The Council on Foundations has announced Noah Atencio, vice president of community impact at the Community First Foundation in Arvada, Colorado, as the winner of 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 was recognized for his leadership in the creation and promotion of the Innovators Society, which funds promising but unproven approaches to mental wellness; the society's work has led to measurable growth for five mental wellness innovations in the Denver area, as well as the creation of a 512-member network committed to accelerating new solutions. Recognizing that prevention and early intervention strategies were underfunded and outcome measurement difficult, Atencio saw opportunities to curate innovative and impactful work among existing nonprofits in the area.
The award includes a $10,000 prize, and Atencio will be honored at a ceremony hosted by the Carnegie Corporation of New York on October 10, which 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).
"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," said 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."