2020 Philanthropy Day Awards - The Communitarian Award

Submit Nomination for the
Communitarian Award



As we celebrate our 35th anniversary, AFP Greater Austin Chapter proudly announces the Communitarian Award to recognize an individual who has provided significant leadership in bringing inclusion, diversity, equity and access (IDEA) to philanthropy, especially in service and support of marginalized groups or individuals.

Communitarian – a humanitarian who cares deeply about the connection of the community and the individual.

Why a Communitarian Award?

The AFP Greater Austin Chapter is working to better understand how to live up to our values. Our chapter, just like many institutions in our city, is a product of history, both specifically and regionally. In 1928, the City of Austin passed an ordinance requiring African American and Hispanic residents to move East of I-35.  This is one example of institutional racism, still negatively impacting our city today. In 2017, Mayor Adler launched a task force on institutional racism in Austin, producing a Report on Institutional Racism and Systemic Inequities and an ongoing work group. The report called on all citizens to learn how to have courageous conversations about race and commit to act as an agent of change to eliminate racial disparities in Austin.

As a community, we have systematically marginalized entire neighborhoods, stifling the creativity, intellect and energy critical for our future.

There is an urgency to do this work now, to use our actions to bring change. The new Communitarian Award, a recommendation from a taskforce of community leaders, is AFP’s opportunity to highlight and honor people, neighborhoods and communities whose stories have been marginalized.

This award does not exist in isolation. We have also reviewed the process for all of the Philanthropy Day awards, specifically to address access concerns and systemic bias issues. This work is part of our Chapter’s move toward truly embodying inclusion, diversity, equity and access. Two of our Chapter’s values are “excellence” and “integrity” and as one volunteer put it, “the fact that we have so rarely honored a person of color shows how we have avoided being who we say we are. This award, and this move toward intentionally incorporating IDEA throughout the entire chapter, is about integrity and principles.”

When we move toward a greater embodiment of IDEA, we come to better understand the community we serve, the true barriers to change, and our own biases and counterproductive blind spots. On an even bigger level, it is essential to be more honestly inclusive, diverse, equitable and accessible or we run the risk of becoming irrelevant in this quickly changing world.  As a collective group of people working to make the world better, this work is critical.


AFP Greater Austin seeks to reflect the diverse and vibrant community we serve, by seeking out individuals who create an impact by bringing inclusion, diversity, equity and access to philanthropy especially in service and support of marginalized groups or individuals. 

Process overview: 

  • Nominations open online. Anyone can nominate. Anyone can be nominated
  • A committee confirms the award finalists
  • Online voting for the finalists opens for one week
  • Honoree is notified the following week and honored at Philanthropy Day 2020 as our inaugural Communitarian Award recipient

With this award and through the evaluation of many outstanding nominees, our objectives are to:

  1. Elevate our belief that inclusiveness is an essential source of vitality and strength for our community. 
  2. Welcome the broad representation of experiences, perspectives, opinions, and cultures within philanthropy.
  3. Introduce extraordinary accomplishments in leadership as an individual maneuvers through obstacles of professional equity and creates resources to help confront issues of inclusion, diversity, equity and access within the nonprofit sector and/or the greater Austin area.
  4. Recognize an individual who embodies these characteristics.


  • Individual has contributed in meaningful ways to the advancement of inclusion, diversity, equity and access through giving of time and talent. Nominees have built community, encouraged philanthropy and fundraising, and inspired others to action and/or greater awareness.

  • This is a social media-based award, allowing for a more community-driven decision-making process. We hope the platform will allow participants to support impactful nominees, share stories and celebrate each of the finalists for their work and bring nonprofits, community members, grant-makers  philanthropists and other allies into closer connection with each other. 
  • Anyone in the community may nominate someone or themselves. Nominators may be individuals, nonprofits, groups, businesses, communities of faith, neighborhoods, membership groups or others. 

Process and Timeline:

  1. Online nominations open August 1st - September 13th
  2. Nominations close September 13th
  3. Communitarian Award Committee determines to 3-5 finalists
  4. Finalists announced September 23rd
  5. Online voting for 1 week - September 23rd - 30th
  6. Honoree notified October 7th
  7. Honoree recognized at the Philanthropy Day Luncheon on March 11, 2020
Presentation of the Award:

The winning nominee will be notified by October 7, 2019. The winner will be honored at the March 11, 2020 AFP Philanthropy Day. The honoree’s accomplishments will also be recognized in AFP’s Philanthropy Day video and online.


Submit Nomination for the 
Communitarian Award