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Innovative Web Site Wins Award For Verizon Foundation

By Damon Marturion
New Business News Staff Writer

Cyber-Foundation Cited by Council on Foundations and Communications Network

NEW YORK - Verizon Foundation's ground-breaking Web site has won high honors from the Council on Foundations and the Communications Network, a nonprofit organization that promotes strategic communications as an essential part of successful philanthropy. The site,, is the winner of a Gold Award for excellence in communications in the 2001 Wilmer Shields Rich Awards program.

The awards program recognizes communications efforts to increase public awareness of foundations and corporate giving programs. Awards will be presented May 1 during the Council's 52nd annual conference in Philadelphia.

Last year, Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, reinvented itself by embracing the Internet and turning itself into a true a ``cyber-foundation.'' It became the first corporate foundation to require that all grant applications be submitted online, a move designed to encourage nonprofits to use the Internet and view it as a valuable tool to enhance their operations and communications capabilities.

``As the nation's first cyber-based foundation, we rely on the Internet as the backbone of our operations and seek to integrate technology into everything we do,'' said Suzanne DuBose, president of Verizon Foundation.

``We are continually pushing the cyber-edge with our Web site -- using technology to enhance relations with the nonprofit community through two-way communications, while prompting educational institutions and other nonprofit organizations to see the benefits of using the Internet. We've received tremendous positive feedback from nonprofit organizations across the country since we launched our foundation and Web site last summer and are gratified to be recognized by our peers in the Council on Foundations,'' she said.

DuBose said she views the award as an acknowledgement that corporate foundations can successfully break out of their traditional modes by embracing technology and adopting new and innovative approaches to help the nonprofit community.

Verizon Foundation's Web site provides an array of information on the foundation and recent grant recipients, allows organizations and individuals to communicate directly with foundation officials via interactive e-mail and enables them to apply online for grants, volunteers and computer and Internet training.

In addition, visitors to Verizon Foundation's bilingual (English and Spanish) Web site will find a series of ``best-in-class'' technology success stories and a comprehensive technology resource guide with links to more than 350 online resources supporting technology applications. Links to other Web portals address such issues as literacy and the digital divide.

Verizon Foundation's Web site also includes grant guidelines, an online grant eligibility quiz and a technology-needs-assessment section to help nonprofit organizations in applying for grants online.

Verizon Foundation supports a variety of programs that focus on improving basic and computer literacy, bridging the digital divide, enriching communities through technology and creating a skilled work force. The foundation promotes partnerships in technology with organizations serving the needs of diverse communities, people with disabilities, and the economically and socially disadvantaged across the United States and selected foreign countries. The foundation also supports Verizon Volunteers, an incentive program that encourages Verizon employees to volunteer in their communities and provides matching gifts for nonprofit organizations.

Verizon Communications is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 112 million access line equivalents and 27 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. A Fortune 10 company with approximately 260,000 employees and more than $65 billion in annual revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific.

For more information on Verizon, visit

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