Community Foundation of St. Joseph County

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Leighton Award for Nonprofit Excellence

$175,000 Biennial Award (2015, 2017, 2019...) Recognizes an Outstanding Local Nonprofit Organization

Judd and Mary Lou Leighton

There will never be enough charitable dollars to solve all the world’s problems or pursue all the wonderful opportunities before us. Philanthropy is only effective when charities leverage scarce dollars with strong leadership, creative collaborations, and dedicated volunteers. In 1999, Judd and Mary Lou Leighton endowed the largest award program of its kind. Every other year, the Leighton Award for Nonprofit Excellence—a $150,000 endowment challenge grant, which also includes a $25,000 cash prize—will be awarded competitively to a St. Joseph County nonprofit demonstrating superior leadership, management, and programming.

The Leighton Award for Nonprofit Excellence is designed to:

  • Recognize and celebrate the outstanding achievement of a local nonprofit
  • Attract valuable resources to the award winner to help sustain its strength
  • Motivate all charities in our community to pursue excellence through the inspiring examples of the winners and the hope of a major award