Capacity Building for Nonprofits

Best Practice Awards

The best practice award program, sponsored by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, honors Rhode Island nonprofit organizations doing outstanding work in the sector.

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of RI logo

We are pleased to recognize the 2019 Best Practice Award recipients and their outstanding accomplishments in the five key areas below.


Community Provider Network of Rhode Island

The Advocacy Award was presented to the Community Provider Network of Rhode Island (CPNRI) in Warwick for its work leading the Stable Workforce, Stable Lives public education campaign, which led to the largest state budget commitment to support direct care providers in over a decade.

CPNRI engaged new staff and facilitated a strategic planning process to identify increasing funding for direct service professionals as its members’ top advocacy priority in 2019. The Stable Workforce, Stable Lives campaign included community forums; developing and releasing six advocacy videos, producing a policy brief outlining relevant data and priorities, and publishing an advocacy guide to prepare new leaders for meetings with policymakers.

The organization’s efforts led to over 200 direct contacts with policymakers by individuals within CPNRI’s network in 2019, over 1,000 new in-person community members engagements and over 60,000 social media views leading to 4,267 digital engagements. CPNRI’s advocacy and educational campaign focused on the Governor’s office and the General Assembly, resulting in a $9.6 million increase in funding for community supports in the state’s fiscal 2020 budget.

Board and Staff Leadership Award

The Providence Village

The Providence Village of Rhode Island received the Board and Staff Leadership Award for the board’s role in strengthening the organization and establishing an effective partnership with board and staff to achieve organizational goals, including its work addressing the growth in demand for its services. The organization, which provides volunteer-based services to senior citizens, serves the East Side and downtown in Providence and the Woodlawn and Oak Hill sections of Pawtucket.

The organization has responded to more than 1,100 service requests for transportation, home maintenance, contractor assistance, tech support, errands and health support among other services this year. To address the growing volume of service calls, the board of directors created volunteer service coordinator positions to respond to requests and invested in acquiring a database system that streamlines linking clients with volunteers.


Rhode Island for Community & Justice

The Collaboration Award was presented to Rhode Island for Community and Justice in Providence for its work connecting the state Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF), law enforcement and community partners in order to support local juvenile hearing boards.

As part of this collaboration, DCYF revised its contracts with regional Family Care Community Partnership entities to allow them to be reimbursed when their mental health intake specialists participate in board hearings and refer juveniles for care. As a result, mental health specialists are now able to attend board hearings in Central Falls, East Providence, Pawtucket and Providence.


House of Hope

House of Hope Community Development Corporation in Warwick received the Innovation Award for its Shower to Empower initiative. The goal is to engage people experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity by offering showers, haircuts, medical care and bridges to case management among other services in order to bring them from homelessness to housed.

The Shower to Empower mobile navigation unit is a 20-foot-long trailer with two private shower stalls, a medical examination room and an open space to provide haircuts. To date, the initiative has provided 2,292 showers, 849 haircuts and 519 medical navigation services. Clients do not need an appointment.

Volunteer Engagement


HopeHealth in Providence received the Volunteer Engagement Award for its work recruiting, training and managing 274 hospice volunteers.

A 1982 Medicare law requires that volunteer hours equal at least five percent of a hospice provider's total patient care hours. HopeHealth does much more: their volunteers provided 19,665 hours of service last year to 7,200 hospice and palliative care patients in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts.