Exponent Award Winners Announced

September 29, 2006


September 29, 2006 – Washington, DC – The Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation has selected its first Exponent Award winners: a talented musician who created a safe haven for young people to learn and grow through artistic self-expression during the vulnerable after-school hours; a former civil servant who now leads an organization that provides free, full-day care to the District’s homeless infants, toddlers and preschoolers; the founder of a legal resource center that provides a voice for hundreds of poor Asian immigrants with limited English proficiency; a creative thinker whose organization solves problems facing low-income residents of Northern Virginia; and a leader who is spearheading the rehabilitation of some of Adams Morgan’s last affordable housing units.

The award celebrates visionary nonprofit leadership and includes a $100,000 cash award for the recipient’s organization. The 2006 Meyer Foundation Exponent Award winners are:

The Foundation will honor the 2006 Exponent Awards recipients at an award celebration with an invited audience of elected officials and business, philanthropic and nonprofit leaders, hosted by WAMU 88.5’s Kojo Nnamdi from 5:30 – 7:30 pm, Monday, November 13, at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre at 641 D Street in Northwest, DC.

Meyer selected the five award recipients from among 40 outstanding nominees. “Identifying five winners from a strong field was not an easy task, and has only increased our appreciation of the enormous skills, creativity, and passion of our nonprofit leaders,” says Julie Rogers, President of the Meyer Foundation. “They are truly the heart and soul of our community, providing critical services every day. With the award, we hope to celebrate their accomplishments, raise their visibility, extend their tenure, and increase their leadership skills.”

The Exponent Award is the centerpiece of “Rewarding Leadership,” a three-year initiative, which was designed to support and sustain the most capable nonprofit leaders. Meyer developed the initiative as a response to Daring to Lead 2006, a study of 2,000 executive directors in eight U.S. metropolitan areas conducted with the San Francisco-based CompassPoint Nonprofit Services in 2006. The study revealed that three out of four nonprofit executive directors of small and mid-sized organizations are likely to leave their jobs within the next five years due to relentless fundraising pressure, challenging relationships with boards of directors, low salaries, and lack of management support.

Members of the community-board members, funders, public officials, and other nonprofit leaders-were invited to submit nominations. The review process included interviews with the nominee and board leaders and an extensive review of financial statements, strategic plans, and other documents. The Foundation also considered each nominee’s track record as a manager and leader, including his or her success at increasing the quality and impact of the organization’s work; instituting sound financial management; working in partnership with his or her board; and taking on leadership roles in the broader community.

For bios and photos of the five winners, details about the Exponent Award and the Rewarding Leadership initiative, and more information about the Meyer Foundation and its work, visit the Meyer Foundation click here.

Established in 1944 by Eugene Meyer, owner and publisher of The Washington Post, and his wife Agnes E. Meyer, the Meyer Foundation is one of the Washington area’s oldest and most experienced private grant-making foundations. The Meyer Foundation works to develop Greater Washington as a community by supporting capable, community-based nonprofit organizations that foster the well-being of all people in the region. Meyer accomplishes its work by: finding visionary and talented nonprofit leaders; making early and strategic investments in nonprofit organizations; strengthening the management and leadership of nonprofits in the region; promoting a strong and influential nonprofit sector; building partnerships to foster the sector’s work; and serving as a resource to other donors who want to make effective charitable investments in the region.

# # #

Contact: Amy K. Harbison
Phone: 202.483.8294