Excellent Emerging Organization Award

Congratulations to the 2015 Excellent Emerging Organization Award Winner: Intonation Music Workshop

2016 Award Cycle

The 2016 Excellent Emerging Organization Award application will be available for download by October 1, 2015. Prior year award applicants are encouraged to receive feedback before reapplying. Organizations that applied during the 2015 award cycle can schedule a feedback call with the Axelson Center via email through October 1. If you applied for the 2015 Excellent Emerging Organization Award, but do not seek feedback on your application, your 2016 Excellent Emerging Organization Award application will not be accepted.

The Award

This award was created to honor up-and-coming organizations, whose strength is apparent – even in the early stages of existence. We are looking for organizations that display sound management practices, innovation in programming and leadership capabilities. As an emerging organization we respect that you may not have all the policies and procedures in place, but demonstrating a commitment to excellence and learning is critical.

Eligible organizations are selected on an annual basis by an award committee comprised of Chicago-area nonprofit and community leaders. The winning organization is recognized at the Axelson Center's Annual Symposium for Nonprofit Professionals and Volunteers.


In order to be considered for the award, an applicant organization must be:

  • A501(c)3 organization
  • Its primary mission focus must benefit Chicago and/or its surrounding communities.
  • Organization has been in existence for 10 years or less
  • Organization budget must not exceed $750,000
  • Organization must have 10 or fewer full-time staff members

Award Benefits

The Excellent Emerging Organization Award aims to strengthen the capacity of the winning organization to improve services and efficiency. The selected nonprofit will receive a capacity-building package valued at over $25,000 and a $2,500 cash award. The 2015 EEO award was sponsored by MB Financial Bank. After an initial in-depth organizational assessment, a capacity building package will be customized to best meet the winning organization's needs.

Next Steps

Read about the 2015 Excellent Emerging Organization Award Winner or view the prior winners of the Excellent Emerging Organization Award and Alford-Axelson Award.

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