Council Award Programs

The nomination period for the 2016 Awards Program is now closed. We will notify nominees shortly and will recognize recipients at the Annual Conference on April 11th.

Council on Foundations Awards

Every day, Council members stand at the forefront of innovation, explore creative ways to advance the common good, and find solutions for complex issues in society. For this, the Council's award programs were established to recognize excellence in philanthropy and honor exemplary leaders for their dedication in uplifting the sector.

As we continue this legacy, in 2016 the Council will award the Distinguished Service Award, the Robert Scrivner Award for Creative Grantmaking, and the Wilmer Shields Rich Award for Excellence in Communications.

 

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.

Criteria

Judges will evaluate entries based on the following criteria:

  • Thought Leadership: Has the nominee’s accomplishments shown progression over the course of her/his career? Has the nominee demonstrated the ability to take risks and use innovative strategies to bring solutions to complex issues?
  • 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? Are the nominee’s work and accomplishments ethical and consistent, and reflect the intrinsic values of the sector?
  • Impact: Has the nominee’s work and accomplishment 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?

View past honorees.


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.

Criteria

Judges will evaluate entries based on the following criteria:

  • Leadership: Has the nominee demonstrated an entrepreneurial spirit with the vision to build on and take full advantage of existing networks?
  • Risks and Commitment: Has the nominee demonstrated the ability and willingness to take risks by being flexible, nimble, courageous, and enterprising? The nominee was proactive and committed to overcoming challenges and identifying innovative approaches to grantmaking?
  • Creativity: Is the achievement a creative departure from past grantmaking and is it innovative, inspirational, and responsive to a need in the field?
  • Impact/Outcomes: Has the nominee taken into consideration the extent to which objectives were achieved and results analyzed, shared, and built upon for future work?

View past honorees.


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 their mission and goals, and has provided models of excellence to the field of philanthropy.

Criteria

Judges will evaluate entries based on the following criteria:

  • Purpose and Goals: What was the purpose of the strategic communications initiative? What outcomes was the organization was seeking, and how did they align with the mission of the organization?
  • Strategy: How did the organization carry out this work and did represent a deliberate application of smart communications?
  • Creativity: Did the work show fresh and creative thinking, problem solving or innovation in the sector? How do these elements help to advance the sector and the field? 
  • Outcomes and Lessons Learned: What were the outcomes of this effort? Did it significantly advance the organization’s mission?  Will it serve as a model for others in the sector?