Council Award Programs

Now accepting nominations for the:
Distinguished Service Award
Robert Scrivner Award for Creative Grantmaking
Wilmer Shields Rich Award

 

Every day, Council members stand at the forefront of innovation, exploring creative ways to advance the common good and finding solutions for complex issues. The Council's award program was established to recognize excellence in philanthropy and to honor exemplary leaders for their dedication to uplift the sector.

The Council will continue this legacy in 2017 with the presentation of the Distinguished Service Award, the Robert Scrivner Award for Creative Grantmaking, and the Wilmer Shields Rich Award for Excellence in Communications.

Participate in the process by nominating a leader whose work exemplify excellence.

Nomination Process

The Council's nomination application offers you an opportunity to share in your own words how a candidate embodies the essence of the award.

All nominations must be received by 10 p.m. ET January 4, 2017.


Distinguished Service Award

The Distinguished Service Award, philanthropy’s highest honor, celebrates a visionary leader who inspires and embodies the qualities that define excellence in philanthropy, including commitment, courage, entrepreneurship, and impact.

Submit nominations for Distinguished Service award

Criteria

Judges will evaluate entries based on the following criteria:

  • Thought Leadership: Has the nominee demonstrated the ability to take risks, provide unique perspectives, and use innovative strategies to solving complex issues? Is the nominee seen as a trusted expert? Have the accomplishments of the nominee demonstrated leadership over the course of her/his career?
  • Peer Leadership: Has the nominee demonstrated the ability and willingness to work with other colleagues and institutions? Is the nominee committed to mobilizing and inspiring new and seasoned philanthropic leaders?
  • Excellence in Philanthropy: Has the nominee profoundly influenced and enhanced the sector with their innovative ideas and strategies? Has the nominee been a champion for the field and effectively promoted philanthropy to external audiences?
  • Integrity: Has the nominee demonstrated strong stewardship? Is the nominee’s work ethical and consistent and reflect the intrinsic values of the sector?
  • Impact: Have the nominee's accomplishments mobilized and unified people, institutions, or causes in ways that have demonstrably improved people’s lives and raised the capacity of others to advance the common good?

Robert Scrivner Award for Creative Grantmaking

The Scrivner Award, established in honor of the late Robert Winston Scrivner, honors an innovative grantmaker who, with a combination of vision, principle, and personal commitment, is making a critical difference in a creative way. The award recognizes an individual who demonstrates collaboration, risk, and innovation in the sector.

Submit nominations for Scrivner Award

Criteria

Judges will evaluate entries based on the following criteria:

  • Creativity: Does the highlighted achievement of the nominee represent a creative departure from past grantmaking practices? Did the nominee take an innovative and inspirational approach to grantmaking that is responsive to a critical need?
  • Risks and Commitment: Has the nominee demonstrated the ability and willingness to take risks by being flexible, nimble, courageous, and enterprising? Was the nominee committed to overcoming challenges and learning from inevitable setbacks/missteps that come with innovation and experimentation?
  • Impact/Outcomes: Has the nominee made a notable difference in the communities or causes served by his/her grantmaking? Has the nominee analyzed the results of her/his efforts and shared the outcomes so that future work can build upon these accomplishments?
  • Leadership: Has the nominee's work influenced or shaped the way that their institution or the field approaches or conceptualizes grantmaking in a particular area? Has the nominee built new networks or contributed to existing networks to help move the needle on critical issues?

Wilmer Shields Rich Award

The Wilmer Shields Rich Award for Excellence in Communications spotlights the communications strategies of foundations and corporate giving programs. Created in 1984 and named in honor of the first executive director of the National Council on Community Foundations (now the Council on Foundations), the award is bestowed on an organization that has creatively and effectively implemented strategic communications to further its mission and goals and has provided models of excellence to the field of philanthropy.

Submit nominations for Wilmer Shields Rich

Criteria

Judges will evaluate entries based on the following criteria:

  • Strategy, Purpose, and Goals: Did the strategic communications initiative have a clear purpose? How well did the initiative's anticipated outcomes align with the mission of the organization? Was there a clearly defined strategy based on addressing a philanthropic and/or communications challenge with specific, measurable goals and objectives? 
  • Creativity: Did the initiative show fresh and creative thinking, problem solving, or innovation? How do these elements help to advance the field? Can it serve as a model for others in the sector?
  • Outcomes and Lessons Learned: Did this initiative significantly advance the organization’s mission? Were the initiative's outcomes clearly articulated and measured? Were the goals met/exceeded and did the results reflect the original strategy? Did the initiative keep to the original timeline and budget? Did the initiative reach its target audiences?