NGen Leadership Award

2019 NGen Leadership Award nominations are now closed!

Thank you to all who nominated a changemaker for the award this year!

We’ll announce the six finalists for the 2019 award before Upswell Chicago this November 13-15, where all six finalists will be our guests and we will announce the winner.


Who is eligible for the award?

The NGen Leadership Award honors a highly accomplished charitable community leader age 40 or under who has demonstrated significant impact. To be eligible, you must:

  • Be age 40 or under at the time of application
  • Be a changemaker who has demonstrated transformative social impact through collaborative leadership
  • Reside in the United States (nominees may work or be affiliated with an organization that works internationally or has a globally focused mission)

Note: Independent Sector membership is not required to submit a nomination or to be eligible for consideration for the award.

What criteria are used to select finalists?

  1. Evidence of transformative or significant impact in a community or issue area.
  2. Proven ability to collaborate with other changemakers on action-oriented projects in innovative and inclusive ways.
  3. Proactive identification of need and assessment of progress toward goal.
  4. Demonstrated leadership qualities and dedication to advancing the common good.

What is the nomination process?

If you know a changemaker deserving of the NGen Leadership Award, please complete this short nomination form. Nominees will then receive an email with more information about the award and a link to the application.

Note: Nominees must complete an application to be considered for the award.

What is the application process?

The application includes some basic background questions about the nominated changemaker, and an essay describing the applicant’s work as a transformative and collaborative leader. A letter of recommendation is required, and resumé or link to your LinkedIn profile are also requested. Applications and letters of reference must be submitted by 11:59 PT on Thursday, June 6, 2019.

Note: You do not have to be nominated by someone else to apply.

How are finalists selected?

Submissions will be reviewed by Independent Sector staff and an outside panel of prominent national leaders from across the charitable community. Applicants will be notified of their selection status in July 2019, and a group of finalists will be invited to share their mission and vision through short videos. Public voting and engagement will take place in August, and all six finalists will be our guests at Upswell, where the winner will be announced.

What do finalists receive?

Finalists will receive registration, lodging, and travel for Upswell Chicago November 13-15, 2019. Finalists will be recognized during Upswell Chicago. Finalists will also receive a complimentary year of Independent Sector membership for their organization (if the finalist’s organization is not already a current Independent Sector member).

What does the winner receive?

The winner will receive a $3,000 award intended to support their work or further their leadership development. The winner will also be invited to participate in a future Aspen Institute Leadership Academy.

Who are the past award winners?

Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the previous nine recipients of this award.

Interested in learning more about the award?

Email us at

NGen Award Winners


Stacy Stout
City of Grand Rapids

Sarah Eagle Heart
Native Americans in Philanthropy

Diana Nambatya Nsubuga
Global Health Corps


Julieta Garibay
United We Dream

Sarah Kastelic
National Indian Child Welfare Association

Sarah Johnson
Carnegie Hall’s Weill Institute of Music


Jeff Edmondson

Ai-jen Poo
National Domestic Workers Alliance

Darell Hammond