National Philanthropy Day Nominations

National Philanthropy Day Nominations

Nominations for an AFP Greater Madison National Philanthropy Day award are a great way to honor individuals and organizations within the community for their philanthropic endeavors. There is considerable work being done every single day in the Greater Madison area, let’s honor the impact!

To nominate an individual or an organization, please read through the materials and submit your nomination today. Involvement in AFP Greater Madison is not a requirement of nominees or nominators. As an organization, we value ethical fundraising and do look to ensure that honorees are meeting that expectation. You can read more about our Code of Ethics here.

Please note that chosen honorees will be publicly honored at a celebration held in November each year. It is the responsibility of the nominator to have the approval of their nominee before submission.

2021 Nominations are due online by the end of day August 13, 2021.


Who can be a nominee?

Any individual, organization, or business that has made an impact in our community! Philanthropy can take on different meanings and forms of engagement. We consider the desire to promote the welfare of others to go far beyond the topic of money. The impact of philanthropy can be shown through a nominee’s ability to guide others to action resulting in an improved outcome for all. We encourage you to review each nomination category to see where your nominee’s philanthropy would best be recognized. 

While financial contributions are an important piece of philanthropy, we believe philanthropy is larger than this. We believe that philanthropy is,  "an idea, event, or action that is done to better humanity."  Philanthropists give of themselves to create a stronger, more equitable community and inspire and guide others around them to also take actions that result in an improved outcome for all.

Nominees and/or nominators do not need to be affiliated with AFP Greater Madison.

Melissa Kwee poses a question to challenge our view and understanding of what philanthropy is and how we all have the power to give Melissa has worked in the public, private and community sectors as an anthropologist, researcher, educational programme designer, social innovator and most recently, as a catalyst of change. As head of National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre, she mobilises resources and people to aid in community development. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.

Nomination Form

To prepare your nomination, you will need the following information about your nominee. Forms should be submitted online. 

  • Summary of overall philanthropic support by the nominee and their general approach to philanthropy.  

  • For each major cause, initiative or nonprofit supported by the nominee, include a description of (1) philanthropic support (money, time and other resources), (2) innovation and creativity in addressing the issue or cause and (3) impact of that support on those causes and nonprofits.  

  • Description of the nominee’s work in encouraging and motivating others (e.g., employees, clients, customers, the public) to get involved with and/or take leadership roles in philanthropy. 

  • Description of additional philanthropic support and achievements accomplished through the nominee's efforts. 

Submit a nomination.

Elements of a Strong Nomination

  • Nominee clearly meets award category requirements in which they have been nominated.

  • The primary focus should be on Dane County efforts. National and/or international philanthropic involvements will be appropriately considered, but will not substitute for local involvement.

  • Describe how this person/organization has made a difference in Dane County. Cite tangible and quantifiable examples of the nominee’s impact to the community. Discuss evidence of dedication, innovation, creativity and vision; include how the nominee inspires and motivates others to act charitably.

  • Add details and include hard data of direct support, including the financial contributions, volunteer activities, number of people impacted, outcomes, etc. Generate excitement and enthusiasm for your nominee. Share an inspirational story or anecdotal information; be descriptive.

  • Focus on both ongoing activities and overall efforts.

  • Research what your nominee is doing with other groups; encourage other groups to also submit a nomination for your nominee.

  • Submit your nomination as though the judging panel does not know your nominee – they may not! Be as specific and detailed as possible.

Submit a nomination.

Award Categories

  • Outstanding Individual Philanthropist: Presented to an individual with a proven record of exceptional generosity; who has demonstrated outstanding civic and charitable responsibility; and whose generosity encourages others to take leadership roles in philanthropic activities.

  • Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser: Presented to an individual who has demonstrated exceptional skills in coordinating and motivating groups of volunteers for one or more major fundraising projects for the benefit of a charitable institution while advancing philanthropy.

  • Outstanding Business or Corporation (100+ employees): Presented to a larger business/corporation (100+ employees) that demonstrates outstanding commitment through financial support and encouragement and motivation of others to take leadership roles toward philanthropy and community involvement.

  • Outstanding Small Business or Corporation (Fewer than 100 employees): Presented to a small business/corporation (less than 100 employees) that demonstrates outstanding commitment through financial support and encouragement and motivation of others to take leadership roles toward philanthropy and community involvement.

  • Outstanding Philanthropic Organization and/or Foundation: Presented to an organization or foundation that demonstrates outstanding commitment through financial support and encouragement and motivation of others to take leadership roles in philanthropy and national, international and/or community involvement.

  • Outstanding Fundraising Professional: Presented to an outstanding individual fundraising professional who practices his/her profession in an exemplary manner, has a commitment to advancing the profession and to continuing personal professional development.  Nominees must have three or more years of professional experience.  Examples are people who serve as Directors of Development, Fund Development, Major Gifts Officer, Executive Director and other fundraising professionals.

  • Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy (Individual or group, age 25 and under): Presented to a young person or group of young people, under the age of 25 who gives extraordinarily of their time, talent, financial or other resources and serves as a role model and inspiration to others.

  • Outstanding Grassroots Fundraiser: Presented to a person who has a real stake in the social, political, and economic transformation of our community and has mobilized a number of community members to impact a particular issue, by increasing awareness of that issue and financial support to tackle it.

  • Outstanding Achievement in JEDI: Presented to a person who has made a significant impact on the learning, unlearning, and transformation of our Greater Madison community in the area of Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

  • Lifetime Achievement: Presented to an individual or couple with a minimum of 20 years of philanthropic involvement with a proven record of exceptional generosity; who has demonstrated outstanding civic and charitable responsibility; and whose generosity encourages others to take leadership roles in philanthropic activities.

All nominations are submitted to a panel of judges. Judges evaluate the nomination and choose the nominee that has shown exemplary work in the area of philanthropy. Judges score the nominations independently and if needed, gather together to discuss the annual honoree.

Judges are community members who remain anonymous. AFP Greater Madison selects judges who represent media, past award honorees, and community leaders.

Yes, we highly recommend you submit your nomination again. We know that nominees continue to do great work and nominations may need to be updated. If you would like to use the same nomination as the year prior, please email us and we will include it in the nominees for this year. To submit a completely updated nomination for a past nominee, follow the instructions for this year’s nominations.

Yes, we encourage multiple nominations for a nominee. The judges will receive all nominations as they evaluate the nominee. You may also combine your nomination with another nominator and work together on the application.