Today was a humbling day for our staff and board as we were presented with the Fundraising Summit Award by the The Association of Fundraising Professionals WNC Chapter at the National Philanthropy Day Celebration.
From AFP's website: The Fundraising Summit Award is presented to a philanthropist, fundraising professional, group, foundation, corporation, or other entity which has, through their generosity, insight, expertise, hard work, and love of our community, made a transformational impact on Western North Carolina or the field of philanthropy. This award takes into consideration the entirety of a person or organization’s work and life and is an expression of gratitude for those who make extraordinary contributions. This award may be presented to a person or group which has previously received a different award from AFP-WNC and is not necessarily presented each year. Previous awardees of the Summit Award include: 2014 – Dr. Olson Huff, 2011 – The Janirve Foundation, 2008 – Pat Smith, 2006 – Norman Fink and Marshall Monroe, 2003 – John Gile (Lifetime Achievement Award), 2002 – Mimi Cecil
We’ve experienced certain truths in our ninety four year commitment to strengthening our community:
- Our work has always been fueled by the passionate leadership of our donors, advocates and volunteers.
- Our highly professional and dedicated staff build upon the efforts of those that came before us.
- And our strategies have evolved to respond to the latest needs, and utilize the latest best practices within our culture of philanthropy and social change.
We are proud to be honored for this history and we eagerly look ahead, to our next evolution and our newest aspect of our work. We know that complex social problems cannot be solved by an individual program, organization or intervention. Across our country communities are implementing a collective impact approach to tackle issues like homeless, safety and graduation rates. The 10 year plan to end homelessness and the Family Violence center are two great examples of collective impact strategies at work here in our community.
Today, United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County is serving as the backbone organization for the Asheville-Buncombe Middle Grades Network – a collective effort of Asheville City Schools, Buncombe County Schools and a host of great nonprofit organizations like the YMCA, OpenDoors of Asheville, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Girls on the Run and others. Together we are changing how our community approaches working with middle school youth, their families and our community. The Asheville-Buncombe Middle Grades Network is using data, analysis, and ongoing communication to wrap services around specific communities based on their specific needs. We are just beginning this work in our three pilot schools – Asheville, Enka and Erwin Middle and are excited to serve as the backbone organization of this Collective Impact strategy - an approach that has seen incredible success across the country.
Also Honored: Janna and Rick Lutovsky
In addition we'd like congratulate long time United Way supporters and leadership donors, Janna and Rick Lutovsky for their recognition as Outstanding Philanthropists. Janna and Rick have made long-term and significant impacts on the Literacy Council of Buncombe County through years of philanthropy—via financial gifts, board service, sage advice, event planning and attendance, and even as volunteer fundraisers. They also support countless other organizations in our community through their gifts of time, talent, and treasure. This year alone, Rick and Janna donated to 20 different nonprofits, 13 of which are here in Western North Carolina.