Know a person or group making the East Bay a better place to live? Consider nominating them for a shoutout at this year’s 11th annual East Bay Philanthropy Awards.

Funded by Wells Fargo, the awards recognize individuals and groups ranging from youths, volunteers and leaders of nonprofits to charitable organizations as well as businesses large and small.

And for the second year, the East Bay Philanthropy Awards is departing from tradition: Instead of focusing solely on commending large, well-funded nominees, the event has expanded its scope to include smaller altruists, said Betsy Biern, one of the event’s three co-chairs, who are also board members of the East Bay Leadership Council.

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“We still want to honor (the bigger benefactors), but in doing that we missed people who might be off the radar,” Biern said.

A committee will review the work of this year’s nominees using criteria in six categories: “Equity,” “Resilience,” “Creativity,” “Compassion,” “Risk-Taking” and “Sustained Commitment.”

Maria Isabel Bueso speaks at the 2019 East Bay Philanthropy Awards. (Photo courtesy Lisa Chow)
  • “Equity” refers to work that fosters inclusive attitudes and practices enabling individuals to reach their full potential in safety and dignity regardless of their race, socioeconomic class, gender, sexual orientation, abilities or other factors.
  • “Resilience” describes actions that help communities adapt and recover when adversity strikes.
  • “Creativity” is about doing things outside the norm, abandoning old ways that aren’t helping the community in favor of more productive approaches.
  • “Compassion” is demonstrated by caring for others and giving without expectation of receiving anything in return.
  • “Risk-Taking” is a quality of those who have the courage to stand out from the crowd, flouting the status quo to promote the common good.
  • “Sustained Commitment,” as the category’s name suggests, describes those who have demonstrated the commitment to make long-term changes in their community.

To nominate a candidate, go to

If you need ideas, review the list of last year’s honorees and watch the video of the awards ceremony.

Donald Frazier accepts the 2020 Social Impact Award for his work as the executive director of Building Opportunity for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS) in Berkeley. (Photo courtesy East Bay Leadership Council)

Write a short (about 500 words) essay in a Word document explaining how your nominee is making a difference in Alameda or Contra Costa counties and why those efforts deserve recognition. The narrative should include a background on the person or organization.

Then scroll down and click on “Start Your Nomination” to open the form.

Nominations are due Sept. 20. The results will be announced Oct. 1.

Nominators might be asked to provide photos and a short video to help shine the spotlight on each honoree at an online awards ceremony that will be held 9 to 10 a.m. Nov. 18.

RYSE Center staff and youth interns pose at the 2019 RYSE Commons groundbreaking. RYSE Center in Richmond was a recipient of the 2020 Next Generation Leadership Award. (Photo courtesy RYSE Center)

For more information, contact East Bay Leadership Council at or call (925) 246-1880.