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Bronx Nonprofit Among Those Recognized for Mission, Leadership

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Thousands of dollars up for grabs in a contest for city nonprofit organizations that recognize their mission as well as how they're run. NY1's Erin Clarke filed the following report.

It could be said that the nonprofit Bronx Works makes the Bronx work by providing a number of services to the neediest communities in the borough. It started in 1972 as the Citizens Advice Bureau and now operates shelters, after school programs, and senior centers.

Bronx Works also runs programs for the HIV positive community, an eviction prevention program, and several classes for the community, like courses in English as a second language.

"Our mission is to improve the social and economic well-being of the residents in the Bronx," said Bronx Works Interim Executive Director Eileen Torres.

Bronx Works was awarded $10,000 as a winner of the New York Community Trust nonprofit excellence awards. What's unusual is that the yearly New York Community Trust awards are based in large part on the management skills shown by the nonprofits that apply.

"Management is really important. It's sort of often in the background. People are often much more interested to hear about nonprofit organizations, their missions and what they do. But behind the scenes an organization has to be well-run in order to be effective," said New York Community Trust Senior Program Officer Patricia Swann.

Bronx Works received third place. First and second place receive $30,000 and $20,000 respectively. But New York Community Trust and the nonprofits that participate in the contest say the money is a drop in the bucket. It's the process that is most rewarding.

"It's a graduate seminar level kind of introduction and then immersion into best techniques of nonprofit management," Swann said.

"It's a great way for an organization to reflect and see where they are and listen to expert that's provided, advice that's provided from experts that serve on the panel of judges. It's a good way to hear what peer organizations are doing," Torres said.

The deadline for nonprofits to apply is May 2.

For more information, visit npcc.org.

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