Welcome to the third annual Make It Better Philanthropy Awards, recognizing excellence in six award categories: Education, Athletics, Social Service, Environment, Social Justice, and Audience Choice.
We founded Make It Better Media to connect and help our North Shore audience amplify their philanthropic efforts. We found that doing this leads to more: more connections and ideas, better community, more money raised by good people, better business for all.
To amplify this happy effect, we combined the resources of Make It Better Media and the Make It Better Foundation to establish our annual Philanthropy Awards. An impressive group of judges—all thoughtful, strategic philanthropists—choose winners from applications submitted online.
We notify our winners on November 14, National Philanthropy Day, with a surprise visit to each nonprofit.
Winners will receive the following:
Professional marketing video
Editorial inclusion across Make It Better’s multiple platforms: Better Letter email newsletter to 27,000 opt-in subscribers; Make It Better print magazine, sent to 60,000 homes; Make It Better website; Founder’s Blog; Make It Better social media channels
Exclusive training in philanthropic best practices to assist in promoting their new video.
Proceeds from Shop For Good (Launching in September)
Learn more about our awards program by exploring the 2013 winners’ videos, watching our 2012 documentary video and 2012 winners’ videos, and reviewing the submissions guidelines below.
Apply now for The 2014 Philanthropy Awards [category descriptions and links below].
This award recognizes the best in education programs. In addition to traditional education institutions, we are looking for: programs that encourage teacher excellence; charter schools with innovative models; literacy interventions; after-school homework assistance programs; executive and study skills training programs; and earliest intervention programs for young developing minds. Projects and programs should demonstrate tangible outcomes such as testing results, lives made better per dollar spent, expanse of program reach or new skills retained. Eligibility: Any category of education will be considered. Submissions should use 2013-14 academic year results.
This award recognizes the best in environmental programs for advocacy, research and education that improve environmental quality and protect our natural resources. In addition to traditional conservation, we are looking for programs that range from local, grass-roots efforts to eco-business innovations to national models. Projects and programs should demonstrate tangible outcomes. Eligibility: Any category of environment will be considered. Submissions should cite program results through July 2014.
This award recognizes the best human services organization overall serving either:
1) Family, Youth and Child services: programs that reinforce the qualities that make strong families, including training and educating teen mothers; counseling families facing crisis; improving cross-generational communication; nurturing child development best practices; facilitating community-based support groups; promoting physical, mental and emotional well-being; and eradicating substance addiction, abuse and neglect.
2) Social Services: programs that elevate the human spirit and bring assistance, comfort, healing, and well-being to fellow residents in and around Chicago, including institutions that provide emergency shelter, food and safety for our homeless population; foster function-specific living environments for residents living with mental illness or developmental challenges; provide multipurpose services and support for job search; and permanent housing options.
Projects and programs should demonstrate tangible outcomes such as testing results, lives made better per dollar spent, expanse of program reach or new skills retained. Eligibility: Any category of human services will be considered. Submissions should cite program results through July 2014.
This award recognizes the best in social justice. Programs that assure every person has fair and equal opportunity access to a society’s economic resources, political and legal systems will be considered. Projects and programs should demonstrate tangible outcomes. Eligibility: Any category of social justice will be considered. Submissions should cite program results through July 2014.
This award recognizes the best in organizations that promote athletics and athletic development among youth. Organizations that equip and train recreational youth and future athletes, as well as those that promote self-esteem, self care and positive social interaction through sports-related training are also encouraged to apply. Eligibility: Any category of athletics will be considered. Submissions should cite program results through July 2014.
Most Improved Fundraising:
This award recognizes the continual improvement of NFP fundraising efforts at the local and national levels. We are looking for effective fundraising growth from one year to the next, or one program run to the next. If you’re proud of the growth you’ve achieved, share your success with us. Eligibility: Fundraising programs that concluded by July 2014, with a comparable program in the previous calendar year.
What qualifies as an NFP?
- Not-for-Profit (NFP) organizations need to have 501c status, in operation for 1 year or more (unless specified), and have a facility in the United States.
Who within the organization can apply?
- Applicants can be staff members, volunteers, supporters or organization leadership.
Will the winners be featured in your magazine?
- Yes. We will feature final candidates for the awards in the annual Philanthropy Awards issue.
How do you qualify local vs national in your awards process?
- Local programs serve constituents in the Chicago metro area. National programs serve constituents in multiple locations through out the United States. Choose the option that makes the most sense with your program and the audience served.