Excellence in Philanthropy Awards Criteria

Join AFP-NJ in celebrating New Jersey’s 2024 awardees!

AFP-NJ’s Excellence in Philanthropy Awards recognize the best of the best of New Jersey’s nonprofit community. Their dedication and passion advance and enhance our citizens’ lives each and every day.

At the Excellence in Philanthropy Awards we will honor*:

  • Outstanding Corporation in New Jersey
  • Outstanding Foundation
  • Outstanding Community Organization
  • Outstanding Philanthropist(s) (Two possible awards: organizations with budgets of $1MM+ and >$1 million)
  • Outstanding Emerging Fundraiser
  • Excellence in Consulting
  • The Robert J. Smythe Professional Fundraiser
  • Outstanding Nonprofit Advocate

Excellence in Philanthropy Awards Criteria

Outstanding Community Organization Award

This award is presented to a volunteer community group that is dedicated to serving society by assisting nonprofits in various capacities or by initiating their program(s) to benefit a local, regional, or statewide constituency.


Outstanding Corporation Award

The corporation must demonstrate outstanding commitment to the New Jersey non-profit sector through financial support, community involvement, and motivation of others to take leadership roles in philanthropy and to support local initiatives. Corporate foundations are eligible for the award. Previous winners may be re-nominated if it has been at least seven (7) years since they were last recognized.


Outstanding Foundation Award

To qualify, a private foundation must not be affiliated with a corporation and must demonstrate an outstanding commitment to philanthropy and community involvement. Previous winners may be nominated again if it has been at least seven (7) years since they were last recognized.


Outstanding Philanthropist Award

This award is given in two (2) categories based on the fundraising budget size of the nominating organization. The categories are as follows:

1) Philanthropist working with organizations that have fundraising budgets over $1 million.

2) Philanthropist working with organizations that have fundraising budgets of $1 million or less.

Fundraising budgets include support from individuals, corporations, foundations, and government sources, but DO NOT include fee-for-service and contract services. Capital and endowment revenues/donations count as part of the fundraising budget. The nominee should display quality of leadership and organizational ability in fundraising for non-profit organizations. The recipient must demonstrate a commitment to the advancement of philanthropy as displayed through their participation with non-profit organizations.


Outstanding Emerging Fundraiser

This award recognizes an outstanding individual or organization that is gaining notability in the field of fundraising. The recipient of this award should demonstrate ingenuity, resourcefulness, creativity, and mastery of philanthropy with up to five years of industry experience. 


Excellence in Consulting

This award honors an individual consulting professional who demonstrates outstanding skills in working with non-profit organizations. The nominee must demonstrate exceptional skills in consulting with clients; successfully collaborate with volunteers and/or staff; serve multiple non-profit charitable organizations, and have worked a minimum of 5 years as a fundraising consultant either as a sole practitioner or working for a firm.


The Robert J. Smythe Award for Outstanding Professional Fundraiser

This award recognizes an individual who brings honor, dedication, and distinction to the profession. The recipient should exemplify the professional standards set by AFP. Nominees need to have demonstrated at least 10 years of experience in fundraising and be currently active in the field.


Outstanding Nonprofit Advocate

This award is presented to a New Jersey legislator, community group, or individual who has shown exemplary leadership and support in the advocacy of the nonprofit community. Types of advocacy work honored in this category could include legislative action, systems change, civic engagement, or grassroots advocacy, to name a few.

Nominator Next Steps and Dealines

Required Documents

To submit your application, please submit the following information to

afpnjchapter@afp-nj.org by May 13:

 Completed Nomination Form

 One Letter of Support (The letter must come from someone other than the nominator. It should be someone who knows the nominee and can collaborate the nomination.) 

Things to Remember

Your involvement starts with the nomination. If your nominee is selected, you and / or your organization will be instrumental in ensuring that your nominee is acknowledged and recognized in the months leading up to the Excellence in Philanthropy Awards. AFP-NJ encourages you to celebrate the awardee by attending the Excellence in Philanthropy Awards and recognize your awardee in the Awards Journal.


Nominators will be notified by May 2024 regarding the status of their nominee(s). Nominees must be notified by their nominators within 48 hours. If your nominee is selected as this year’s recipient, you (nominator) are responsible for obtaining their nominee’s bio and headshot to provide to afpnjchapter@afp-nj.org within a week of being notified. 



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