2019 Award Honorees

Congratulations to the 2019 National Philanthropy Day Award Winners!

Each year, local chapters of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) highlight the philanthropists, volunteer fundraisers, and fundraising professionals in their midst.

The 2019 award winners selected by the AFP Eastern Iowa Chapter are: 

Outstanding Individual Philanthropist – Dr. Tom Novak. Dedicated personal resources and talents to many community organizations such as the Iowa City Free Medical Clinic. Tom has done multiple mission trips to Mexico building homes and providing free medical treatments to residents. A recent gift from Tom to the Catholic Worker House will help purchase a second housing site for the homeless Iowa City.

Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser – Cathy Zaharis, University of Iowa Director of Professional Employer Development. Former chair of the University of Iowa Center for Advancement Board of Directors, Cathy provided vital leadership throughout the “For Iowa. Forever More” campaign that raised more than $1.95 billion.


Outstanding Large Organization – Frontier Co-op. Involved with over 500 nonprofit organizations worldwide and have granted $3.2 million to more than 150 different nonprofit organizations through their donor-advised Giving Fund.

Outstanding Small Organization – MODE. Generous supporter through many fundraisers, donations, and event sponsorships for an array of Cedar Rapids non-profit organizations.

Outstanding Fundraising Professional – Charlie Becker, Chief Executive Officer of Camp Courageous. For the past 39 years, Charlie has been instrumental in starting the Camp Courageous of Iowa Foundation and expanding the camp’s facilities.

Outstanding Young Philanthropist – Emma Barton-Norris. Volunteer at the Catherine McAuley Center. Focused her Girl Scouts Gold Award project on helping women in need who cannot afford feminine hygiene products.


Benjamin Franklin Award – Mercy Auxiliary. Since 1952 the Auxiliary has raised over $6.3 million for Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids.