2014 Philanthropy Awards

We founded Make It Better to connect and help our audience amplify their philanthropic efforts. We found this leads to more connections and ideas, a heightened feeling of community, more money raised by good people, and better business for everyone. It’s a virtuous circle.

To amplify this feeling of good will, we established our annual Philanthropy Awards. An impressive group 
of judges—thoughtful, strategic philanthropists all—choose winners from applications submitted online.

Traditionally, winners are notified on Nov. 15, National Philanthropy Day (this past year, it fell on a Saturday, so we opted for Nov. 14 instead), with a surprise visit to each nonprofit. Their prizes include videos and articles that bring to life their missions and demonstrate that donated dollars are well spent.

Our sincerest congratulations to the inspirational and innovative winners, and to the dedicated employees and volunteers who keep these nonprofits going strong. Click on each winner’s name below to learn more about the organization and watch their video.

Stay tuned for a “Save the Date” for our gala 2014 Philanthropy Awards celebration to be held in April.

Crushers Club (Athletics)


Horizons for Youth (Audience Choice)


Phalen Leadership Academies (National Education)


RefugeeOne (Humanitarian)


SitStayRead (Local Education)


Skin of Steel (Most Improved Fundraising)


Solidarity Bridge (Social Justice)


Trees That Feed Foundation (Environment)



Our Academy of Judges Includes:

Make It Better Judges: Mindy Fauntleroy, Maura Flaherty, Susan B. Noyes, Sandy Tsuchida; Former Philanthropy Award Winners: Sherry Arthur, Lydia Home Assoc.; Brian Floriani, Bernie’s Book Bank; Seth Green, Y.O.U. Evanston; Cherie Hrusovsky, GLASA; Dawn Kobel, Girls in the Game; Kim Michelson, Beyond Sports Foundation; Jamie O’Malley, Midwest Care Center; Katie Taylor, Northwestern Settlement; Neli Vazquez-Rowland, A Safe Haven; Seth Weinberger, Innovations for Learning; Civic Leaders: Heather Blackwell, Global Trotters Fund; Matt Doubleday, Wintrust; Liam Krehbiel, A Better Chicago; Sandra Miller, RIC; Michael Rosengarden, Autohaus/Mercedes Benz; Tom Sabatino, Walgreens; Nancy Searle, philanthropist

Additional underwriting provided by The Enelow Fund.

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