Arlington, VA — The Council on Foundations today announced the recipients of its annual awards honoring outstanding leadership and contributions in philanthropy. Each year, the Council recognizes a number of individuals and organizations through the Distinguished Grantmaker Award, Henry Hampton Award for Excellence in Film and Digital Media, Wilmer Shields Rich Awards for Excellence in Communications, and The Newman’s Own Award.
Each honoree has made a significant difference in the field of philanthropy through effective grantmaking, sharing and spreading best practices to help people in need, and enhancing the public good. All awards will be presented during the Council on Foundations 2011 Annual Conference April 10–12 in Philadelphia.
Listed below are this year’s award recipients:
Distinguished Grantmaker Award
The Distinguished Grantmaker Award is the Council’s premiere award. First presented in 1984, it honors an individual who has made significant lifetime contributions to philanthropy. Kathryn E. Merchant, president and CEO for The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, is this year’s recipient.
Merchant joined the Foundation in 1997. Before that, she was the director of The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Neighborhood Preservation Initiative and a partner in the New Haven, Conn.-based consulting firm Holt, Wexler & Merchant. Among other leadership positions, Merchant spent six years on the board of the Council on Foundations and served as chair of its 2009 Annual Conference. She has received several awards, including the Ohio Philanthropy Award from the Ohio Grantmakers Forum, and was one of the “Top 50 Power and Influence” leaders selected in 2008 by The NonProfit Times. The award will be presented to Merchant at the Breakfast Plenary Session on Monday, April 11, beginning at 7:30 a.m. (http://www.gcfdn.org)
Henry Hampton Award for Excellence in Film and Digital Media
The Henry Hampton Award, named in honor of a man who broke traditional molds of documentary filmmaking and put excellence and innovation at the forefront of his work, honors the very best in foundation-funded media. This year's winners are Budrus, a film by Julia Bacha, Ronit Avni, and Rula Salameh; and Crime After Crime, a film by Yoav Potash. Both films will be screened during the Council on Foundations 44th Annual Film & Video Festival, where the filmmakers will be presented with their awards. Budrus will be shown at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 9, and will be followed by a discussion. It will be shown a second time at 2:30 p.m. on Monday, April 11. Crime After Crime will be shown on Sunday, April 10, at 8:30 p.m. and will be followed by a discussion.
Wilmer Shields Rich Awards for Excellence in Communications
The Wilmer Shields Rich Awards recognize grantmaking foundations and corporate giving programs for excellence in communication strategies and techniques that advance their grantmaking goals. The award began in 1984 and is named after Wilmer Shields Rich, the first executive director of the National Council on Community Foundations (now the Council on Foundations). She was an early champion of public accountability by charitable foundations, which she encouraged through publications and other forums.
This year, the Council is honoring 68 foundations with 98 awards (given in gold, silver, and bronze) in six different categories (annual or biennial reports, electronic publications, newsletters, public policy campaigns, special reports, and websites), five different asset levels, and three types of foundations (Community and Public Foundations; Corporate Foundations and Giving Programs; and Independent, Family, and Operating Foundations). Awardees were evaluated on overall outcomes and impact, message and design effectiveness, organization of content, and outreach/distribution strategies. The presentation of awards will take place on Monday, April 11, at 9:30 a.m.
Newman’s Own Award
The Newman’s Own Award was established in 2010 by the Council on Foundations and Newman’s Own Foundation to recognize individuals who have used their professional achievement for significant philanthropic service and/or leadership. This year’s recipient is Olympic speed skater Johann Koss, who, after winning four gold medals at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympic Games and breaking multiple world records, founded the global development and humanitarian organization, Right To Play, in 2000.
Using sport and play as tools to effect behaviour and social change, Right To Play trains local coaches and community leaders to implement programs that are designed to develop basic life skills, prevent diseases, teach conflict resolution and instill hope in children affected by war, poverty, and disease. Right To Play implements programs in 20 countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and South America. A pioneer in its field, Right To Play sets standards for quality sustainable programming, promotes best practices, and advances research on the efficacy of sport-based development efforts.
Koss will be presented with his award, along with a $50,000 donation from Newman’s Own Foundation, at the Conference’s Opening Plenary on Sunday, April 10, at 11:30 a.m.
Members of the media should request press credentials from the Council on Foundations’ Media Relations Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Council on Foundations (www.cof.org), formed in 1949, is a nonprofit membership association of grantmaking foundations and corporations. Members of the Council include more than 1,750 independent, operating, community, public, and company-sponsored foundations, and corporate giving programs in the United States and abroad. The Council’s mission is to provide the opportunity, leadership, and tools needed by philanthropic organizations to expand, enhance, and sustain their ability to advance the common good.
Council on Foundations