John W. Gardner Leadership Award

About Bill Bynum and HOPE

Bill Bynum’s selection for this prestigious award is recognition of his extraordinary leadership as President and CEO of the HOPE family of organizations (Hope Enterprise Corporation, Hope Credit Union, and Hope Policy Institute). They strengthen communities, build assets, and improve lives in economically distressed areas of the Deep South by providing access to high-quality financial products and services.

His pioneering efforts focus on closing the racial wealth gap and driving monetary resources into communities most acutely suffering from systemic effects of American slavery.

Bynum will formally accept the Gardner Award and speak about his work during the virtual Upswell Summit on November 15. Independent Sector gathers changemakers annually during the Upswell Summit to make sense of progress and take stock of the sector’s potential to pursue a healthier and more equitable society where all people can thrive.

About the Gardner Award


This national award, established in 1985, honors outstanding Americans who exemplify the leadership and ideals of John W. Gardner (1912-2002), statesman and founding chair of Independent Sector. Working with a selection committee of national leaders who are Independent Sector members, we present the award annually to one or more individuals whose leadership in or with the nonprofit community has helped transform, mobilize and unify people, institutions, or causes that help create a nation where all can thrive.

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