Benevilla has been awarded the prestigious 2014 Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Encore Prize for Exceptional Organizations.
The award was presented at a ceremony at the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust building in Phoenix on November 13, 2014. Benevilla received a $5,000 Piper Trust Encore Prize and a $50,000 Encore Enhancement Prize.
The bi-annual prize recognizes nonprofits and public agencies that are pioneering new ways of involving adults, age 50+, in solving problems, meeting important social needs, and improving life for people and communities.
Benevilla, which employees 80 employees and 400 volunteers in the 50+ age group, was especially recognized for its encore efforts in Birt’s Bistro and Bookstore, Benevilla’s social enterprise. The program was developed with the assistance of Benevilla board member Dr. Carol Struck, herself an encore volunteer. Birt’s Bistro revenue has increased 83% since Struck joined Benevilla, and today the bookstore, restaurant, and entertainment programming are major revenue sources.
“We’re so fortunate to engage high-level professionals who have experience in business, fundraising, programming, and community advocacy,” says Michelle Dionisio, Benevilla’s president and CEO. “In Arizona, those over 60 make up 19% of our population. By 2050, that number is jump to nearly 27%! As the boomer population ages, these highly skilled workers are excited to bring their talents to organizations whose mission they believe in. It’s a wonderful opportunity for the entire community as they bring pure hearts and strong intentions to make their community, and the world, a better place.”