Association of Fundraising Professionals
Greater Houston Chapter 

National Philanthropy Day 
2021 Awards  


Applications for the National Philanthropy Day Awards 2021 are now open. Applications can be submitted until 5 PM on Monday, May 31, 2021. You can preview the application here and submit your application here

  • Monday, April 5: Nomination packets can be downloaded from the AFP Houston’s website. At that time, you will have access to sample applications from previous years and a check list to ensure you have included all the application requirements.
  • Monday, May 31: Nomination applications due no later than 5:00 p.m. All applications must be submitted via SurveyMonkey. For questions please contact [email protected].
  • Friday, November 12: National Philanthropy Day® luncheon at 11:00 a.m. in the Hilton Americas Ballroom.

Awards Application Checklist

Winning Past Applications:


Awards Categories


Maurice Hirsch Award for Philanthropy 

This award is the highest recognition and honor to an individual donor or family by the Greater Houston Chapter.  Awarded to an individual or family with a proven record of exceptional generosity who, through direct financial support, demonstrates outstanding civic and charitable responsibility and whose generosity encourages others to take philanthropic leadership roles in the community.

Required Criteria:

  • For EACH organization/cause supported by the nominee, describe (1) the gifts provided, (2) additional participation and (3) IMPACT of the nominee’s gift and work on the organization’s ability to provide programs and services.  (0-65 points)
  • Description of the innovation/creativity/leadership in the causes the nominee supported, how issues were addressed or solved and/or how the funds were raised.  (0-10 points)
  • Description of the nominee’s work in encouraging and motivating others to get involved with and/or take leadership roles in philanthropy (i.e. challenge gifts, matching gifts, volunteering, etc.).  (0-25 points)
  • This award is only given once in a lifetime to an individual recipient.  At the discretion of the committee, a family may receive the award multiple times to recognize new generations of philanthropists

Outstanding Philanthropic Foundation 
This award honors a private foundation that demonstrates outstanding commitment through financial support, innovation, encouragement, and motivation of others to take leadership roles in philanthropy and/or community involvement.

Required Criteria:

  • For each major program area/cause/initiative, provide description of the nominee’s (1) philanthropic support (including financial, time and other resources), (2) innovation or creativity in addressing the issue and (3) the leadership role the nominee played.  (0-45 points)
  • For each major program area/cause/initiative, provide description of the IMPACT of the nominee’s philanthropic support, innovation, creativity, and leadership.  (0-35 points)
  • Description of the nominee’s work in encouraging and motivating others to get involved with and/or take leadership roles in philanthropy.  (0-20 points)
  • Award recipient can only receive the award every 10 years or at the discretion of the committee.

Outstanding Corporation, Large (more than 1000 full-time Houston area employees)
Outstanding Corporation, Mid-Level (100-999 full-time Houston area employees)
Outstanding Corporation, Small (10-99 full-time Houston area employees)

These awards honor a corporation or corporate foundation that demonstrates outstanding commitment through financial and/or in-kind support and through encouragement and motivation of others to take leadership roles toward philanthropy and community involvement.

Required Criteria:

  • Description of OVERALL gift support by the nominee and general approach and philosophy to philanthropy and charitable support.  (0-15 points)
  • For each MAJOR cause, initiative or nonprofit supported by the nominee, include description of (1) philanthropic support (financial, time and other resources - Please include the percentage of corporation’s total revenue that is represented by the stated charitable donations and clarify monetary versus in-kind donations), (2) innovation and creativity in addressing the issue or cause, and (3) IMPACT in the Houston area of that support on those causes and nonprofits.  (0-45 points)
  • Description of additional gift support and achievements accomplished through the corporation’s efforts.  (0-25 points)
  • 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.  (0-15 points)
  • Award recipient can only receive the award every 10 years or at the discretion of the committee.

Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser

This award honors an individual or family who demonstrates outstanding skills in coordinating and motivating groups of donors and volunteers for fundraising projects for the benefit of charitable institutions.  The recipient must have demonstrated exceptional leadership skills in coordinating groups of donors and volunteers for major fundraising projects for more than one nonprofit organization.

 Required Criteria:

  • For EACH organization/cause for which the nominee has helped raise funds, provide description of (1) leadership role and responsibilities, (2) ability to organize and manage campaigns and groups, (3) funds raised, (4) time, effort and personal financial commitment and (5) IMPACT the nominee and his/her work had on the organization’s ability to provide programs and services.  (0-65 points)
  • Description of both the nominee’s ability to lead, motivate, manage, and inspire others, as well as the ability to work within a team.  (0-20 points)
  • Description of the nominee’s support of other nonprofits where he or she may not have led fundraising efforts but was active on boards and committees and gave and volunteered to the organizations.  (0-15 points)
  • This award is only given once to any particular recipient.


