Leading Philanthropist Award

The Leading Philanthropist award is Australian philanthropy’s highest honour and it is awarded to an individual philanthropist whose work is visionary, high impact and transformative.



This award focuses on personal philanthropy that is outstanding in its generosity, effectiveness, vision, impact and transformative quality.  Nominations will be assessed on the below criteria:  

  1. Achievements of an individual philanthropist (not an organisation or a paid professional). 
  2. Clear vision for change and ability to impact change. 
  3. Leadership and courage to engineer giving with impact, with clear examples of good practice. 
  4. Scale of financial contribution and approach to generating additional funds. 
  5. Activity occurring in the last five years (2016-2020) – this may include design, funding, program outcomes and/or delivery of impact.  


The Leading Philanthropist award is for an individual philanthropist.

The Australian Philanthropy Awards are open to all members of the Australian philanthropic and broader social change community – anyone can nominate an individual for the Leading Philanthropist Award, but an individual is not able to nominate themselves. 

The Leading Philanthropist should be comfortable with and available for public ambassadorship of philanthropy – that is, happy to undertake media interviews, speak at Philanthropy Australia member events, share their experiences and promote philanthropy more broadly in the community.  The exact nature of this public leadership will, of course, be tailored to and relevant to the Leading Philanthropist’s context and circumstances.  


Leading Philanthropist nominations must be accompanied by at least three letters of support (maximum five) from referees who are able to verify the nominee’s service, accomplishments and character. Letters of support must be written on a letterhead and include the referee’s contact details.  

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