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The Willoughby Award

Philanos presents this award at our regular conferences to a woman whose experience and affiliation with her collective giving organization has empowered her to become a visionary leader among women in philanthropy. The award focuses on the leadership aspect of collective giving and honors Colleen Willoughby's legacy as a visionary leader in philanthropy including her history as a founder of  the Washington Women's Foundation and Philanos. 

The Willoughby Award recipient is recognized for taking philanthropy and leadership in new directions and  challenging the status quo, as Colleen has done, to inspire more women to find and amplify their voices today, tomorrow and for the foreseeable future.  Colleen's visionary leadership will continue to inspire new and groundbreaking leaders in philanthropy through the Philanos Willoughby Award.

Willoughby Award Background

Colleen Willoughby challenged the status quo of traditional philanthropy 25 years ago when she found it deeply troubling that women did not have an organized vehicle for using their own money — and they controlled plenty of it — to invest in their communities in ways that reflected the issues they cared about, and in ways that also reflected their collaborative style of leadership. 

Colleen's idea of collective giving grantmaking changed the face of philanthropy forever, not just in Seattle where it began with Washington Women’s Foundation, but across the country and the world. She inspired and mentored groups in New York, Boise, Ketchum, San Diego, Roanoke, Jacksonville, St Louis, Minneapolis, Austin, and Charlotte, and as far away as Shanghai and Melbourne.  She expanded the movement in 2009 by establishing Women’s Collective Giving Grantmakers Network (WCGN), now Philanos. 

The Willoughby Award is sponsored by Colleen S. Willoughby, and Past Philanos Board Member Dale Clifford, in honor of her mother Laura Egerton Lothrop.

Colleen S. Willoughby Tribute 

Colleen S.Willoughby Award | PHILANOS

Colleen S. Willoughby: "Reflections On 25 Years In Collective Giving"

2023 Willoughby Award Honoree

Malynda Hawes Madzel
Women's Giving Circle of Howard County, MD

2022 Willoughby Award Honoree

Katherine Fulton
Impact100 Sonoma, CA

2021 Willoughby Award Honoree

Kyle Ruffin
Impact100 South Jersey

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