Press Release: Weston Award for Nonprofits Announces 2021 Award Application Process

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The Joel and Claudette Weston Award has honored and recognized leadership and excellence in nonprofit management at local organizations for more than 30 years.  Joel A. Weston, Jr. was a senior executive at the Hanes Companies and an active member of the Winston-Salem community.   He served as president of the United Way of Forsyth County Board from 1980-1982.   Joel believed strongly that nonprofit organizations should be well run and efficient and he introduced many innovative programs designed to strengthen charitable organizations and the community.   He passed away unexpectedly in 1984.  The Weston Award Endowment was founded in 1985 at The Winston-Salem Foundation by family and friends of Joel A. Weston as a way to honor his vision and dedication to the community.   In 1985 the Weston Award for Nonprofit Excellence was established to recognize local human service agencies that are performing at peak efficiency.  Today, Joel’s widow, Claudette Weston, continues the family tradition of community involvement and philanthropy through her efforts on numerous boards and organizations and as a member of the Weston Award Committee. The award is overseen by a volunteer committee and given out every other year.  The award was last given in 2019 to Samaritan Ministries.  Graham Pervier served as the committee’s Chair for a number of years. He was a friend of Joel’s and a guiding hand for the Weston Committee. In memory of Graham and his dedication to the award and the community, a separate honor will be given to a deserving applicant.

What is The Weston Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management?

Every other year any nonprofit agency in Forsyth County can apply to win the Weston Award for Nonprofit Excellence.  An agency that wins the award must wait ten five years to apply again. The application is a rigorous evaluation of all aspects of nonprofit management: financial and personnel management, program development and effectiveness, long range planning, marketing, fund-raising, board development, etc.

All applications are reviewed by a 16 member the Weston Award committee.  In addition, the committee hears an oral presentation by representatives of each agency and their board.   The winner is presented with the prestigious and much coveted bi-annual award and a grant of $50,000. 

What does the Weston Award Accomplish?

The Weston Award recognizes, affirms, encourages and financially supports the best- run charitable organization in Forsyth County as selected every other year by the Weston Award Committee.  The Award is a comprehensive evaluation of all aspects of nonprofit management.   In filling out the award application, nonprofit organizations can assess and receive feedback on how their agency measures up against best practices in human service agency management.  The award promotes efficiency, competence, fiscal integrity, innovation and program effectiveness.  Nonprofit management excellence in turn equates to a community that can better help its most vulnerable citizens, maximize philanthropy and enhance quality of life for all.

Weston Award Past Winners

1985Hospice of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County2001Cancer Services
1986Winston Salem Forsyth County Metropolitan YMCA2002Bethesda Center for the Homeless
1987Senior Services, Inc.2003Experiment in Self Reliance
1988Crisis Control2004Prodigals Community
1989Food Bank of NW North Carolina2005Hospice & Palliative Care Center
1991Forsyth Court Volunteers2006The Fellowship Home of WS
1992Winston Salem Enrichment Center2007Senior Services
1993Contact: Winston-Salem2008The Shepherd’s Center of Greater WS
1994Group Homes of Forsyth County2009Forsyth Jail and Prison Ministries
1995YMCA of Greater Winston-Salem2010Goodwill Industries of NW NC
1996American Red Cross NWNC Chapter2011Cancer Services, Inc.
1997Habitat for Humanity, Inc.2012The Centers for Exceptional Children
1998YWCA2013Crisis Control Ministry, Inc.
1999Second Harvest Food Bank of NWNC2015Financial Pathways of the Piedmont
2000Senior Services2017Goodwill Industries of NWNC
  2019Samaritan Ministries. Inc.

Joel Weston, a great friend and colleague, spoke to me often and passionately about the need to institute processes to facilitate nonprofits delivering their services in the most efficient manner.   The Weston Award is a proven and effective way to recognize and promote excellence in nonprofit management and a lasting tribute to Joel’s ideals.”

Richard P. Budd

Chairman emeritus, 

Budd Services

“We applied for the Weston Award years before we won and it really helped identify what we needed to work on as an agency.  Winning the award was like Rocky on the steps in Philadelphia!”

Tara O’Brien

CEO Cancer Services

“Over the past 25 years the quality of nonprofit management in Forsyth County has been exceptional and the bar is very high for the agency that wins the Weston award. The agencies work hard to prepare their applications and all the members of the committee work hard to evaluate those applications.”

Graham Pervier

Retired Forsyth County Manager

Chair of the Weston Award Committee

“As a result of the award process, I became a better leader and it had a ripple effect throughout the organization. Everyone understood what they needed to do and why they needed to do it in the performance of their jobs.

Thom Elmore

Executive Director, ARCA

 “The Joel Weston Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management had a tremendous impact on me as a leader and on the agency that I represented.  I can’t say enough about the good that it has accomplished.”

Richard Gottlieb

President emeritus, Senior Services