Heart of Marin Awards inspires over 800 leaders

And the Heart of Marin winner is…

…our entire community. Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership (CVNL) has been privileged to host the Heart of Marin Awards for 22 consecutive years each January to raise awareness, recognize service, and as a tribute to outstanding nonprofits, their leaders and the volunteers who serve them. Marin is home to hundreds of hundreds of nonprofits — aspiring and established, big and small. These volunteers, program officers, CEOs, and board members need recognition and resources to help them take their causes — and their impact — to the next level.

Each year, the awards recognize outstanding achievement in the following categories: Volunteer of the Year, Excellence in Board Leadership, Excellence in Leadership, Achievement in Nonprofit Excellence, Excellence in Inovation, Corporate Community Service, and Youth Volunteer of the Year. Those chosen in the first five categories are awarded $5,000 each for their organizations. Additionally, up to five youth will be presented with $1,000. All nominees and recipients are honored at the January luncheon.

In busy times, we often forget to stop and recognize people for their service. Heart of Marin is inspiring, a chance to learn about the work of passionate and committed individuals in our community and honor them for their leadership. Last year was our largest event in history. It is truly an honor to be in a room with 800+ individuals who are champions for a cause close to their heart.
–Linda Davis, CEO of CVNL

What does it mean to be nominated for a Heart of Marin Award? The Heart of Marin Awards raises community awareness by telling the story of nonprofits and their constituents. In 2015, Homeward Bound of Marin won the Excellence in Inovation award for their creative approaches helping homeless people move back into housing. They are the primary provider of shelter and residential programs for homeless families and adults in Marin. The funds from the award helped provide job training to homeless and unemployed adults through their Fresh Starts Culinary Academy.

The importance of the award nominees being able to tell their story and the impact they have on the under-represented is critical to demonstrating to funders or donors why they should offer support. The event is a platform to draw attention to populations and issues most in need throughout the county. The inspiring stories shared serve as a catalyst of the causes that need continued attention and resources. The impact from being honored as one of the eight award winners is a tremendous visibility to each organization — giving media and funding attention to their mission and enhancing services to the marginalized sectors. Over the last 22 years, we’ve seen dramatic effects the award and media publication can have. For example, Next Generation Scholars, who puts disadvantaged kids on the path to college, launched in 2003 with four kids around her kitchen table. After winning the Volunteer of the Year award in 2005, the Executive Director transformed their operations to reach 65 students daily with 100% of her students attending colleges. In 2015, an all-volunteer community-based organization who delivers food to seniors with limited-income, Respecting Our Elders, won Nonprofit of the Year and thus was able to deliver and provide nutritious food to more seniors.

We are especially grateful to have had the support of our Presenting Sponsor, Union Bank, for the past five years without whom this event would not be possible. We would also like to thank our Award Sponsors, who allowed us to give $40,000 back to the nonprofit community: Autodesk, Bank of Marin, Bregante + Company LLP, California Bank & Trust, International ProInsurance, Kaiser Permanente, Marin Community Foundation, Pacific Union, Redwood Credit Union, and Sutter Health Novato Community Hospital.

Save the date for the 2016 CVNL Heart of Marin Awards: January 7, 2016.

View the event program honoring all nominees


View the event presentation with award recipients included