Spirit of Philanthropy

Each year, Philanthropy WV celebrates exceptional philanthropic work in West Virginia. The Staff Leadership, Volunteer Leadership, and Critical Impact awards go to those who have positively changed the lives and communities of the Mountain State.

2018 Spirit of Philanthropy Award Recipients

This year, we honor a record 5 individuals and collaborations as Philanthropy West Virginia celebrates 25 Year of Leadership. Join us on November 8th at 12:30 PM at the Four Points by Sheraton in Charleston, WV for the Spirit of Philanthropy Luncheon to celebrate the accomplishments of these exceptional individuals and organizations. To attend the awards ceremony, please register using the button below. Sponsor a table at $500.00 per table or tickets are $50 per person. Please contact staff at 304.517.1450 to sponsor a table for the luncheon and awards ceremony. Please visit our 2018 Annual Conference: The Power of Persistence webpage to learn more about registering for the full conference.

This Spirit of Philanthropy Awards Ceremony is free to all Conference Attendees. 


  • The Critical Impact Award goes to the crowd-funding collaboration between Parkersburg Area Community Foundation and Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley for raising a combined $1.4 million over the past two years, most of which was granted out to strengthen 149 organizations, civic groups, schools, and nonprofits in their communities. Accepting the award for PACF was Board Member Curtis Miller and Development & Communication Officer Julie Posey. Accepting on behalf of CFOV was Susie Nelson, executive director.

  • The Volunteer Leadership Award goes to someone give advocates for those without a strong voice, Mimi Wilson of the West Virginia Child Advocacy Network’s Board of Directors. Mimi’s work to bring care providers, expertise, and awareness surrounding the issue of child abuse is truly inspiring. She dedicates hours, personal funds, and her heart to the WVCAN. Mimi refuses to let the mission of child advocacy centers to be lost and always finds a way to make people pay attention. Pictured below is Mimi Wilson and her nominator Stacey Deel, Awareness & Development Specialist of WVCAN.

  • The Lifetime Volunteer Leadership Award goes to Dr. Usha Vasan for her long-time commitment to the Mid-Ohio Valley community. Serving on the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF) Board of Directors for 16 years, Dr. Vasan demonstrates her dedication to bettering the lives of her community through her personal giving in scholarships, co-founding the Vasan Family Center for Philanthropy, quadrupling the PACF’s assets and reaching members of the community to which the philanthropic community had not previously been well exposed. Thanks to Dr. Vasan’s generosity, the Mid-Ohio Valley community is prospering. Dr. Vasan (center) is pictured below with fellow board members Linda Gerrard and Donna Smith.

  • The Staff Leadership Award goes to Kim Barber Tieman of the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, with whom every kids counts. Kim is known for her dedication to getting to know the real needs of West Virginia communities. This year, some of her focus shone on WV KIDS COUNT, a child advocacy organization struggling to survive. The Benedum Foundation has helped support KIDS COUNT for a number of years, but KIDS COUNT was at risk of losing funding from another large supports and of losing their national network status. Due to Kim’s time and work with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, KIDS COUNT was saved and put back on solid ground. Pictured below is Kim Tieman with her nominator Tricia Kingery of WV KIDS COUNT.

  • The Lifetime Staff Leadership Award goes to William “Pat” Getty, retiring president of the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation. For the last 19 years, Pat’s leadership of the Benedum Foundation and generous soul have helped countless people who call West Virginia home. Picture below is Pat Getty with Philanthropy WV 2018 Board Chair Susie Nelson and President & CEO Paul Daugherty. Partnering with Pat and the Benedum Foundation has been an honor and we thank you for your many years of friendship.

The Award Descriptions

The Critical Impact Award celebrates local grantmaking, big and small. The awards will go to the organization that demonstrates creativity, innovation, and sustainability in their grant project. Recipients may include one grant project under $5,000 and one grant project over $5,000. Nominations will be accepted for programs that demonstrate bold vision, strategic initiative and foundations, or by corporate or government grantmaking organizations. They must have evidence of enduring positive impact and demonstrate philanthropic leadership.

The Volunteer Leadership Award honors an individual exhibiting an extraordinary commitment to philanthropy in the state of West Virginia. This individual excels in his or her role as an individual philanthropist through their personal giving, their company’s philanthropy, engaging others to give, and/or serving as a board member of a philanthropic organization. Consider how this person served as a catalyst in philanthropy over the last 24 months in their community that exhibited creativity, leadership and made a significant impact.

The Staff Leadership Award honors an individual exhibiting an extraordinary commitment to philanthropy in the state of West Virginia. Nominations will be accepted for staff of grantmaking entities. This staff member (volunteer or paid) excels in his or her role by demonstrating exceptional commitment and leadership in the field. Creativity is a significant component of the individual’s efforts and the impact of his or her work has been clearly demonstrated.

Selection and Recognition

Nominations must be received no later than August 24, 2018. An independent volunteer peer review panel will review all nominations and select the award recipients. The nominators will be notified of the status of their nomination by September 14, 2018. The 2018 recipient will be honored during the Philanthropy West Virginia Annual Conference on November 8th at 12:30 PM in Charleston, WV.

Nomination Process & Guidelines

Each nominator must follow the outline of this application and answer each question completely within the format provided. The nominator may include and attach up to two items (no more) including:

  • additional written references, noting the nominee’s contributions to their projects and/or the community
  • one additional item such as a newspaper article to highlight the accomplishments of the nominee.

Additional items should be in PDF format, no longer than 1 page in length and may be submitted by email to Philanthropy WV. Please title each document 2018SOPNom:NomineeName. Insert the same text in the subject line of the email. The nomination is to focus on current achievements (within the past 24 months). Each year the review committee only reviews new nominations and previous year’s nominations do not carry over for consideration in future years.

For over a decade, the Spirit of Philanthropy Awards has recognized excellence in the philanthropic community. Philanthropy WV will always recognize the past Spirit of Philanthropy award winners and the positive impacts they have made in West Virginia.