Drucker Institute names finalists for the $35,000 Peter F. Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation

The Drucker Institute has announced 11 finalists for this year’s $35,000 Peter F. Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation.

The Institute, which works to advance the ideas and ideals of the late Peter F. Drucker, the father of modern management, will honor the winner and two runners-up on Nov. 19, 2007, in New York at a gala dinner co-hosted by the Leader to Leader Institute. More than 340 organizations applied for the award.

The dinner will be preceded by an all-day conference, “Creating the Future of Nonprofits: Opportunity and Innovation in the Social Sector.”

The Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation has been given annually since 1991 to recognize existing programs that have made a real difference in the lives of the people they serve. Consideration is based on Drucker’s definition of innovation—change that creates a new dimension of performance. Cash prizes are designed to celebrate, inspire and further the work of innovative nonprofit organizations in the United States.

In addition to the $35,000 first prize, the second-place winner will receive $7,500 and the third-place winner will receive $5,000. (For a list of previous winners, click here.)

The judges for this year’s awards are: Ira A. Jackson, dean of the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management; Geneva Johnson, secretary of the Leader to Leader Institute’s Board of Governors and former president and CEO of Family Service America; Jeffrey M. Johnson, Yucaipa Cos. executive, chairman of the board of the United Way of Greater Los Angeles and former publisher of the Los Angeles Times; Richard Polanco, chairman of the California Latino Caucus Institute and former California Senate Majority Leader; C. William Pollard, former chairman and CEO of ServiceMaster Co.; and Rick Wartzman, director of the Drucker Institute. The administrator of the award is Kerry Boyle, executive director of the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management.

This year’s finalists are:

BerkShares, Great Barrington, MA. This is a local currency project of the E.F. Schumacher Society and the Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce.  In circulation since 2006, BerkShares create consumer awareness, support local businesses and facilitate the development of new productive capabilities to fulfill the needs of the community.

Friendship Volunteer Center, Sarasota, FL. The Disaster Volunteer Initiative seeks to implement a countrywide coordinated response to disasters by establishing relationships and creating partnerships among non-traditional groups of volunteers from neighborhoods, civic organizations, faith-based groups, businesses and government agencies.

Elderly/Disabled Housing Program, St. Augustine, FL. This initiative offers homeowners living in dilapidated housing the opportunity to have their house demolished and a new home built on the same lot. Financial counseling through grant funding is offered, in addition to family support and advisement.

The “Made in NY” Production Assistant Training Program, Brooklyn, NY. This program enables unemployed or low-income New Yorkers to start careers in TV and film production through four weeks of free skills training followed by two years of job placement and career advancement services.

Wake Up and Walk Tour, Madeira Beach, FL. This effort involves an epic 10,000-plus mile walk of the United States’ perimeter by Executive Director Andrew Mandell, “Mr. Diabetes.”  Mandell gets up close and personal with the public about diabetes to create awareness of the warning signs, risk factors, complications, preventability and financial costs.

DIGNITY Programs, Phoenix, AZ. This project was pioneered through Catholic Charities by a survivor of prostitution to help women safely and successfully break free from prostitution and rebuild their lives through community action, street outreach services, support/education groups and alternatives to incarceration.

ForSight Imaging, York, PA. This program serves people who are blind, providing them with a job and career path that seeks to broaden the range of industry positions available to them, from manufacturing to technology. It empowers blind employees to reach their full potential as knowledge workers instead of factory workers.

Disabled and Alone/Life Services for the Handicapped Inc., New York, NY. This program supports families concerned with the future needs of their disabled loved ones through membership in Life Services. Each member family is assigned a Personal Advocate who provides support during emergencies, offers guidance and advocacy, and develops a personal relationship with the family and disabled person.

Career Technology Program, Baltimore, MD. Focused on providing at-risk students at the Baltimore Talent Development High School with in-demand technology skills that lead to industry certification, the program utilizes a visual curriculum and offers the opportunity to take an adult certification course and receive college credit.

Rx Partnership, Richmond, VA. The partnership solicits free medication from pharmaceutical companies and arranges their distribution directly to affiliate free clinics and federally qualified health centers throughout Virginia.

Housing Foreclosure Prevention, Cleveland, OH. This consumer-action led agency provides foreclosure-prevention counseling, while effectively preventing and addressing predatory lending through public education, individual loan resolution assistance, grassroots enforcement of Credit Reporting Agency (CRA) responsibilities, negotiation of CRA agreements with banks, creation of quality loan products in low-income neighborhoods and advocacy for increased regulation of predatory lenders.