Contact: Amel Gorani,, 434.951.9041


Nominations Now Open for the Second Round of the CNE Philanthropy Champions Program 


Charlottesville, Va. – The Center for Nonprofit Excellence (CNE) has launched the second round of the Philanthropy Champions program. The program seeks to spotlight the generous giving and important contributions of community members, not least those from marginalized and underrepresented groups whose philanthropy is often overlooked due to the narrow focus within traditional philanthropy on donors of major gifts. The program is part of CNE’s ongoing efforts to promote a more expansive and inclusive understanding of philanthropy by shining a light on some of the myriad ways that ordinary people engage in philanthropic activities. In doing so we recognize the diversity of ways in which people contribute by giving their time, treasure, talent, ties, and testimony.

“We are delighted to be launching the second round of the Philanthropy Champions program,” said Amel Gorani, CNE Deputy Director – Strategy, Equity, & Impact. “The program has been received with enthusiastic interest and support within CNE and our wider network, and has already made significant achievements in its inaugural year. It has bolstered our efforts to transform people’s understanding and perceptions of what philanthropy is and who philanthropists are. The program has made significant contributions to advancing our mission of building community. We cannot wait to celebrate the second cohort of Philanthropy Champions.”

CNE is looking to honor philanthropists (in the broad sense of the word) in the Charlottesville region who are not already widely recognized and celebrated for their professional and paid work, but individuals and groups who make a significant contribution within their community by extending themselves and sharing their talents, skills, and compassion in the ways that make a big difference. These are community volunteers and advocates, grandparents, youth leaders, teachers, workers, and other unrecognized philanthropists who are a bastion of support for others, but rarely get formal recognition for their efforts.

Last year, CNE recognized 18 Philanthropy Champions from across the Charlottesville region who were nominated by community members for their philanthropic engagements. The 2023 Philanthropy Champions’ areas of work included food security, housing justice, student activism, health, services to immigrant communities, the arts, women empowerment, and combating sexual violence. The champions represented a wide range of philanthropic practices by community leaders from varied backgrounds, generations, and all walks of life whose contributions have made an important contribution to the welfare of our community.

The 2024 Philanthropy Champions will be recognized at CNE’s annual Philanthropy Day celebration which will be held on March 27 at the Wool Factory in Charlottesville. Each champion will receive a CNE Philanthropy Champion certificate, a monetary award, a one-year CNE membership, and will be featured on CNE social media and website.

Individuals and groups in the Charlottesville region are eligible to be nominated. To nominate a Philanthropy Champion, go to

Nominations can be submitted through January 26, 2024.

For more information, contact Amel Gorani at or (434) 951-9041.


About CNE

The Center for Nonprofit Excellence (CNE) is a member-driven, community resource for strengthening nonprofits and building a healthy, thriving social impact sector. CNE partners with more than 900 nonprofits and funders statewide to provide leadership development, training and consulting, and data, research, and convening so we can all live in a more equitable, thriving, and just Virginia.