Outstanding Volunteer Service 

This award honors an individual or individuals who have provided an outstanding service project(s) within their community.  If a group of individuals, they cannot be members of an organization whose primary purpose is community service.  Examples of groups may include church groups, neighbors, alumni association, employees.  The recipient must have demonstrated exceptional volunteer leadership skills in coordinating others to help participate in and execute a service project(s) that impacted others in a significant way.  Recipient cannot be paid for his or her leadership service.

Required Criteria:

  • For EACH service project the nominee has helped coordinate and/or manage, provide description of (1) leadership role and responsibilities, (2) ability to organize and manage groups, (3) time, effort and personal financial commitment (if any) and (4) IMPACT the nominee and his/her work had among the group(s) that the service project(s) was intended to help and support.
  • Description of both the nominee’s ability to lead, motivate, manage, and inspire others, as well as the ability to work within a team.
  • Description of the nominee’s support and/or participation in other service projects where he/she may not have led the efforts, but actively participated in the service project(s).
  • This award is only given once to any particular recipient.

Outstanding Communications Partner

Presented to a local media organization, individual, public relations firm, advertising agency or organization in a media-related enterprise that has a demonstrated track record of providing pro-bono services and is involved in advancing philanthropy. Must be nominated by a non-profit.

Required Criteria:

  • Evidence of direct efforts to raise awareness of philanthropy and the nonprofit community in the Greater Houston area.  (0- 50 points)
  • Evidence of broad-based community support and description of impact.  (0 - 25 points)
  • Evidence of encouragement and motivation given to others to take leadership roles in philanthropy. (0 - 25 points)
  • Award recipient can only receive the award every 5 years.

Outstanding Community Service Organization 

Recognizes a community service organization that demonstrates an outstanding commitment through community involvement and/or financial or in-kind support of philanthropic efforts. The nominated organization must be a non-profit.

Required Criteria:

  • Evidence of direct financial and/or in-kind support of community projects.  (0 - 25 points)
  • Description of the impact of organization’s support on the local community.  (0 - 25 points)
  • Evidence of membership volunteerism in support of nonprofit community.  (0 - 25 points)
  • Evidence of encouragement and motivation given to others to take a leadership role toward philanthropy and community involvement.  (0 - 25 points)
  • Award recipient can only receive the award every 10 years or at the discretion of the committee.

Outstanding Fundraising Program (less than $2M funds raised)
Outstanding Fundraising Program (more than $2M funds raised)

Awarded to a Houston area nonprofit organization whose fundraising program is innovative and effective in securing financial support for the local community.  Various categories of programs are eligible for this award and may include the following: capital campaigns (completed by submission deadline), annual events, special events and planned giving.  Recognition may be given to single and/or multi-year programs.  Impact on the overall agency budget as a percentage of annual revenue will be a major consideration.

Required Criteria:

  • Description of fundraising program, event and/or campaign, including fundraising goal, net funds raised, time element, staff and volunteer involvement and impact on overall agency budget.  (0 - 50 points)
  • Description of originality, inventiveness, and impact on fundraising goal.  (0 - 25 points)
  • Evidence of volunteer involvement and leadership.  (0 - 25 points)
  • Submission of both non-profit’s budget and specific fundraising program budget are required.  Please use the budget templates provided in this material.

Outstanding Fundraising Executive of the Year

This award honors an individual fundraising professional who demonstrates outstanding skills in coordinating and motivating groups of volunteers for fundraising projects for the benefit of charitable institutions.  Nominee must have demonstrated exceptional leadership skills in the coordinating of volunteers for major fundraising projects for more than one nonprofit organization.  Nominees must work directly for a nonprofit, charitable organization.  Nominees must have a MINIMUM of 15 years of experience as a professional fundraiser working directly for a nonprofit organization (years as a consultant will not be considered).  They must also be a current AFP member.

Required Criteria:

  • For each organization where the nominee has held a significant fundraising position (not necessarily entry-level but that position can be included if important), provide description of (1) position and responsibilities, (2) specific projects and campaigns completed, (3) funds raised—actual number and percentage growth—and (4) IMPACT of the nominee’s work on the organization’s programs.  (0-25 points)
  • Provide description of the nominee’s leadership, such as development of new programs and departments, significant increases in return on fundraising investment, successful management of key programs, creating new organizational cultures and/or introduction of innovative and creative ideas.  (0-20 points)
  • Confirm nominee’s membership in AFP and number of years as an active member.  (0-5 points)
  • Description of nominee’s commitment to AFP, its mission of advancing ethical fundraising and the fundraising profession, including demonstration that the nominee abides by and promotes the AFP Code of Ethical Principles and Standards, the Donor Bill of Rights and similar principles.  (0-15 points)
  • Description of individual’s commitment to continuing professional development, including certification (CFRE, ACFRE, or equivalent certification), conference participation, publication, and professional education.  (0-15 points)
  • Evidence of commitment to fundraising and philanthropy through voluntary service and financial support of nonprofit organizations.  (0-20 points)