News & Stories
CICOA Receives Meridian Foundation Arago Honors Award for Innovation
Indianapolis-based Meridian Foundation has awarded CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions an award of $10,000 to honor and support its innovative approaches to serving the community. The CICOA Venture Studio seeks to respond creatively to the challenges facing older adults, those of any age with a disability, their caregivers and the organizations that serve them.
CICOA is one of eight nonprofit organizations from 65 applicants to be recognized.
CICOA was selected for the award for creating a Venture Studio to build scalable revenue-generating enterprises for this 47-year-old nonprofit serving the aging population and people with disabilities in Central Indiana. CICOA employees bringing new ideas to the Venture Studio are incentivized and compensated when products reach the market.
“I feel tremendously encouraged by this award and it means the world to me,” said Jonathan Haag, Vice President of Strategy & Innovation at CICOA. “I look forward to the collective impact we will have here in Central Indiana and across the nation,” he said.
“Through the last year, we’ve seen how nonprofits have worked creatively to solve complex and constant community challenges,” said Donna Oklak, founder of Meridian Foundation. “The Arago Honors seeks to lift up the inspiring stories of these exemplary nonprofits to amplify their missions and the social impact of their work in central Indiana and the nation.”
The Meridian Foundation announced the Arago Honors in July to put a spotlight on nonprofit program innovation. In this inaugural year, Oklak is pleased to share the broad assortment of missions—food insecurity, health, aging assistance, early learning education, workforce development, new business acceleration, arts entrepreneurship, and racial equity—from this group of nonprofits and encourage the next round of innovative nonprofits to apply in 2022.
“The added benefit from this inaugural innovation group has been seeing first-hand the dual purposes in the projects and how these nonprofits are working on multiple fronts to enact community change,” said Oklak. “I am so encouraged and impressed at the work being done in our city and the many new collaborations and partnerships that have been formed.”
Along with CICOA, the 2021 Arago Honors recipients include the Society of St. Andrew, The Milk Bank, Early Learning, Spirit and Place, PATTERN, Launch Hope Foundation and GANGGANG.
About the Meridian Foundation
The Meridian Foundation exists to support and celebrate innovation. The Arago Honors is a new initiative to honor innovative nonprofits by accelerating positive change in the community. Explore the Meridian Foundation and learn more about the Arago Honors at www.indymeridianfoundation.org.
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