The Council on Foundations announced today that Noah Atencio, Vice President of Community Impact for the Community First Foundation in Arvada, Colorado, will receive the 2017 Robert W. Scrivner Award for Creative Grantmaking.
Established in honor of the late Robert Winston Scrivner, the award honors an innovative grantmaker who, with a combination of vision, principle, and personal commitment, makes a critical difference in a creative way. Atencio, who was selected by a review committee from a highly competitive field of entries, will be presented with his award in New York City on Tuesday October 10, at a special luncheon in his honor, hosted by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. As part of the award, he will receive a $10,000 prize.
“It’s so important that philanthropists are continually innovating, so that we are not just responsive, but we’re anticipating the rapidly evolving circumstances around us,” stated Vikki Spruill, President and CEO of the Council on Foundations. “That’s why the Scrivner Award is so important. It helps us not just recognize and celebrate excellence in creative problem solving, it serves as a model that inspires more of the same.”
Atencio leads Community First Foundation’s grantmaking, which includes addressing the complex and fragmented mental health field in the Denver region. Recognizing that prevention and early intervention strategies were underfunded and outcome measurement difficult, Atencio saw there were opportunities to curate innovative and impactful work among existing nonprofits in the region. His nomination was based on his leadership in the creation and promotion of The Innovators Society, which funds promising, but not yet proven, approaches to mental wellness. Atencio’s efforts have led to measurable growth of five mental wellness innovations in the Denver area, and the creation of a 512-member network committed to accelerating new solutions for mental wellness.
“As a grantmaker and as a leader, Noah exemplifies the values and spirit of Robert Scrivner,” said Marla J. Williams, president and CEO of the Community First Foundation. “His launch and development of The Innovators Society demonstrates a courageous departure from traditional grantmaking. His creative approach will continue to have a deep impact on mental health and wellness in the Denver area.”
The October luncheon will include a discussion on creative grantmaking featuring past Scrivner winners Geri Mannion (2009 recipient, Carnegie Corporation of New York), Taryn Higashi (2009 recipient, Unbound Philanthropy); Theophilus Gregory (2012 recipient, El Pomar Foundation) and Shelley Trott (2014 recipient, Kenneth Rainin Foundation).
About the Council on Foundations
An active philanthropic network, the Council on Foundations (www.cof.org), founded in 1949, is a nonprofit leadership association of grantmaking foundations and corporations. It provides the opportunity, leadership, and tools needed by philanthropic organizations to expand, enhance and sustain their ability to advance the common good. With members from all foundation types and sizes, the Council empowers professionals in philanthropy to meet today’s toughest challenges and advances a culture of charitable giving in the U.S. and globally.
About Community First Foundation
Since 1975, Community First Foundation has been helping generous donors and innovative nonprofits come together to improve the quality of life and create positive change in Jefferson County, the Denver metropolitan area and beyond. It serves as a connector, partner, collaborator and resource to fuel the power of community for the greater good. The Foundation is proud to use its energy, leadership and trusted stewardship of financial resources to energize giving across Colorado, strengthen nonprofits, support donors and find new ways to address community needs. For more information, visit CommunityFirstFoundation.org.