John W. Gardner Leadership Award

New June 17 Deadline: Nominate an Extraordinary Changemaker for Gardner Leadership Award

Our community of changemakers works tirelessly to make positive change in the lives of those we serve across the country. And each year we honor one exceptional leader whose work exemplifies the vision of IS founder John W. Gardner to transform, mobilize, and unify people, institutions, or causes to improve our communities and nation.

You’re invited to nominate for consideration a social innovation champion who represents the breadth of diversity of our community at large who has:

  • Significantly and demonstrably empowered constituencies,
  • Strengthened participation and/or inspired movements, and
  • Raised the capacity of others to advance the common good.

The winner will be announced in the fall. Nominations may be submitted through Wednesday, June 17, 2020, 11:59 pm PST. Please see FAQs below for nomination submission details.

About the Award

The John W. Gardner Leadership Award was established in 1985 to honor outstanding Americans who exemplify the leadership and the ideals of John W. Gardner (1912-2002), American statesman and founding chair of Independent Sector. Independent Sector presents the award each year to an individual whose leadership in or with the nonprofit community has been transformative and who has mobilized and unified people, institutions, or causes that improve the quality of life on our planet.

FAQS

What is the John W. Gardner Leadership Award?

The John W. Gardner Leadership Award honors visionaries who have empowered constituencies, strengthened participation, and inspired movements; builders – people who, quite apart from personal achievements, have raised the capacity of others to advance the common good; and those whose leadership has either had national or international impact or, if at the regional level, has attracted wider recognition and imitation. Award recipients may be the creators of needed institutions or may concentrate on education and advocacy that changes public opinion. Whatever means they use, their work has transformed their chosen field, has served as a role model to other fields, and has had a significant impact on advancing not only their own institutional interests, but also the broader interests of the charitable community.

Who is eligible for the award?

The award honors visionaries who have empowered constituencies, strengthened participation, and inspired movements; builders – people who, quite apart from personal achievements, have raised the capacity of others to advance the common good; and those whose leadership has either had national or international impact or, if at the regional level, has attracted wider recognition and imitation. Award recipients may be the creators of needed institutions or may concentrate on education and advocacy that changes public opinion. Whatever means they use, their work has transformed their chosen field, has served as a role model to other fields, and has had a significant impact on advancing not only their own institutional interests, but also the broader interests of the charitable community. Two or more individuals, whose combined leadership demonstrates a strong and successful collaboration resulting in the breadth of impact and advancement of the common good contemplated by the Award, are eligible to be nominated and honored jointly.

How can I nominate someone for the award?

You may submit your nomination by completing an online form. The nomination period opens on Monday, February 3, 2020 and closes on Wednesday, June 17, 2020, 11:59 pm PST. Note: Nominations must be made without the candidate’s knowledge.

What is the judging process?

All nominations will be evaluated by a national blue-ribbon panel. Additional information may be requested for finalists. The winner will be selected and notified in the summer, and announced during the fall.

What is the deadline for submission?

The nomination submission deadline is Wednesday, June  17, 2020, 11:59 pm PST.

When will the awardee be notified?

The awardee will be notified in the summer of 2020.

Where will the award be presented?

The award will be presented in the fall.

Who should I contact for additional questions?

For more information, please contact

Gina Catedrilla Strickland – GinaC@independentsector.org

Gardner Award Winners

Sherry-1000-BW

2019
Sherry Salway Black
(Oglala Lakota)
First People’s Fund

Angela-Glover-Blackwell-8-8-18

2018
Angela Glover Blackwell
PolicyLink

2017 Rosanne-Haggerty-BW

2017
Rosanne Haggerty
Community Solutions

2016 Bryan-Stevenson-BW

2016
Bryan Stevenson
Equal Justice Initiative

2015-Michael-Brown-BW

2015
Michael Brown
City Year

2014-Alberto-Ibargüen-BW

2014
Alberto Ibargüen
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

2013-Constance-Rice-BW

2013
Constance Rice
Advancement Project

2012-Jeff-Skoll-BW

2012
Jeff Skoll
Skoll Foundation

2011-Bill-Drayton-BW

2011
Bill Drayton
Ashoka

2010-Colin-Powell-BW

2010
General Colin Powell
America’s Promise Alliance

2010-Alma-Powell-BW

2010
Alma Powell
America’s Promise Alliance

2009-Geoffrey-Canada-BW

2009
Geoffrey Canada
Harlem Children’s Zone

2008-Robert-Greenstein-BW

2008
Robert Greenstein
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

2007-Susan-Berresford-BW

2007
Susan V. Berresford
The Ford Foundation

2006-Johnetta-B.-Cole-BW

2006
Johnnetta B. Cole
Bennett College for Women, Smithsonian Museum of African Art

2005-Ronald-Grzywinski-BW

2005
Ronald Grzywinski
Shorebank Corporation

2004-Raul-Yzaguirre-BW

2004
Raul Yzaguirre
National Council of La Raza
(now UnidosUS)

2003-Robert-Payton-BW

2003
Robert L. Payton
Center on Philanthropy, Indiana University

2002-Harris-Wofford-BW

2002
Harris Wofford
America’s Promise

2001-Rebecca-Adamson-BW

2001
Rebecca L. Adamson
First Nations Development Institute

2000-Dorothy-Stoneman-BW

2000
Dorothy Stoneman
YouthBuild U.S.A.

1999-Lois-Gibbs-BW

1999
Lois Gibbs
Center for Health, Environment and Justice