Sax honors local, “sustainable” nonprofit with 1st annual “Founder’s Award” ceremony
Clifton, N.J.-based accounting firm Sax announced that its first annual Founder’s Award, which looks to highlight a local New Jersey nonprofit with a $15,000 gift for being an example of sustainability, was awarded to Imagine: A Center for Coping with Loss, an organization based in Mountainside, N.J. The award was gifted at the Founder’s Award ceremony on January 25 at The Chart House in Weehawken.
Approximately 190 nonprofit organizations submitted essays and videos explaining how they’re driving sustainability or looking to build a sustainable system in the future. A panel of four independent judges reviewed all submissions before deciding on the winner. The Founder’s Award was created by Sax partner Todd Polyniak to honor the principles of Sax’s founders by supporting nonprofit organizations success.
“When I first saw the application for Sax’s Founder’s Award, I was hopeful because sustainability is something we’ve been focused on since day one of our founding,” said Mary Robinson, Imagine founder and executive director who penned the nonprofit’s winning essay, per a statement. “However, when I heard there were over 180 applicants I knew it would be tough to stand out among so many other worthy not-for-profit organizations. When we heard the news from Stu [Arnold, Imagine’s chairman] that we were selected we were thrilled! It was so incredibly validating of our focus and philosophy, and we know in our hearts our mission is one worth sustaining”.
The Imagine Center provides free, year-round support for families and children dealing with loss or life-altering physical illnesses.
“We’ve come a very long way, and we serve hundreds of families now with our support services for children who are grieving and who need a place to feel comfortable, safe and warm,” said Stuart Arnold, Imagine’s board chair upon receiving the award, per a release. “[It’s] a place where they can relate to people who are going through a similar situation. Thank you for helping us, because the work we are doing changes the trajectory of young people’s lives.”
“I would love to see all our competition imitate this event,” stated Todd Polyniak, partner at Sax. “If I can spur people into copying us, and donating money to not-for-profits, great – because this event was to help people. The for-profit world needs to support the not-for-profit world because their positive impact benefits us all.”
Two runner-ups were also announced at the event: Partners for Women and Justice, which provides free legal assistance to victims of domestic violence, received second place. Spectrum360, which provides educational and therapeutic programs for individuals affected with autism, received third place.
Fortune and its research partner Great Place to Work recently listed their 2018 Best Workplaces for Giving Back rankings, which included a number of accounting firms and related businesses.
The rankings utilized feedback from more than 386,278 employees at “Great Place to Work–certified” organizations. An anonymous survey was distributed, complete with questions on how proud the staff is of their community efforts, if they feel they make a difference, and whether they believe their work has “special meaning.”
Great Place to Work also considered factors such as paid time off for volunteering, community outreach and corporate donations when compiling the rankings.