37th Annual Philanthropy Awards Luncheon
We cannot always control what life hands us, but we can control what we make of it. Now more than ever we have been turning our obstacles into opportunities and making lemonade out of lemons. This year we honor the truly outstanding work that members of the Kansas City community have done during the coronavirus pandemic and all that came with it.
With more than 1,000 members of the nonprofit and business community attending every year, the Philanthropy Awards Luncheon is Kansas City's oldest and largest celebration of giving. The funds raised at the Luncheon allow Nonprofit Connect to continue to offer education, resources and networking so that area nonprofit organizations can more effectively achieve their missions.
Are Now Open
Wednesday, May 12 | Noon
People's Choice Voting
Unique to 2021, this year's Philanthropy Award Honorees will be based around the extraordinary efforts made in direct response to 2020 events. All nominees below will be recognized at the virtual Philanthropy Awards Luncheon on May 12, and each Award's winning honoree, based on People's Choice voting, will be announced as well. Voting is now closed.
- Voting was limited to one ballot per person.
- You did not need to be a Kansas City resident or affiliated with a nonprofit organization or nomination in order to vote.
- There are sub-categories for the Brilliance in Resilience, Pivoting Pioneer, and Stronger Together Awards. People's Choice voting took place separately for these sub-categories, and an honoree was selected from each. The division between "large" and "small" organizations is a fiscal year revenue of $1.5 million.
Please note: The individuals listed below for the Persevering Advocate and Equity in Action Awards have already been selected as honorees and were not eligible for People's Choice voting.
2021 Philanthropy Awards Nominees
Nominees were selected by a panel of community leaders from an open call for nominations.
Brilliance in Resilience - a nonprofit organization that continued to deliver existing programs and services in 2020
Pivoting Pioneer - a nonprofit organization that developed new programs and services in 2020
Equity in Action - an individual and/or nonprofit organization with outstanding commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.
*The individuals listed below have already been selected as Honorees. Only organizations will be included in People's Choice voting.
Stronger Together - a nonprofit and another entity that joined forces and leveraged combined resources in 2020.
Persevering Advocate - an individual who demonstrated an outstanding commitment to champion a nonprofit organization.
*These individuals have been selected as Honorees. This award is not eligible for People's Choice voting.
Awards & Nominations
Brilliance in Resilience
• Presented to a nonprofit organization
• Continued to deliver existing programs and services to the community despite the challenges of 2020
• Demonstrated resourcefulness and determination in order to continue mission fulfillment
• Presented to a nonprofit organization
• Developed new programs and services to the community in response to the challenges of 2020
• Demonstrated creativity and leadership in the development of innovative solutions
Equity in Action
• Presented to an individual and/or nonprofit organization
• Exhibits an outstanding commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion
• Took initiative in addressing societal issues in 2020
• Continues to foster an inclusive culture
• Presented to a nonprofit organization and another entity (i.e. business, foundation, government agency or nonprofit)
• By joining forces and leveraging combined resources, this strategic partnership achieved greater results in service to the community than one entity could have achieved on its own
• The nomination should focus on the accomplishments of this partnership, whether formed in 2020 or previously, in direct response to the challenges of 2020.
• Presented to an individual*
• Demonstrated an outstanding commitment to champion a nonprofit organization during the hardships of 2020
• Exhibited support for the organization through personal leadership and service
*Note: Designation of primary role (i.e. executive director, nonprofit staff member, board member, volunteer) will be requested on the nomination form.
By supporting Nonprofit Connect, you are supporting the hundreds of local organizations that we serve, and the thousands of Kansas Citians they serve. View the sponsorship levels and benefits by utilizing the dropdown menus, or click here for a printable version.
Sponsorships and associated benefits are no longer available for the 2021 Philanthropy Awards Luncheon. If you would like to make a donation in support of Nonprofit Connect, please call 816-888-5600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Philanthropist of the Year
2020 - The Sunderland Family
2019 - Deanna & Greg Graves
2018 - Tom Isenberg, John Isenberg & Carol Barnett
2017 - Dr. William A. & Mary Reed
Emerging Philanthropist of the Year
2020 - Nora & Marshall Lockton
2019 - Darren Prenger
2018 - Randy & Cheryl Reinhardt
2017 - Jessica Best & Brian Stewart
Business Philanthropist of the Year
2020 - Bank of America
2019 - CommunityAmerica Credit Union
2018 - H&R Block
2017 - The Miller Group
Nonprofit Professional of the Year
2020 - Cris Medina
2019 - Randy Wisthoff
2018 - Jeffrey Bentley
2017 - Frank Byrne
Emerging Nonprofit Professional of the Year
2020 - Audra Clark
2019 - Gillian Helm
2018 - Jeremy Lillig
2017 - Sarah Reape
Volunteer of the Year
2020 - Gene Balloun
2019 - Joseph Jacobs III
2018 - Kevin Connor
2017 - Linda & Terry Ward
Emerging Volunteer of the Year
2020 - Chuck Cuda
2019 - Chris Rosburg
2018 - Nicole Jacobs-Silvey
2017 - Jake Jacobson
Excellence in Impact Award
2020 - Reconciliation Services
2019 - Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Kansas City
2018 - United Way 2-1-1 of Greater Kansas City
2017 - Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City
Excellence in Collaboration Award
2020 - Vibrant Health & The University of Kansas Health System
2019 - Giving the Basics with KCMO Police Department and KCMO School District
2018 - Women's Foundation & City of Kansas City, Missouri
2017 - Artists Helping the Homeless & Saint Luke's Hospital
Special Lifetime Achievement Award
2019 - David Renz, Ph.D.