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Nominations for The Willoughby Award

Nominations Closed


The Willoughby Award honors visionary women leaders in philanthropy who, like Colleen S. Willoughby, have taken the field in exciting, new directions. 


When she founded the Washington Women’s Foundation (WaWF) in Seattle in 1995, Colleen sought to address a philanthropic landscape where women often lacked the confidence to invest broadly and boldly in issues important to them in their communities.  She sought to build a movement that provided women with seats at philanthropic board tables overwhelmingly led by men.  The model she developed and promoted through WaWF and affiliated organizations – collective giving grantmaking – changed the face of philanthropy.  Her groundbreaking approach centered on a collaborative approach to philanthropy and leadership.

This award will be given to one woman in the Philanos network whose experience and affiliation with her collective giving organization has inspired her to take her philanthropy efforts outside the organization, to directly change her community.  She will also be recognized for taking women's leadership in new directions, challenging the status quo – as Colleen did in 1995 – to inspire more women to find and amplify their voices today, tomorrow and the foreseeable future. 

Philanos will present this award at each national conference to a woman in our network whose experience with her collective giving organization has inspired her to be a visionary leader in philanthropy. In 2021, The Willoughby Award will be presented virtually in lieu of an in-person conference.

Award Eligibility

  • A current active member or staff member of a Philanos affiliate in good standing.  
  • A change-maker who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership through her work in the collective giving movement at the local or national level.
  • Self-nominations or nomination by the ED, President or Chair of an affiliate is accepted.
  • Individual nominations only.
  • Current Philanos Board members are ineligible.


  • Nominations for the inaugural award open March 4, 2021.
  • Nominations close June 30, 2021.  Only complete applications will be reviewed - Nominee (optional) and Nominator/Endorser submit here.
  • The Willoughby Award will be presented virtually this fall (date TBD).
  • Each nominee (optional) and her nominator (or endorser if self-nominated) must submit a 1–2-page application answering the following questions:
    • How has this candidate, having been inspired by her experience and affiliation with her collective giving organization, taken her philanthropy efforts outside the organization, challenging the status quo in order to change her community? 
    • How has the candidate challenged the status quo in philanthropy and changed its direction and/or priorities?
  • Nominations will be submitted by the President, ED or Board Chair of the nominating affiliate to the Philanos Chair and Vice-Chair via the nominations webpage; self-nominations should also be submitted to the Philanos Chair and Vice-Chair via the nominations webpage. 
  • If self-nominated, please have an endorser submit their application via our nominations webpage.
  • Optionally, a nominee can submit their response to the above 2 questions via our nominations webpage.
  • Applications will be reviewed, and an honoree determined by the Award Steering Committee, and that honoree will be presented to the Philanos Board for approval.

Philanos Commitments

  • $1,000 prize donated to the awardee’s nonprofit of choice
  • Press release for national coverage
  • Awardee’s interview in the Philanos newsletter
  • Promote on Philanos website
  • Promote on Philanos social media

Nominator’s Commitments

  • To promote Philanos’ October virtual event to other networks, including her affiliate members

Awardee’s Commitments

  • To acknowledge the award with a statement, video, or another platform of her choice

Contact Philanos  info@philanos.org

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