Innovative Web Site Wins Award For Verizon Foundation

DALLAS -- Verizon Foundation's Web site has won 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, www.verizon.com/foundation, is the winner of a silver award for excellence in communications in the 2003 Wilmer Shields Rich Awards program.

The program recognizes effective communications efforts to increase public awareness of foundations and corporate-giving programs. The judges noted that the Web site, selected from among more than 290 applicants, demonstrates Verizon's commitment to effective communications and serves as a model of excellence for other grant-makers. The award will be presented April 29 during the Council on Foundations' 54th annual conference in Dallas.

Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, pioneered the use of the Internet when it became the first corporate "cyber-foundation" in 2000 and required that all grant applications be submitted online.

"The Internet enables all nonprofits to access Verizon Foundation and encourages them to use the Internet as a valuable tool to enhance their operations and communications capabilities," said Gale Cirigliano, director of Verizon Foundation, who will accept the award.

"The Web site is a virtual window for nonprofits and Verizon to interact with each other. It demonstrates the power of the Internet, and it enabled us to make more than 22,000 grants last year, a task that would have been impossible without the reach and efficiencies inherent in this technology. We've received tremendous positive feedback from nonprofit organizations across the country that have used the system, and we are gratified to be recognized by our peers at the Council on Foundations," she said.

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

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 other online resources supporting technology applications. Links to other Web portals address such issues as literacy, community technology development and workforce development.

Verizon Foundation is committed to helping people and communities make progress every day. The 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. The foundation also supports Verizon Volunteers, an incentive program that encourages Verizon employees to volunteer in their communities and provides matching gifts to nonprofit organizations. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) 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 135.8 million access line equivalents and 32.5 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. With more than $67 billion in annual revenues and 229,500 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 30 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.