Community Matters has been named the city’s 2018 “Outstanding Philanthropic Organization” as part of this year’s National Philanthropy Day Awards.

The honor was presented by the Charlotte chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) at a November 27 luncheon “to honor the outstanding philanthropists making an impact in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community and to inspire everyday philanthropy.” More than 600 of Charlotte’s top business leaders, foundations, charities and individuals attended the luncheon.

Community Matters was nominated by Charlotte Rescue Mission, its current charity partner, with endorsements from other charities with which it has worked. Charlotte Rescue Mission is a provider of residential recovery programs for people struggling with addiction and poverty.

In late 2017, the two organizations announced a unique new nonprofit partnership – the Community Matters Café. This full-service restaurant and coffee shop on the Charlotte Rescue Mission campus will employ graduates of its addiction-recovery program and teach them the life skills they need to function in society.  Community Matters: Insurance Partners of Charlotte has pledged $1 million in capital funding for the new café, which is scheduled to open in early 2019.

“All of us with Community Matters are thrilled and humbled by this award,” said Community Matters Board Co-Chair John Tighe. “It’s particularly rewarding because it recognizes our entire local insurance industry – and shows what can be done when companies and individuals who share a common vision come together and leverage resources and expertise to make that vision a reality. That’s what Community Matters is all about. Through philanthropy, we all have the opportunity to directly impact Charlotte’s quality of life.”

National Philanthropy Day is celebrated by more than 125 communities and 50,000 people around the world. Locally, the AFP Charlotte chapter has hosted the awards luncheon for nearly 30 years.

Community Matters was formed in Charlotte in 2011 and currently includes more than 80 insurance companies, corporate risk management offices, and industry organizations. The nonprofit organization has contributed more than $1.3 million and 55,000 volunteer hours to its charity partners.

In addition to Charlotte Rescue Mission, Community Matters’ charity partners have included Safe Alliance, an organization supporting and advocating for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault; Crisis Assistance Ministry, an agency providing assistance and advocacy for families in financial crisis; and Charlotte Family Housing, a shelter-to-housing program for working, homeless families.