Ray Nell Jones, founder and CEO of Pittsburgh-based The Allignment Chapter, never wants a parent or caregiver to have to choose between diapering their child or being able to keep a clean home.

It’s the firm belief that all families deserve to have tools to stay aligned with their finances in a stress-free home that led her to found the nonprofit organization, which saw an increase from 25 to 189 calls per day for emergency requests for assistance during the pandemic.

Jones’ organization is one of many in the region working to meet community needs and one of three honored in 2021 by the Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership [GPNP] Nonprofit Excellence Awards.

Attendees, speakers and sponsors mingle in the David L. Lawrence Convention Center during the 2017 GPNP Summit. (Photo courtesy of Emmai Alaquiva)

There are 8,500 nonprofits located in the 11-county region of Southwestern Pennsylvania. With 15% of the state workforce employed by nonprofit organizations, these organizations heavily impact the lives of Pittsburgh-area residents —  from workforce development to community revitalization to addressing homelessness and supporting families in need.

While nonprofits help individuals and families face their challenges, these organizations can have their own obstacles to navigate. GPNP unifies the voices of nonprofits and helps them work together to build power and support. From its inception in 2005, GPNP — the front door to The Forbes Funds — has helped nonprofits network, create solutions for mutual benefit through advocacy, and recognize their transformative impact throughout the region.

The highlight of the year for GPNP members is the biennial summit, which will be held this year on Nov. 10 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. On the evening before the summit, The Forbes Funds will be hosting a special gala to be attended by a wide variety of nonprofits and donors from the philanthropic community. 

At this year’s inaugural gala, due to the generosity of local attorney John P Gismondi and The Gismondi Family Fund, GPNP will present the inaugural Gismondi Excellence Awards for innovation, inspiration, advocacy, education and health. Each of the five honorees will receive a monetary award. Five additional GPNP awards will be presented to leaders and partners who are transforming the sector while demonstrating a commitment to social justice, equity and impact.

“This is an event about celebration and inspiration,” Gismondi said. “We will celebrate the excellent work of Pittsburgh nonprofits and, at the same time, we hope to inspire potential donors to help these organizations sustain their missions.”


“Our nonprofits do great work, and they deserve to be publicly recognized, and they also deserve the opportunity to raise their visibility with folks who have the capacity to help them continue that work.”

The awards event will be part of the GPNP Summit, which will be replete with power-packed workshops and speakers. The summit is themed “Transformative Leadership, Partnership, and Co-creation.” 

“Change moves at the speed of trust, and the challenges before us require a transformational type of leadership…” said Fred Brown, president & CEO of The Forbes Funds. “In that regard, our GPNP Summit serves as the apex and tip of the spear for this regenerative activity.”

Tickets for this year’s summit are still available, register here.

A previous version of this article included information on submitting nominations for the awards. Nominations have closed and winners will be announced at the GPNP summit.

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