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Children’s Center Receives 2011 Dirigo Award for Nonprofit Excellence

The Children’s Center is the 2011 Dirigo Award Winner for Nonprofit Excellence in the Medium Organization Division. Launched in 2007, the Dirigo Award for Nonprofit Excellence in Maine is presented annually by the Maine Association of Nonprofits (MANP) to the three Maine nonprofit organizations that have achieved significant results by utilizing ingenuity combined with sound management practices.

This year the Dirigo Awards for Nonprofit Excellence were focused on three key components of MANP’s mission, “Leadership, Voice, and Organizational Effectiveness.” MANP believes all three facets not only contribute to a healthy and vibrant organization but are also critical for nonprofits to achieve high mission impact. In his presentation speech, Scott Schnapp, Executive Director of Maine Association of Nonprofits, noted why the Children’s Center was chosen to receive this recognition.

“For 45 years, the Children’s Center has been providing services to families of children with special needs, adapting as the community’s needs have shifted, but always in alignment with its mission: to meet the needs of children of all abilities by offering quality programs that encourage individual growth, provide support for their families and promote the inclusion of ALL children in the community.”

Schnapp pointed to three key components embodied by the Center:

Leadership: “Three years ago, the Children’s Center adopted inclusion as its service model, establishing this expectation for the children attending the Center, their families, and the employees. They embrace this concept in their management, and they model this value in the community, in turn becoming a model for other providers.”

Voice:The leadership team of the agency advocates for children in their work with several statewide advisory organizations, working with a deliberate focus on advocacy for all children with special needs.”

Organizational Effectiveness: “With its model of inclusion, the Children’s Center works to create an environment where everyone is supported to achieve their greatest impact on the mission. This model is not just an ideal. It is the basic principle they use in their approach to everything they do.”

The Center is honored by this recognition.

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