Everyone’s a winner when innovators, change makers, and philanthropists meet

Steve Prostano
Posted by Steve Prostano
Family Wealth Advisors

The world of philanthropic giving – which is continually evolving — was celebrated at our 7th annual Philanthropy Awards in San Francisco on Nov. 16, honoring two highly effective and impactful nonprofit organizations.

Winners of Philanthropy Awards (Ashoka, left, and CRHDC, right)Bank of the West’s involvement is simple: We connect corporate philanthropy with local nonprofits to help further support their missions on a local level, which hopefully spurs global change.

This year’s winners were Ashoka and Community Resources Housing Development Corporation (CRHDC)—two deserving nonprofits working tirelessly to impact change. We presented each of them with a grant of $100,000 for enhancing the quality of life for those in their respective regions.

The recipients were chosen not only by our internal committee members but by a host of nonprofit leaders and external foundation experts who utilize a rigorous due diligence process, including quantitative and qualitative criteria — similar to the selection of investment managers.

The celebration brought awareness to these two nonprofits in particular, who are doing great work in their fields but are also in need of additional visibility to help their organizations grow and flourish.

Global nonprofit Ashoka was recognized in the Innovation Award category for its pioneering network of social entrepreneurs (“change makers”) in the fields of poverty alleviation, education, environmental stewardship, economic development, and other areas of human need. Colorado-based Community Resources and Housing and Development (CRHDC) was the winner in the Community Impact category. The nonprofit, founded in 1971, has expanded its mission to address urban and rural needs state-wide. It educates more than 800 individuals annually toward the goal of sustainable homeownership and financial capability.

(You can read our interviews and watch video profiles about Ashoka and CRHDC here on the blog.)

Panelists discussing strategic philanthropy at the 2016 Philanthropy AwardsThe gala wouldn’t have been complete without a further discussion on the overall theme of strategic philanthropy and how nonprofits can think outside the box by implementing for-profit business strategies to achieve overall success. To elevate the discussion, the panel included the honorable Aida Álvarez (right, in photo), the Board Chair of the Latino Community Foundation and the former head of the Small Business Administration under President Bill Clinton, and Andy and Deborah Rappaport (left), the founders of the San Francisco-based Rappaport Family Foundation and the Minnesota Street Project, who shared their ideas and visions.

At Bank of the West, we are grateful to have gotten to know these incredible winners, past and present, and we have used their insight and great learnings to inform and enhance the value we provide when we provide consulting and management services to our nonprofit clients.

We’re committed to celebrating such firms that engage financial and economic resources to improve their communities and to inspiring others to support similar organizations to create a ripple effect in the world at large.

Congratulations are in order for all leaders who dedicate themselves to such purpose-driven philanthropy.

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