph's Mercy Care Services
            Senior Citizen Services of Metro Atlanta
1994    Hands on Atlanta (winner)
            NW Georgia Girl Scout Council
            CHRIS Kids 
            Actor’s Express
            Jerusalem House
            Visiting Nurse Health System
1993    Atlanta Community Food Bank (winner)
1992    Open Hand (winner)
Prior to 1992, awards of $5,000 were given in four categories:

  • Small (budget under $100,000)
  • Medium (budget $100,000 to $300,000)
  • Large (budget $300,000+)
  • Sustained good management.

Listed small to sustained below
1991    No Awards Given
1990    Georgia Literacy Coalition
            Atlanta Preservation Center
            Odyssey Family Counseling Center
            Junior League of Atlanta
1989    Sandy Springs Historic Foundation
            Latin American Association
            FCS Urban Ministries
            Atlanta Community Food Bank
1988    League of Women Voters, Fulton County
            SEEDS – Christians Concerned About Hunger
            Council on Battered Women
1987    WRFG
            St. Jude’s Recovery Center 
            Zoo Atlanta
            Atlanta Housing Authority
1986    National Hemophilia Foundation
            Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta
            Visiting Nurse Health System 
            Brandon Hall School
1985    Hub Counseling and Education Center
            Georgia Council on Child Abuse
            My Turn Now
            (No sustained award given)
1984    Metro Atlanta Recovery Residence
            Atlanta Community Food Bank
            (no large or sustained award given)


Your Checklist for Giving


At The Community Foundation, our work with nonprofits each year allows us to build knowledge around smart investments and key characteristics of excellent nonprofits.

Along with passion for the work, we believe those nonprofits most equipped to make a difference in the community are those with strong operations and management.

Read more here and download our Checklist for Giving.

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