Excellent Emerging Organization Award

Congratulations to Muslim Women's Alliance, winner of the 2016 Excellent Emerging Organization Award!

Watch the video about Muslim Women's Alliance, presented at the Annual Symposium awards luncheon on June 13, 2016.

The Award

The Excellent Emerging Organization 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 as well as innovation in programming and leadership capabilities. We respect that, as an emerging organization, 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 a 501(c)3 organization
  • Must have a primary mission focus that benefits Chicago and/or its surrounding communities (includes Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will County)
  • Must be in existence for 10 years or less
  • Must have an annual budget that does not exceed $750,000
  • 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 2016 Excellent Emerging Organization Award Winner or view the prior winners of the Excellent Emerging Organization Award and Alford-Axelson Award.

Axelson small logo at North Park University