Verizon Foundation Wins Gold Award For Innovative Web Site

NEW YORK - The Verizon Foundation's Web site has won a Gold Award from the Council on Foundations' 2005 Wilmer Shields Rich Awards Program. The site, www.verizon.com/foundation, received top honors for excellence in communications in the category recognizing large corporate foundations.

The program recognizes effective communications efforts that increase public awareness of foundations and corporate-giving programs. The judges noted that Verizon's Web site, selected from among nearly 250 applicants, demonstrates the company's commitment to effective communications and serves as a model of excellence for other grant-makers. The award was presented at the Council on Foundations' 56th annual conference today. This is the second time Verizon has received this Gold Award.

The Council on Foundations is a nonprofit membership association consisting of more than 2,000 organizations that promote strategic communication as an essential part of successful philanthropy.

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, pioneered the use of the Internet when it became the first corporate "cyber-foundation" in 1995, requiring that grant applications be submitted online. The foundation also encourages nonprofits to utilize the Internet to enhance their operations and communications capabilities.

"This award is a prestigious honor for the company," said Patrick Gaston, president of the Verizon Foundation. "The Internet is a powerful tool that provides a wealth of information to charitable organizations. The award affirms that we're doing the right things to reach nonprofits striving to make a difference in their communities."

The Verizon Foundation is accessible round-the-clock seven days a week, in English and Spanish, via the Web site. The foundation's site includes guidelines, an eligibility quiz and the online grant application. The site also contains a series of best-in class technology success stories and tools that help nonprofits evaluate their technology needs.

In 2004, the Verizon Foundation awarded more than 26,000 grants totaling more than $70 million to charitable and nonprofit agencies that focus on improving literacy, computer and technology skills, and identifying domestic violence solutions. The foundation uses its resources in the United States and abroad to develop partnerships in technology and connect them with organizations serving the needs of diverse communities, people with disabilities, victims of domestic violence, and the economically and socially disadvantaged.

The foundation also supports Verizon Volunteers, an incentive program that last year encouraged Verizon employees to volunteer 528,000 hours in their communities and provided $37.6 million in combined contributions to charitable and nonprofit organizations. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.

Verizon Communications Inc.

With more than $71 billion in annual revenues, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon has a diverse work force of more than 210,000 in four business units: Domestic Telecom serves customers based in 29 states with wireline telecommunications services, including broadband and other services. Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 43.8 million voice and data customers across the United States. Information Services operates directory publishing businesses and provides electronic commerce services. International includes wireline and wireless operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.