As a nonprofit expert and long-time sector developer in Hungary, TechSoup Europe partner NGO, NIOK Foundation has created its NGO Awards to showcase and reward initiatives, achievements and cooperative partnerships which improve opportunities for deprived or disadvantaged groups, which raise awareness about current pressing social issues, and which present solutions to the problems at hand. Last month, NIOK awarded seven non-profits which are working for public good.
“We (re)started this initiative last year to give some positive feedback to nonprofit organizations, since the recurring attacks against civil society organizations and the frequently hostile environment in which Hungarian nonprofits work nowadays, is very exhausting and discouraging.”
–Andrea Szegedi, NIOK program manager
Award judges come from both business and the nonprofit sectors, provide awards in 7 categories (greatest impact, best communications campaign, best fundraising campaign, best cooperative effort, best start-up, etc.). This year, they’ve also introduced an online voting system for a People’s Choice Award.
Candidates for these awards have a great variety of missions – from a nation-wide mathematics competition to a biker’s club which helps homeless people, to a self-help community for mothers. The NGO Awards are not only important because they recognize the achievements of civil society, they also bring the community (society) closer to the work of NGOs, giving people the chance to better understand what these organizations do. This is especially valuable for these organizations in today’s environment in order to increase the number of their supporters and donors, and to strengthen their social base.
This year NIOK has received 133 nominations in 7 categories, out of which the jury shortlisted 24 projects. The 7+1 awardees of the 2017 Hungarian NGO Awards are:
- Best advocacy project – Motiváció Education Association – Fights against corruption in the distribution of grants in the field of ‘out of curriculum’ education for deprived children.
- Greatest impact – Suhanj! Foundation – SUHANJ! Fitness – An integrated gym where people with and without disabilities can work out together.
- Most promising startup – Anyahajó Association – Maternal Center and Family Harbour at József Attila housing estate.
- Best Fundraising Campaign – Ferencvárosi Community Foundation – “Swimathon 2016″ (a swimming event combined with an online peer-to-peer fundraising campaign).
- Best Communication Campaign – Társaság a Szabadságjogokért (Hungarian Civil Liberties Union) “Missing Memories” – Legal help for families in which their children have been taken out of the home by social services due to poverty.
- Best Cooperation or Partnership – Polgár Foundation – “Give Eyes a chance!” – An NGO-state-business partnership which provides glasses to low-income people.
- Best civil action – Budapest Bike Maffia – “Crisis” – A well-coordinated civil response to the extreme winter conditions in Budapest involving dozens of volunteers collecting and distributing canned food, blankets and warm clothes for homeless and needy people.
People’s Choice – Jobb veled a világ (The World is Better with You) Foundation – “Happiness Hour” – A program for youth building on positive psychology – 50 000 students and 3 000 teachers have participated in the program so far.