First-Ever $250,000 National Nonprofit Collaboration Prize Contest Ends in Tie Between Two Successful Mergers
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., March 5, 2009 — Today, the Phoenix-based Lodestar Foundation and Arizona-Indiana-Michigan (AIM) Alliance presented a $250,000 national award as the first-ever Collaboration Prize to two groups — the Museum of Nature & Science in Dallas, Texas and the YMCA & JCC of Greater Toledo — at a luncheon ceremony in Scottsdale, AZ. Originally intended as a $250,000 award to one winner, the contest resulted in a tie, with each winner taking home $125,000.
"On the micro level, The Collaboration Prize is of great importance to the Museum as we seek support to advance our vision," said Nicole G. Small, Chief Executive Officer of the Museum of Nature & Science, a merger of three Dallas museums. "On the macro level, The Prize will have a substantial impact on thousands of organizations by providing models and best practices for our industry where few exist."
Lodestar launched the competition last year in an effort to demonstrate how nonprofit resources can be used more effectively to create greater impact. Collaborations and mergers in the nonprofit world have become a frequent topic of conversation since the ailing economy began dominating headlines.
"Financial crises and pressure from funders certainly come into play from time to time, but the Prize generated an overwhelming response that demonstrated how non-profit organizations deploy the entrepreneurial spirit not only in starting new organizations and new programs, but also by reinventing and renewing their work through collaboration," said Sterling Speirn, CEO of WK Kellogg Foundation and lead Prize judge. "I am so impressed with the work of all of the applicants."
The 2009 Collaboration Prize was presented to the YMCA & JCC of Greater Toledo and the Museum of Nature & Science in Dallas because of their ability to successfully merge and leverage resources, and serve as models for others in the nonprofit sector. They were chosen from among a pool of over 644 U.S.-based nominations.