Association of Fundraising Professionals Santa Barbara/Ventura Counties Chapter seeks nominations for its 2023 National Philanthropy Day Awards on Tuesday, Nov. 14. The award ceremony will be held at the Santa Barbara Zoo.

“National Philanthropy Day is a special day set aside to recognize and pay tribute to those active in our philanthropic communities who have made our lives, communities, and world a better place,” said Gerry Pantoja, director of philanthropy at Ventura College Foundation. Pantoja is also past president of the chapter, and chair of the nomination committee.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to tell us a story of an extraordinary philanthropist, fundraiser, organization, or effort who deserves to be celebrated,” he said. “A lot of great work is being done in our counties, and it deserves to have a spotlight put on it.

“Please consider submitting a nomination for this year’s event and allow us to thank those making a difference in our communities.”

First held locally in 1987, National Philanthropy Day recognizes the contributions of philanthropy, and those people active in the philanthropic community who have enriched the world.

It also provides an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of giving and all that it has made possible. Nominations can be made in the following categories:

Philanthropist of the Year in Santa Barbara County; Philanthropist of the Year in Ventura County; Volunteer of the Year in Santa Barbara County; Volunteer of the Year in Ventura County; Youth in Philanthropy, aged 16-23; Professional Fundraiser of the Year; Champion for Social Justice.

The nomination form is available at

2022 Honorees included: The FUND for Santa Barbara; Steve Hearst of Morgan Hearst Charitable Foundation; Planned Parenthood of California Central Coast Book Sale Committee; Lynda Bowman, chair, TEACh Scholarship Fund; Rich Block, president/CEO, Santa Barbara Zoo; Diversity Collective of Ventura County.

AFPSBV Chapter is a resource for nonprofit professionals locally. The chapter holds monthly training sessions on diverse topics, and organizes annual professional development symposiums. In 2023, the chapter received Ten Gold Star, a global association designation for excellent chapters, and the IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility) designation.

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