Two members of the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools are finalists for the Donner Canadian Foundation Awards for Excellence in the Delivery of Social Services. Trenton Christian School Society, which supports Trenton Christian School (TCS), and John Knox Christian School (JKCS) in Oakville are two of three finalists in the traditional education category for the awards. There are nine categories, reflecting the gamut of social service organizations.
This year more than 600 non-profit programs from across Canada applied for the Donner awards.
Ed Petrusma, principal of TCS, says it’s an honour to be selected as a finalist and an indication the Trenton society is doing excellent work.
Participating organizations are ranked on their performance in ten key areas, including management and governance, the use of staff and volunteers, innovation, program cost, and outcome monitoring.
The Trenton school has applied for the awards for the past four years and has been selected as a finalist for three of those.
Petrusma says the application process for the awards helps the school society self-evaluate. Learning about the best practices of other winning organizations can also enhance the school’s own practices, he says.
Lawrence Lutgendorff, development director of the Trenton school’s direct competition for the awards, JKCS, agrees that applying for the awards offers benefits on several fronts.
“It helps us to understand how we fit into the not-for-profit sector,” says Lutgendorff. “It gives us a good read on how well we are doing in terms of our organizational structure, the way we manage our volunteers, the way we deliver our program.”
The awards also afford an opportunity for recognition outside of the school’s typical sphere of contacts, says Lutgendorff.
JKCS won the traditional education category for the Donner awards in 2005. It has been able to use that accomplishment as a drawing card for prospective students.
This year the top organization in each of the nine categories will win $5,000 awards. The William H. Donner Award for Excellence of $20,000 will be presented to the highest performer overall.
Awards will be presented October 19 in Toronto.
“We’re excited about the nomination again and we’re looking forward to good competition with Trenton Christian School,” says Lutgendorff.