The best in nonprofit communications was showcased today at the PR News Nonprofit PR Awards Luncheon, held at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. Despite budgets and donations still adversely affected by the economy, this year’s winners and honorable mentions proved that nonprofits haven’t missed a beat when it comes to campaign creativity and innovation.
Over 100 nonprofit communicators were on hand to see Kaiser Permanente take the Team of the Year award for its comprehensive efforts to deploy a messaging strategy that would position KP as a model for future healthcare delivery. Dr. Marisa Weiss, founder of Breastcancer.org, took the Communicator of the Year award for her tireless cancer prevention outreach—despite being diagnosed with breast cancer herself in 2010.
For the best nonprofit partnership of the year, Discovery Education and the Siemens Foundation took the award for their joint effort to boost student achievement in science, technology, engineering and mathmatics (STEM). The initiative encouraged students to develop solutions to environmental problems in their communities, and provided teachers with tools to improve STEM curriculum.
In an illuminating keynote speech, Kate Carr, managing director andâ€¨ chief development officer of nonprofit Malaria No More, told the story of how her organization used social media—particularly Twitter—and the celebrity sway of actor Ashton Kutcher to raise more than $600,000 to go towards malaria nets for communities in Senegal.
"The nonprofit sector is in an ideal position to be a first-mover, to try new and exciting methods of communications and see how they can help achieve great things,” said Carr. “So if you’re innovative and strategic—and you’re ready to act quickly and ride the wave—you might just be in for one hell of a ride.”