Advancing Racial Equity In Philanthropy, Non-Profit, and Fundraising
The Denise Stennis Awards recognize an individual in the nonprofit, philanthropy, and fundraising field and a nonprofit organization who are serving under-repesented and underserved communities in the Chicago area, who have integrated racial equity with sustained strategic collaborations, and who lift pragmatic, action-oriented, and tenacious change makers. Denise Stennis Award recipients are credited with sustained contribution of leadership excellence and service in their communities and inspiring others in the field to do the same. The objective of this Denise Stennis Awards program is s not only to recognize those who do contribute, but also to inspire others to make similar contributions to the field.
Breakin' It Down Planning Committee
The Denise Stennis Awards pay tribute to the memory of Denise Stennis, a community leader, mentor, friend and a founding member of the Breakin' It Down conference. Well- known and regarded in the metropolitan Chicago nonprofit community, Denise served a number of social benefit, educational and cultural organizations. She directly influenced countless nonprofit decision-makers, fundraising volunteers, and the work as well as careers of many Chicago area development professionals. Denise wrote: “I use the word serve as a description of my responsibilities to the nonprofit community. I do not take that responsibility lightly. My love and faith in mankind is a driving force in my commitment to the profession and to those non-profits I have been fortunate to work with.” We honor her dedication to advancing racial equity and expanding opportunity to diverse communities and professionals in the nonprofit, philanthropy, and fundraising field.
PLEASE NOTE: Submissions automatically constitute approval for Breakin it Down to use the information for promotional activities. The individual and organization selected for the Denise Stennis Awards may be featured in various promotional materials. Photos and quotes may be displayed for promotional purposes including social media, website, electronic, and printed materials.
The Denise Stennis Awards are open to all nonprofit, philanthropy, and fundraising professionals and nonprofit organizations serving under-represented and underserved communities in the Chicago area. Nominations may be made by anyone, e.g., the organization of the candidate, community members, funders, or members of any of the Breakin it Down partner organizations. Individuals and organizations may also be self-nominated. During their term service, BID Committee members are not eligible for nomination and cannot submit nominations or write supporting letters.
Nominators should review the following criteria to determine if the candidate is eligible for nomination:
INDIVIDUAL AWARD CRITERIA
ORGANIZATION AWARD CRITERIA
All nominations must be submitted electronically, and should include the following:
The nomination information must be submitted electronically, using this page.
The nomination package must include a resume or similar document that describes the candidate's professional background and achievements and other relevant activities. For organizations, a brochure or information sheet outlining the programs should be included.
The nomination package must also include the following information:
AWARD CRITERIA NARRATIVE AND SUPPORTING MATERIAL
In no more than three typed pages, address the following criteria, providing specific, concrete examples for the following
In addition, you may include news or magazine articles written about the nominee.
The Review Committee (up to five members) comprising BID committee members and external professionals in the field will review the nominations and, if appropriate, select one individual award and one organization recipient recipient in a given year. The Review Committees may recommend not to present an award if the nominations do not meet the stated award criteria. The awards need not be offered if the BID Planning Committee so decides in a particular year.
Conflict of Interest Disclosure
Any perceived or real conflicts of interest should be reported and discussed with the Review Committee chair. This includes, but is not limited to: whether a review committee member is a relative, partner, program collaborate, funder, employee, former employer, or former consultant. Additionally, if a review committee
member is currently employed by the same employer or institution of one of the nominees, the committee chair should be made aware of the situation. The committee chair will inform committee members of these relationships.
The Awards may be presented during a virtual or in-person reception, to be held as part of the Breakin' It Down conference or as separate event.
The Awards may be presented during a virtual or in-person reception, to be held as part of the Breakin' It Down conference or as separate event. The recipients of the awards receives a feature on BID's website, FaceBook, a public announcement, and presentation of award plaque and monetary award.