Managing for Excellence Award

Effective, sustainable and impactful programs are the result of strong organizations.

Celebrating Excellence in Nonprofit Management

Through more than 65 years of work with nonprofits, the Community Foundation has identified key factors that drive an organization’s success and community impact—including board and staff engagement, sound fiscal health, investment in the organization’s talent and infrastructure, thoughtful evaluation practices and commitment to continuous improvement.

With these factors in mind, the Foundation launched its inaugural Managing for Excellence Award in 1984. Since then, Metro Atlanta organizations have competed for the award each year. The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta presents this award to two organizations annually that exhibit exemplary nonprofit management. Recognizing nonprofit organizations that demonstrate the attributes of successful businesses, noted qualities of Managing for Excellence Award recipients include:

  • Strong leadership
  • Consistent business practices
  • Stable infrastructure
  • Strong allegiance to support its mission and impact
  • Responsive and effective programming

Awardees are selected from two budget categories: Organizations with budgets under $2,000,000, and organizations with budgets above $2,000,000.

Recipients each receive a $75,000 cash award, consulting services, a professional development opportunity at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a robust package of marketing and recognition opportunities.

A special thank you to Boston Consulting Group for their support of the 2017/2018 Managing for Excellence Award.

The Awardees

The 2018 Managing for Excellence award recipients are YMCA of Metro Atlanta and Synchronicity Theatre.

Synchronicity Theatre offers diverse programs that challenge the mind and build empathy through the creation of new theatrical work that empowers women. Founded in 1997, Synchronicity has a strong culture of planning, is forward-thinking, audience-focused and has become a critical component of Atlanta’s arts ecosystem.

YMCA has served the Atlanta community for 160 years, promoting healthy lifestyles and equal opportunities to learn and grow. As Atlanta has grown, the YMCA has responded with new programs to meet the unique needs of children and adults, while demonstrating sound financial management, strong governance and a commitment to long-term strategy. 

Click here to view a list of previous years’ awardees.


2018 Grant Cycle Timeline

  • December 21, 2017 at 2pm: Online orientation session
  • February 1, 2018 at noon: Deadline for nonprofits to submit the Round One Application (Organizational Profile, Common Grant Application, Managing for Excellence Round One Application Supplement and all required attachments)
  • March 8, 2018: The Foundation notifies nonprofits whether they are invited to the Round Two Application
  • March 29, 2018 at noon: Nonprofits invited to the next stage of the process submit their Round Two Application
  • April 27, 2018: Finalist applicants contacted and invited to schedule site visits at the organization’s location
  • May 3-15, 2018: Site visits are conducted
  • June 29, 2018: The Foundation notifies applicants of the award decision

2019 cycle information will be posted in December 2018.

Eligibility and Application Materials

For more information about the Managing for Excellence Award, please contact:

Lisa Cremin
Director, Community Advancement

Lauren Jeong
Program Associate

The Journey Starts Here

Ready to get started? Just visit our Nonprofit Online Portal to complete your Organizational Profile, Common Grant Application and Grant Application Supplement.

Apply Now