The Awards competition is open to any 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in the New York City area: Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Nassau County, Suffolk County, and Westchester County. National and international nonprofit organizations based in the New York City area are eligible, but can only apply if management activities are focused in the New York City area. Local chapters/affiliates of national or international organizations must be operating under their own 501(c)(3) status and must demonstrate local control over their finances and operations and have a local governing board.

Applications are welcome from organizations of all budget sizes, relatively new or well-established organizations, and any type of operating 501(c)(3) nonprofit, regardless of its mission. Organizations do NOT need to be members of Nonprofit New York to apply. In reviewing applications, the Selection Committee will take into account the management resources available to each organization in terms of funding, staff and volunteers. Start-up nonprofits are eligible, but the application and Awards process focus on management track record and results, not future plans. Organizations must also operate with the highest integrity, have a good reputation in the field, and foster equitable, anti-oppressive work environments.

The following organizations are not eligible to apply for the Awards:

  • Foundations and organizations whose sole mission is to make grants.
  • Organizations that have received a Nonprofit Excellence Award within the last three years (e.g., 2019, 2018, and 2017 award-winners).
  • Organizations that have discriminatory policies and/or practices on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, ability, gender, gender identity, immigration status, marital status, familial status, parental status, military status, HIV status, religion, sexual orientation, or genetic information.

Organizations employing board members of Nonprofit New York are eligible to apply; however, that Nonprofit New York Board member will be recused from conversations about the selection process and any ancillary discussion about the Awards process in all board meetings and board committee meetings. That Nonprofit New York Board member will not be eligible to sit on the Awards Selection Committee during any year that their employing organization applies.

Nonprofit New York reserves the right to, at any time during the application process, deem an application ineligible for consideration due to fraud, misrepresentation, bad acts of any kind, questionable financial management, or any compromise of integrity that calls into question that applicant’s truthfulness and candor regarding their organization’s management and programmatic practices. Nonprofit New York engages in a professional assessment of applicants’ documents submitted, and engages in online research and background checks for all applicants. Nonprofit New York engages in further due diligence on a case-by-case basis. Factors considered in determining an applicants’ eligibility also include: an applicants’ reputation and feedback from employees or partners on Glassdoor and similar websites.

The competition is free to all applicants.