May 12 deadline for the 2014 National Philanthropy Day Awards. If you know an outstanding philanthropist or organization, volunteer or professional fundraiser or youth involved in philanthropy, you should nominate them for this year’s NPD Awards. Awards are given for Outstanding Professional Fundraiser, Outstanding Philanthropic Organization, Outstanding Youth Award, Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser, Outstanding Individual Philanthropist and Outstanding Legacy Award (posthumously awarded to individuals or families as recognition of their generosity and volunteer support). AFP is always looking for more youth nominations – do you know a young person behind a great event or Kickstarter campaign?
If, like me, you’ve nominated someone in the past who was not honored, PLEASE NOMINATE THEM AGAIN. We are part of an extraordinary philanthropic community and the panel has a hard time selecting each year’s honorees. This is not a contest, but it is a great honor.
If you’ve never nominated before, it is easy as long as you give yourself a couple of weeks to gather letters of support. The first step is to download and review the application. You might consider asking another organization to be your co-nominator. While not a requirement, it is a simple and effective step to making the case that your nominee has broad community impact. Then think of who should provide letters of support – and ask them right away. These letters can come from anyone who knows the nominee and their qualifications (such as board or staff of other organizations, government officials or civic leaders, etc.) You may submit up to three support letters, but I always ask four people to write them just in case one doesn’t come through or isn’t as strong as I’d hoped.
While I’ve chosen to keep my nominations a secret from the nominees, I do share how their community feels about them. A simple letter saying something like: “When someone asked me who I’d nominate as an outstanding philanthropist, I chose you because…And when I mentioned your name to others, some of their comments were…Thank you so much for what you do for our organization and for the entire community.”
And why not invite your personal nominees to join you for National Philanthropy Day this November? You can honor them with a great lunch and perhaps this year’s honorees will inspire them to do even more on your behalf!