The Council on Foundations Awards Program was established to recognize excellence in philanthropy and honor exemplary leaders for their dedication to exploring creative ways to advance the common good and to finding solutions for complex issues.
The Council's Awards Program includes four distinct awards that recognize excellence in philanthropy: the Distinguished Service Award, the Robert W. Scrivner Award for Creative Grantmaking, the Wilmer Shields Rich Award for Excellence in Communications and the newest addition, the Chapman Prize. These awards are open to non-Council members, but only members of the Council on Foundations can submit nominations. The 2018 nomination cycle will run through July, and winners will be announced at a November 28, 2018 ceremony in Washington, D.C.
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. Previous winners have been noted philanthropic leaders who have both mobilized and unified people and institutions within communities to produce tangible results to improve people's lives and raise the capacity of others to advance the common good. The 2017 honoree was Ronald B. Richard, president and CEO of The Cleveland Foundation.
This is the first year with the Chapman Prize in the Council's Awards portfolio. Established through the Daniel and Barbara Chapman Trust, the Chapman Prize recognizes and honors the efforts and achievements of individuals and organizations who make significant contributions to society. Award winners will receive between $80,000 and $100,000.
The Scrivner Award was established in 1984 in honor of the creative legacy of the late Robert Winston Scrivner, former staff associate of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the first executive director of the Rockefeller Family Fund. Friends and colleagues of Scrivner established the award to honor outstanding creativity. It honors an innovative grantmaker who, with a combination of vision, principle, and personal commitment, is making a critical difference in a creative way. The 2017 honoree was Noah Atencio of Community First Foundation in Arvada, Colorado.
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. The 2017 honoree was the Citi Foundation.