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Queens Chronicle

Row New York a semi-finalist for big nod

LIC, Flushing Meadows group makes Nonprofit Excellence Award list

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Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 11:11 am, Thu Aug 29, 2013.

Row New York paddles a little closer to an official nod to excellence.

Teenagers in the program, which is based in Long Island City and Manhattan, but rows on Meadow Lake in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, are taught rowing skills with the intention to row at the collegiate level, combined with academic tutoring.

On Aug. 14 they were named one of 10 semi-finalists for the 2013 New York Community Trust-New York Magazine Nonprofit Excellence Awards.

“It’s a very big deal,” said Amanda Kraus, executive director and founder of Row New York. “It is something we’ve been following for a number of years.”

Kraus said the 10-year-old organization has used the guidelines for the awards as ways to improve. Nonprofits mostly focus on programming, Kraus said, but the awards focus on the behind-the-scenes parts of a nonprofit that allow it to expand and run smoothly.

The accolades are distributed based on eight key areas of nonprofit management: focus on results, governance structure, financial management, human resources, diversity and responsiveness, IT practices, communications, fundraising and resource development.

The other semi-finalists — none from Queens — tackle issues with housing, HIV/AIDS, homelessness and engaging youths.

The top three groups in the fall will be awarded $30,000, $20,000 and $10,000, respectively. They will also be recognized in New York Magazine and by WNYC, and will receive tuition scholarships for the Programs in Social Enterprise in Executive Education at Columbia Business School.

Before that the top six groups will be visited by judges.

During the last year Row New York doubled in size from a $1 million organization to a $2 million one by taking over a Manhattan site. With that the group has also added a boys’ group for the first time.

If the organization is recognized as a winner, the money will go straight to oars, boats and tangible supplies.

In the award’s first six years, 497 nonprofit organizations have applied.

Welcome to the discussion.