National Philanthropy Day

What Is National Philanthropy Day?

National Philanthropy Day is a special day set aside on the fifteenth of November. The purpose of this day is to recognize the great contributions of philanthropy—and those people active in the philanthropic community—to the enrichment of our world.

NPD was originally conceived of and organized by Douglas Freeman in the 1980s, and the first official events held in 1986 after President Reagan signed the official NPD proclamation. The day provides an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of giving and all that it has made possible. NPD celebrates the endless daily contributions individuals and organizations across the world make to countless causes and missions. 

How does AFP Greater Madison celebrate National Philanthropy Day?

Each year, we gather (in-person or virtually) to celebrate philanthropy in our local community. It is a chance to celebrate today the impact that philanthropy has on us all as a community. Nominations are received and a panel of judges (individuals from the community) select the annual honorees. 

2021 News

While 2020 brought us all many changes, a constant was celebrating philanthropy in our community. The 2020 Virtual Livestream of National Philanthropy Day remains available for you. 

Continue to watch this page for updates on nominating individuals, organizations, and businesses for the 2021 AFP Greater Madison National Philanthropy Day Awards.

You can visit our YouTube page to watch the recording of the 2020 event.

View pictures from past National Philanthropy Day events in our photo gallery.

The 34th Annual National Philanthropy Day, hosted by AFP Greater Madison, will take place on November 11, 2021*, and will honor the people and organizations whose philanthropic efforts make our community a wonderful place to live. 

*An in-person event is being planned for November 11th and will follow all venue and Covid-19 gathering guidelines at the time. Seating may be limited due to guidelines but virtual streaming of the event will be available. Attendee registration will open in the Fall of 2021.

Honor Someone Today!

Nominations Now Open

2021 Greater Madison National Philanthropy Day

It's time to share the stories and impact of local philanthropists right here in Dane County and south-central Wisconsin. National Philanthropy Day awards are your chance to honor others for their philanthropic work.

To find out more about the nomination process and submit a nomination, click here. Nominations are due by August 13, 2021. If you have any questions about nominations, email Jen or call 608-421-3597.

2015 Youth in Philanthropy Honoree, Alex
Haunty with Ted DeDee, Overture Center for
the Arts CEO.

Since 1987, AFP Greater Madison has recognized great philanthropy of people and organizations in the greater Madison area. View our complete list of past winners from 1987-2020.

Thank you for your interest in AFP Greater Madison and celebrating philanthropy within our community.


What a philanthropic community we are living in! Although this pandemic has caused much stress in our community, we have also seen a tremendous increase in philanthropy. We are honored to host a virtual edition of National Philanthropy Day.

The National Philanthropy Day celebration has grown significantly in recent years, and we are thrilled to now be offering the event online. The virtual format will be a mix of live and recorded features over the lunch hour. We will also be recording the full event for those who are unable to attend the live showing. The great news is that seating won't be limited!

We invite you to become a part of this celebration and show your support of local philanthropy through one of our sponsorship opportunities. To become a sponsor, simply let us know you are in and we will begin including you in upcoming marketing opportunities! 

Please reach out for more information on partnering with AFP Greater Madison and showing your commitment to ethical fundraising and philanthropy in our community.

2021 event registration will be announced in fall 2021. We are continuing to watch for updates on gathering guidelines in regards to COVID-19. It is our hope that we will be able to gather together and celebrate this year's honorees. 

"November 3, 2017 will always be an incredible memory for me. To be recognized by my peers at our National Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon was truly an honor."

Connie Beam, Wisconsin Public Radio
2017 Outstanding Fundraising Professional