The Philanthropy Awards — our keystone program — is an annual competition to identify, elevate, and amplify the most effective nonprofits making a difference.  An awards package valued at over $25,000 is given to recipients each year.

2023 Philanthropy Award Winners

On April 3rd, Make It Better Foundation announced the 2023 Philanthropy Award Winners:

  • Human Services Award Winner: READI Chicago
  • Health and Mental Wellness Award Winner: UCAN
  • Social Services Award Winner: Metropolitan Peace Initiatives

Read their stories and more on

Apply for a Philanthropy Award
Become an Award Sponsor, Judge or Media Partner

Our Media Partners showcase and celebrate the winners.

Email Sharon Krone, Executive Director, at [email protected] for more information.

Roseanna Ander serves as the founding Executive Director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab and Education Lab which work to design, test, and scale data-driven programs and practices that improve the public sector’s approach to violence prevention, criminal justice reform, and improved educational outcomes in Chicago, New York, and around the nation.

Phil Andrew is co-founder and principal of PAX Group, a crisis and conflict management consultancy based in Kenilworth. Phil served for 21 years as a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and currently works to help organizations navigate complex and dynamic relationships, projects and environments.

Jeanne Bishop is a Cook County Public Defender and felony trial attorney, teaches trial advocacy at Northwestern and serves on the advisory board of its Center on Wrongful Convictions. Jeanne authored Change of Heart: Justice, Mercy, and Making Peace with My Sister’s Killer. (Westminster John Knox Press 2015) and Grace from the Rubble: Two Fathers’ Road to Reconciliation After the Oklahoma City Bombing (Zondervan 2020).   She is a member of the Make It Better Foundation Philanthropy Awards Academy of Judges.

Our Academy Of Judges are esteemed venture philanthropists, past winners, sponsors and thought leaders and select the winners each year.

We use the following criteria to evaluate your organization:

  • Effectiveness: measured by the number of people served and lives made better, program outcomes, development of self-sufficiency and breaking the cycle of dependency;
  • Efficiency: emphasized by collaboration and cost effectiveness;
  • Leadership: focusing on full board participation, diversity, fulfillment of mission statement, using calculated risks to overcome challenges and improve outcomes;
  • Scalability: prioritizing the ability to increase funds independent of government funding proportionate to increased programs and services, with the potential to replicate in another regional area;
  • Excellence: committing to best possible services delivered with integrity and transparency.

 Current and Past Philanthropy Awards Winners

We offer our sincerest congratulations to the inspirational and innovative winners on this list, and to the dedicated employees and volunteers who are integral to the impactful work done by each of these nonprofits. Click on each winner’s name below to learn more about the organization and watch their video.