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Nomination Information

Nominate a resident leader for our Dorothy Richardson Award for Resident Leadership.

The Dorothy Richardson Award for Resident Leadership honors the spirit and life's work of Dorothy Mae Richardson, and her neighbors, who sparked a movement in the 1960s in the North Side of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Their leadership resulted in the establishment of the first Neighborhood Housing Services, the forerunner of today's NeighborWorks network, and a new model for resident-led, place-based community development. 
As complex issues continue to face communities across the country, NeighborWorks America has renewed our commitment to comprehensive community development, and to recognize community leaders for the essential role they play in strengthening communities. This work — and award — are more important than ever. 
Awardee selection is based on a nominee's ability to bring people together to create significant community impact. Evidence of articulating and sharing a vision, sustaining commitment, and engaging neighbors and other stakeholders is sought, as is an organization's demonstrable commitment to supporting the nominee. 
Each awardee receives: 
  • A scholarship to attend the NeighborWorks Community Leadership Institute (CLI) Oct. 26-29, a national resident leadership training involving hundreds of community leaders from around the country. 
  • Recognition at a national awards ceremony at the CLI. 
Each nominating NeighborWorks network organization receives: 
  • A $5,000 grant to support community leadership development. 
  • National visibility through a written profile, video and press release featuring the awardee and the nominating organization. 
  • Access to communications and marketing collateral to further promote the story of the awardee and the role of the organization in supporting resident leadership. 
Awardees and nominating organizations are expected to: 
  • Be interviewed by NeighborWorks America staff and contractors for the development of a written piece (approximately two hours of interviews) and video (approximately one day for recording and photos). 
  • Prepare for and attend the Community Leadership Institute and award ceremony. 
Please note: To fully recognize the contributions of community leaders, all nominations will be publicly announced by NeighborWorks America on a national level. Additionally, all nominees not selected for the national award will be recognized at the local level by the nominating organization and respective NeighborWorks America regional office. 

Eligibility Criteria 

  • The individual nominee must be nominated by a NeighborWorks network organization and live and/or work in a community served by the organization. 
  • The individual must have demonstrated commitment to a specific project, initiative or issue with a tangible outcome(s) within the last 1-5 years. 
  • Individuals currently employed by NeighborWorks network organizations are not eligible. 
  • Individuals currently serving as elected officials (or running for elected office) are not eligible. 

Selection Criteria 

Community leaders are selected for this award based on the impact of their work and on the extent to which they exemplify the following core characteristics: 
  • Vision: A creative thinker able to see a different future and inspire others to action. 
  • Commitment: Takes strategic risks and refuses to give up in the face of setbacks or obstacles in order to move issues forward. 
  • Partnership: Builds effective partnerships with other residents, the sponsoring NeighborWorks network organization, and representatives from nonprofit, public and/or private sectors. 
  • Impact: Has made a significant, positive difference in improving lives and strengthening communities by addressing critical issues. 

Nomination Process 

Nomination Questions 

Below are the questions asked in the nomination form to help you prepare. Please submit your nomination online by March 24.  
  1. Organization name 
  2. Staff contact full name 
  3. Staff contact title 
  4. Staff contact email 
  5. Nominee full name 
  6. Nominee age 
  7. Nominee race/ethnicity (if known) 
  8. Neighborhood/community where the nominee focused their work 
  9. Please upload a photo of the nominee. This should be a .gif, .jpg/.jpeg or .png file where the nominee is standing alone. The file name should be the nominee's full name. 
  10. In 3-5 sentences, summarize the nominee's vision and commitment to their community. Why is the nominee an ideal candidate for this award? 
  11. Describe a project or initiative that the nominee led in order to improve their community. How did they identify the need and become involved in this effort? What steps did they take in response? What role did the nominee play in leading the effort and what unique strengths did they bring? Please be specific and remember this effort must have taken place within the last 1-5 years. 
  12. What role did the nominee play in engaging other residents and community partners in the project or initiative? What steps did they undertake to recruit other stakeholders to participate in the project or initiative? Who else got involved as a result of their leadership? What difference did these partnerships make in ensuring success? 
  13. What impact has resulted from the nominee's leadership, both within the community and within your organization? Please be specific about outcomes from the project or initiative. Share tangible results or results that can be seen, measured or evaluated. 
  14. What role did your organization play in cultivating or supporting the nominee's leadership role? Why is it important to your organization that the nominee be recognized? If the nominee is selected for the award, how will your organization use it as an opportunity to highlight the role of resident leadership in your community? 
  15. Please share links and/or attachments to additional documents or information that support your nomination information. This can include thank you letters, news articles, social media posts, or videos. For attachments, the file names should be the nominee's full name. Maximum of 6 files no more than a total of 50MB.
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