NPD 2016 Honorees

Each year AFP Golden Gate marks one day to celebrate the spirit of giving by recognizing exemplars in philanthropy and social change. On Friday, November 18, 2016 awards were presented to individuals and institutions whose giving to the community inspires all of us, and whose remarks at the luncheon lifted up the whole room of over 800 attendees. Congratulations to the NPD 2016 Honorees! Nominations for NPD 2017 are now open through June 9, 2017. Click here for details.


  Outstanding Foundation Professional
Aimee Durfee, Senior Program Officer, Y&H Soda Foundation

As Senior Program Officer at the Y&H Soda Foundation in Moraga, Aimee Durfee focuses on funding programs that help families in Contra Costa and Alameda counties rise out of poverty. She is truly an outstanding grantmaking professional who lends her thought leadership, collaboration, and innovative approach to forging public/private partnerships for this purpose. Hers has been a career of working for social justice, as her tenures at Transgender Law Center, Insight Center of Community Economic Development, Equal Rights Advocates, and United Way of the Bay Area attest. She is a trusted advisor and consultant to the grantees of Y&H.


  Vineyards Award
Dee Johnson, Lend A Hand Foundation

Dee Johnson developed a novel way to give in 1997, when she founded Lend a Hand Foundation in Oakland. Her grassroots organization does just that, with an eye to the “extras” that are prohibitively expensive for low-income families. The foundation’s annual backpack giveaway provides school supplies for the kids in Oakland schools’ Free and Reduced Lunch program. It pairs counselors with kids at motivational meetings to guide students at risk of truancy to stay in school. Working with a bootstrap budget, Dee perseveres: “The kids need us. Maybe next year we can give more,” she says. “It’s my purpose in life.”


  Outstanding Fundraising Volunteers
Nancy Livingston & Fred Levin

Nancy Livingston and Fred Levin, following the legacy of Fred’s parents, are patrons of the arts. They pair their financial support of many Bay Area cultural institutions—the San Francisco Symphony, A.C.T., the San Francisco Film Society—with passionate volunteerism. Fred has been on the board of the Film Society for 20 years and is approaching that number at the Symphony, advising on some of its key fundraising campaigns and making those hard asks. Nancy is chair of the A.C.T. board and has served on the board of Cal Performances. Their philanthropy has enriched the cultural life of many in the Bay Area. 


  Hank Rosso Outstanding Fundraising Professional
Barbara Darrow-Blake, Chief Development Officer, Alameda County Community Food Bank 

Under Barbara Darrow-Blake’s leadership of the fundraising, communications, and community outreach programs at the Alameda Community Food Bank, the organization has exceeded its goals over the past eight years. Her colleagues attribute this success to her ability to integrate institutional giving, communications, event management, and volunteer and board engagement to support the Food Bank’s goal to provide 90 million meals to its constituency by 2018. Under her tenure, there has been a 266% increase in individual giving and a 271% increase in institutional giving, no small feats considering the recent downturn in the economy. 


  Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy Award
Michelle Gonzalez

A junior at City Arts and Technical High School in San Francisco, Michelle Gonzalez participates in a trail-blazing “youth philanthropy” program at Youth Leadership Institute. She comes to philanthropy naturally, having practiced it informally in her neighborhood, where she provides care packages and social comfort to homeless people. At the city-funded program called Building Leaders in Innovative New Giving, she has already distinguished herself as a leader and an innovator, designing conference workshops and programs to help other youth learn the ropes of philanthropy and grantmaking. She is truly an “outstanding youth philanthropist.”


  Outstanding Foundation or Community Grantmaker
Akonadi Foundation

Guided by its vision for a racially just society, the Akonadi Foundation invests in leadership training and cross-generational organizing to empower young people of color to overcome the obstacles they often face in American society. It also invests in grantee programs that work to shift public and private resources from punitive strategies to new processes and paths to opportunity. Since 2000, Akonadi has awarded over 1,300 grants totaling $30 million to Bay Area nonprofits that share its vision Their chief funds, Arc to Justice and Beloved Community, say it all.


  Outstanding Corporate Grantmaker 

As one of the largest and most innovative technology companies in the world, San Francisco-based Salesforce has developed its philanthropic organization——using a novel approach. Its impact is driven by the “giving” model established by founder Marc Benioff in 1999: The company leverages 1% of its product, 1% of its employee time, and 1% of its financial resources annually to help improve the community. Over the past three years, employees spent 17,000 volunteer hours in San Francisco Unified School District classrooms alone, and granted $14 million to the district for a Principals’ Innovation Fund. It’s one of the many ways is helping to educate and guide the workforce of the future. 


   Outstanding Philanthropists
John and Marcia Goldman, John and Marcia Goldman Foundation

John and Marcia Goldman are Bay Area natives who grew up in families with a strong commitment to giving back to their community through volunteerism and philanthropy. The initial priority of their foundation, established in 1997, was to help youth in the mid-Peninsula area. But today, the foundation supports innovations in medical health at major universities, Jewish studies and social service, San Francisco’s cultural and artistic institutions, and many local nonprofit organizations. John continues his father’s legacy as president of the board of the Goldman Environmental Foundation and was appointed by President Obama as General Trustee of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2014.


  Lifetime Achievement
Ira S. Hirschfield, President and Trustee, Haas Jr. Fund

As the president of the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund for 28 years, Ira Hirschfield’s contributions to the Bay Area are staggering. He has guided the fund in supporting some of the major initiatives of our time:  marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples, drivers’ licenses for undocumented immigrants, education equity for all students, and leadership training for social activists and nonprofits. The environment was not ignored, and Ira was instrumental in the transition of Crissy Field and the Presidio from former military bases to national parkland. He has fulfilled the founders’ dictate to “build community, demonstrate compassion and empathy, and confront injustice.”