Charity Spotlight: National Philanthropy Day Call for Submissions

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Carole Pickup and Devon Martin, owners of Balboa Bay Resort and Balboa Bay Club, with the award for Outstanding Mid-Size Business at the 2019 awards luncheon. Photo by Carla Rhea.

Philanthropy is alive and well in Orange County, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. Numerous local organizations, businesses and individuals have stepped up and provided medial supplies, food, money, and comfort to countless people affected by the COVID-19 situation.

Even during normal times, people are ready to help by being volunteers, donating good and money, and offering guidance to nonprofit organizations.

Those are the people honored every year at the annual National Philanthropy Day Orange County Awards Luncheon, presented by the Orange County Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Not surprisingly, each year at least one or more honorees is from Newport Beach. Past recipients have included Marion Knott, Henry and Susan Samueli, Henry Segerstrom, General William and Willa Dean Lyon, and many others.

The Orange County Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals has just announced a Call for Submissions for the 2020 National Philanthropy Day Orange County Awards Luncheon, which is scheduled to be held on Nov. 19, 2020 at City National Grove of Anaheim.

National Philanthropy Day Orange County award categories include Legacy Award, Outstanding Founder, Outstanding Philanthropic Group, Outstanding Philanthropist, Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser, Outstanding Youth or Youth Group (under 21 years of age), Outstanding Large Corporation or Business (500 employees or more), Outstanding Mid-Size Corporation or Business (51 to 499 employees), Outstanding Small Corporation or Business (1 to 50 employees).

The Outstanding Youth or Youth Group honoree will be able to designate an award of $2,500 to the charity of their choice, thanks to the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Orange County Chapter, in addition to a personal scholarship they receive.

All the nominees in each category will receive a recognition letter from NPD Founder Doug Freeman, and one outstanding honoree in each category will be chosen and will receive an award at the award luncheon in November. The nine outstanding honorees are named in July.

Sue and Ralph Stern, noted community philanthropists and the 2019 NPD-OC Legacy Award recipients, are the Honorary Chairs for the 35th anniversary event. Event Co-Chairs are Elizabeth Kurila and Joan McBride.

Legacy Award honorees Ralph and Sue Stern with 2018 Outstanding Philanthropists Ling and Charlie Zhang at the 2019 awards luncheon. Photo by Carla Rhea

Submissions must be completed online at The deadline for submissions is Monday, June 1, 2020.

National Philanthropy Day was conceived and organized in the 1980s by Orange County resident Doug Freeman. It was initially celebrated in 1986, when then-President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation officially recognizing Nov. 15, 1986 as National Philanthropy Day. Since then, thousands of honorees have been recognized across North America

Breakdown of award categories

Legacy Award

This award recognizes the cumulative philanthropic efforts of an individual, family or family foundation over a period of 10 or more years 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. Candidates will specifically demonstrate significant, long-term involvement with one or more Orange County nonprofit organizations. The Legacy Award is given at the discretion of the judging panel and may not be awarded every year.

Outstanding Corporation or Business

This award recognizes a corporation or business that has created a culture of philanthropy with their organization and has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to philanthropy through its: 1) financial support of one or more nonprofit organizations, 2) leadership involvement, and 3) volunteer participation and commitment of its workforce in establishing a role model for other businesses in our community. This award does not recognize a single individual representing a corporation or business, but rather the work of the entire corporation or business.

Corporations or Businesses are reviewed in three categories: Large: 500 employees or more; Mid-size: 51 to 499 employees; Small: 1 to 50 employees.

Outstanding Founder

Recognizes an outstanding individual or group of individuals for their achievement, leadership and vision in establishing a successful nonprofit organization (not an event) dedicated to providing important charitable services to the community, or to improving the quality of life for individuals and families living in Orange County.

Outstanding Philanthropic Group

Recognizes an outstanding volunteer group (e.g., corporate or industry volunteer team, guild or auxiliary, civic/service club) that has demonstrated exceptional commitment to the community through direct involvement, financial support and leadership. The group should have official status or recognition, i.e., be a chartered support group or incorporated as a nonprofit organization.

Outstanding Philanthropist

This award recognizes an outstanding individual, family or family foundation with a proven record of exceptional financial generosity and volunteer leadership to one or more Orange County nonprofit organizations who has: 1) demonstrated extraordinary civic and charitable responsibility, and 2) whose generosity inspires others to philanthropic action. This award is to honor the achievements of a living person; if a foundation is proposed, there should be at least one living founder.

Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser

This award recognizes an outstanding volunteer who has: 1) demonstrated exceptional leadership in coordinating and motivating others to accomplish a philanthropic project for the benefit of a charitable institution, and 2) has devoted a substantial amount of personal time, energy, and creativity to one or more nonprofit organizations, exemplifying the spirit of volunteerism at its best.

Outstanding Youth or Youth Group

This award recognizes service by an outstanding individual (under 21 years of age), youth group or youth-generated project that has demonstrated extraordinary commitment to the community through direct financial support, development of charitable programs, volunteering and/or leadership. AFPOC is pleased to announce that this year’s Outstanding Youth Honoree will receive a $1,000 personal scholarship award PLUS a $2,500 award to give to the charity of their choice!

Rules & Judging Criteria

Individuals and organizations (nonprofit and for-profit) are invited to submit entries for individuals, businesses or groups for their outstanding achievement in the following categories. Submit a nominee in as many categories as appropriate; however, each organization may enter only one nominee per category. Before nominating an individual, organization or foundation, please obtain their permission for submission. If the NPD judging committee feels that your nomination would be stronger in a different category, you may be contacted and encouraged to switch categories, at your discretion.

A distinguished panel of judges comprised of business and community leaders, philanthropists, past Honorees and nonprofit professionals from the Orange County community evaluate the nominee submissions.

Posthumous nominations will not be accepted.

For more information, visit

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