The Critical Impact Award celebrates local grantmaking, big and small. The award goes to the organization that demonstrates creativity, innovation and sustainability in their grant projects. This organization demonstrates bold vision and strategic initiative.
During the Philanthropy WV Annual Conference, Beckley Area Foundation was awarded the Critical Impact Award for their COVID-19 relief efforts and other innovative projects, including PPE distribution, Back to School Poster Contest, Household Hazardous Waste Collection, Mac’s Toy Fund, and more. BAF has awarded more than $75,000 in COVID-19 relief grants this year.
"All the work we do is possible because of generous donors who believe in making things happen. Every donation, no matter how large or small, lets us know our supporters believe in BAF's mission to advance our community especially during this time of uncertainty" said BAF Executive Director, Dena Cushman.
The Critical Impact Award is one of five awards given out each year at Philanthropy WV’s Annual Conference. The West Virginia Spirit of Philanthropy Awards are the state’s premiere awards recognizing philanthropic efforts of private individuals, collaborative projects in communities & regions, professional leaders of foundations and corporate giving programs.
Beckley Area Foundation (BAF) is currently celebrating its 35th year since its inception in 1985. What started as a gift of $1.1 million from the Dr. Thomas Walker Memorial Health Foundation has grown to more than $46 million in over 490 different endowed funds managed by their three trustee banks. During that time, BAF has distributed over $17 million to nonprofit organizations, churches and schools located in Raleigh County or surrounding areas; making BAF one of West Virginia's largest community foundations.
The growth of BAF is a testament to the generosity of the community. Individuals or organizations who make a gift to BAF share a similar vision of "advancing our community." These gifts will sometimes be large (ex: a bequest or new fund) or small (ex: donating $5 to a fund), but they will leave the foundation as a significant resource to an area of need. BAF has received an estimated 24,000 gifts from the community since 1985, and these gifts have been used in a variety of ways, such as scholarships to help pay tuition, grants specific to a field of interest such as public recreation or the arts, or designated for a particular nonprofit organization. These grants can vary in size, but they all have a massive impact on the community.
The new logo for BAF represents precisely that; the incoming and outgoing resources within the foundation. Some gifts may come in as a small line, but will grow over time to leave the foundation as a much more substantial line. BAF would not exist (or literally, be visible) without the incoming and outgoing resources from the community.
Dena Cushman, Executive Director of BAF, says "All the work we do is possible because of generous donors who believe in making things happen. Every donation, no matter how large or small, lets us know our supporters believe in BAF's mission to advance our community."