GTCF Logo reversed out


Paid Year to Date in Grants & Scholarships
Donor Portal

Greater Toledo Community Foundation and The Blade, in partnership with The Center for Nonprofit Resources, announce the 2022 Northwest Ohio Nonprofit Excellence Awards. Applications for the excellence awards were accepted until midnight on May 31, 2022. 

Local nonprofit organizations were encouraged to nominate themselves for the awards by completing an application between by May 31, 2022. Winners will be announced on Thursday, October 20, 2022 at a special breakfast ceremony. Winners receive a one-of-a-kind glass award, a $7,500 unrestricted grant from Greater Toledo Community Foundation and a $1,000 unrestricted grant from The Andersons, plus a half-page ad in The Blade. 

About the Awards

The Blade and Greater Toledo Community Foundation, in partnership with The Center for Nonprofit Resources, are pleased to announce a refreshed iteration of the Nonprofit Innovation & Excellence Awards - now called the Northwest Ohio Nonprofit Excellence Awards. The Awards are designed to honor and recognize outstanding nonprofit organizations and their achievements in our community.

Awards will be given to three nonprofit organizations, one in each of the following categories (note the new categories for this year):

  • Excellence in Collaborative Programming
  • Excellence in Strategic Action
  • Excellence in Organizational Operations

Awards Eligibility and Criteria

In each category, applicant organizations should meet the following general eligibility criteria: 

  • Applicant must be a nonprofit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code and based in northwest Ohio or southeast Michigan.
  • Organizations may apply for, and are eligible to win in, more than one award category, but must submit a separate application for each category and must address the criteria specific to each award.
  • Once an organization has received an award, that organization will become ineligible for that same award for the following three years.

All organizations are required to submit due diligence documentation with their online application to Greater Toledo Community Foundation. Documentation includes: 

  • A copy of the organizational budget for the current fiscal year;
  • A copy of the audited financial statements for the most recent year available – if unavailable, the unaudited income and expense statement and balance sheet must be provided;
  • A list of board members with affiliations; and
  • A copy of the applicant’s tax exemption letter from the Internal Revenue Service.

The submission must include:

  • A high quality electronic version of the organization’s logo, and 
  • Three original electronic high resolution photos (300 DPI or higher) that depict the organization’s mission and services.

These items will be used as part of the award ceremony for organizations selected as finalists. Winners will not be announced in advance of the ceremony. As part of the review process, any applicant may be requested to submit additional supplemental information.


Excellence in Collaborative Programming

This award showcases a joint initiative that leverages the skills and resources of multiple nonprofit partners to deliver excellent service to residents of northwest Ohio or southeast Michigan. Creative partnerships lead to greater impact in the community by reaching underserved audiences and avoiding duplication of service. Applications that clearly address the following will receive priority consideration: 

  • Description – Provide a description of the specific project for which the application is being made. Include details about how the project represents a creative solution to a community challenge.
  • Collaboration – Fully describe all partners contributing to project success including, but not limited to, nonprofit organizations, businesses, governmental agencies or funders. 
  • Results – Provide a description of how the project is evaluated and what measurable, positive results have ensued.

Applications for the Excellence in Collaborative Programming Award were accepted until midnight on May 31, 2022. 

Please note, there is only one application. Within the application, organizations choose which category they wish to apply for; if an organization wishes to apply for two awards, they will need to complete and submit two separate applications.

Excellence in Strategic Action

This award highlights organizations that have strategically expanded programming or pivoted to a new service delivery model to better meet a community need. Priority consideration will be given to projects that utilized data and metrics to identify a gap in service, aligned with community-wide planning efforts to ensure activities did not duplicate existing services and successfully implemented and sustained the expansion. It is anticipated that projects will still be active and have completed the strategic action within the past five years, but the committee will consider older initiatives as well.  Applications that address the following will receive priority consideration:

  • Description – Describe how the opportunity for expansion or a new approach to service delivery was identified.  Detail the planning and implementation process. Clearly identify the need that was addressed through the strategic action including, but not limited to, reaching participants in an underserved geography, reaching a specific demographic or pursuing a policy change, etc. Note how the action has been sustained.
  • Results – Describe how success is measured.  Include any metrics that illustrate impact.

Applications for the Excellence in Strategic Action Award were accepted until midnight on May 31, 2022. 

Please note, there is only one application. Within the application, organizations choose which category they wish to apply for; if an organization wishes to apply for two awards, they will need to complete and submit two separate applications.

Excellence in Organizational Operations

This award recognizes organizations for overall excellence. The strongest applications will demonstrate active involvement by staff, board members, volunteers and constituents in advancing the mission of the organization.  Eligible applicants must have 501(c)(3) nonprofit status for at least five years and have a local governance and management structure in place. Applications that cite examples of best practices within the following areas will receive priority consideration:

  • Governance – Provide examples that demonstrate organizational excellence in board management and engagement.
  • Financial Management & Fundraising – Provide examples that show the organization’s financial management is strong, transparent and accountable.  Describe the organization's development strategies including adherence to best practices and donor centered approaches.
  • Evaluation/Community Impact – Cite examples of how outcome data is used to achieve the organization’s mission and how this impacts the community.

Applications for the Excellence in Organizational Operations Award were accepted until midnight on May 31, 2022. 

Please note, there is only one application. Within the application, organizations choose which category they wish to apply for; if an organization wishes to apply for two awards, they will need to complete and submit two separate applications.

Print a copy of these Grant Guidelines here.

Awards Selection Process & Timeline

The award application deadline was Tuesday, May 31, 2022. Award applications must be submitted through Greater Toledo Community Foundation’s online application process. Award applications must be received by midnight of the application deadline.

Selection Committee

A GTCF selection committee comprised of past winners and community members with knowledge of area nonprofits will review the applications and select award winners in each category.

Recipient Prizes

All Award Recipients will receive:

  • The honor and distinction of being recognized as a leader among northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan’s nonprofits;
  • A one-of-a-kind glass art award engraved with the organization’s name;
  • An unrestricted grant from Greater Toledo Community Foundation in the amount of $7,500;
  • An unrestricted grant in the amount of $1,000 from The Andersons;
  • A half-page ad in The Blade;
  • A feature article highlighting the winning organizations in Greater Toledo Community Foundation‘s newsletter, and sharing of award winners via The Center for Nonprofit Resources’ e-newsletter and website; and
  • One table for ten (at no charge) to the recognition event to be held on Thursday, October 20, 2022.

Awards Ceremony Information

Awards will be presented to winning organizations at the Northwest Ohio Nonprofit Excellence Awards ceremony and breakfast on Thursday, October 20, 2022. Questions about the ceremony should be directed to Laura Sams at [email protected].

Presented By:

Breakfast Sponsor:

National Standards seal
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram