Printer Friendly Format Share

PR- 095-13
March 14, 2013


New York City Innovative Nonprofit Awards Will Recognize Data-Driven Achievements

Top Two Finishers to Receive Cash Prizes; Promising Ideas to be Developed and Considered for Technical Assistance, Evaluation and Future Support

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor Linda I. Gibbs, and Center for Economic Opportunity Executive Director Kristin Morse today launched the First Annual NYC Innovative Nonprofit Awards, a competition to recognize and support pioneering local nonprofit programs that improve the lives of low income New Yorkers through data collection and rigorous evaluation. Awards will recognize programs that innovate in new services, funding strategies or use of research and evaluation. Ideas will be judged by three primary criteria: Innovation and Creativity, Demonstrated Effectiveness and Research Contribution. First and second place winners will be selected based on existing performance data measuring a positive impact in identifying, developing and evaluating new strategies to reduce poverty in local communities. Additional competitors will be considered for technical assistance and evaluation by the Center for Economic Opportunity to improve outcomes and expand services throughout the city. Prizes will be awarded based on the quality of outcomes for program participants. Innovation Awards are paid for by funding received from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, which in 2012 awarded the Center for Economic Opportunity its ‘Innovations in American Government’ Award. Winners will be notified in April, and honored with a ceremony held at Gracie Mansion later this spring.

“Since 2006, CEO has emerged as both a local and national leader in fighting poverty, demanding that new programs achieve results and discontinuing those that do not.” said Mayor Bloomberg. “NYC Innovative Nonprofit Awards will recognize community partners who have used data analysis to achieve excellence, while also encouraging other nonprofits to innovate and compete.”

“The competition for NYC Innovative Nonprofit Awards will help ensure that the City encourages the flow of new ideas as we combat our most difficult social challenges,” said Deputy Mayor Gibbs. “The creativity and accomplishment of CEO has been made possible largely through nonprofit partnerships, and this competition recognizes those who have gone above and beyond in helping New Yorkers in need while also seeking out the most promising new strategies.”

“CEO programs have helped more than 400,000 people since 2006, using data and evaluation to answer one question: What works in the fight against the cycle of poverty?” said CEO Executive Director Morse. “NYC Innovative Nonprofit Awards will recognize organizations holding their own work to the same standard, helping communities in innovative ways while also adding valuable research to the field of poverty studies.”

“Harvard Kennedy School honored CEO as an ‘Innovations in American Government’ Award winner, recognizing its creative efforts to combat urban poverty through a careful analysis of programs and the scaling of what works," said David Ellwood, Dean of Harvard Kennedy School. “We are particularly pleased that CEO will further extend its reach through the NYC Innovative Nonprofit Awards. As CEO illustrates, government can and must be a source of genuine innovation for the public good.”

In emphasizing data analysis and proven success, NYC Innovative Nonprofit Awards will reflect the rigorous evaluation standards of CEO in identifying best practices to fight poverty in New York City. Proposals should address focus areas of:

  • Asset Development;
  • Workforce Development;
  • Education and Employment for Disconnected Youth;
  • Criminal Justice programming; or
  • Health initiatives for at-risk populations.

Winning programs will have strong potential for replication by other organizations, or provide important lessons and best practices to the field. These programs should serve as instructive models and inspire change at other nonprofits or government agencies. A total of $30,000 will be awarded to expand successful programs, improve data infrastructure and evaluation analytics, foster new collaborations, or enhance promotional and enrollment materials. A first place winner will receive an award of $20,000 and the second place winner will be awarded $10,000. Other promising ideas will be recognized and promising ideas will be considered for technical assistance, evaluation, and potential future City funding.

All nonprofit organizations operating in New York City are eligible to apply, and a review committee will evaluate applications comprising academics, researchers, organization heads and thought leaders in the antipoverty field. Applications should be submitted by e-mail to or by visiting, and must be submitted no later than April 12, 2013.  , 2013.  Award winners will be announced in April, and honored with a ceremony at Gracie Mansion attended by policymakers, program providers and researchers. Additional eligibility requirements can be found at

The NYC Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) fights the cycle of poverty in New York City through innovative programs that build human capital and improve financial security. Launched by Mayor Bloomberg in 2006, CEO works with both City agencies and the federal government to implement successful anti-poverty initiatives in New York and partner cities across the United States. Located in the Office of the Mayor, among CEO’s greatest successes have been the creation of the Office of Financial Empowerment, SaveUSA, CUNY ASAP, Jobs-Plus, and a more accurate statistical measure of poverty.  Several CEO initiatives have been incorporated into the Young Men’s Initiative, a comprehensive and expansive program designed to address disparities between young African-American and Latino men and their peers. CEO oversees rigorous evaluations of each program to determine their effectiveness in reducing poverty, encouraging savings, and empowering low income workers to advance in their careers. Follow CEO on Twitter at @NYCOpportunity, or visit the NYC Opportunity page on Facebook.


Marc LaVorgna / Samantha Levine   (212) 788-2958

Corey Chambliss (CEO)   (212) 788-0030


TwitterTwitter   TwitterYouTube   FlickrFlickr
More Resources