Olga Alexeeva Memorial Prize

For developing philanthropy for progressive social change in emerging market countries

The Olga Alexeeva Memorial Prize of £5,000 is for an individual who has demonstrated remarkable leadership, creativity and results in developing philanthropy for progressive social change in an emerging market country or countries. The prize will be for the individual winner to use at their discretion.

Here you will find:

•  About the Fourth Olga Alexeeva Memorial Prize
•  Purpose of the prize
•  Nomination and selection process
•  FAQs
•  Previous prize winners
•  About Olga Alexeeva
•  About our funders

About the Fourth Olga Alexeeva Memorial Prize

This prize was established in memory of Olga Alexeeva, founder of Philanthropy Bridge Foundation, by former PFB trustees in honour of her memory and beliefs. The £5,000 prize is awarded annually.

Alliance will be organizing the prize in association with WINGS and the Global Fund for Community Foundations. The aim of this collaboration is to broaden the reach of the prize. Working through their members and networks, we hope they will be able to help us to identify a diverse group of candidates from a greater range of countries.

Purpose of the prize

The purpose of the prize is to encourage and highlight the work of a remarkable individual who has committed herself or himself to building philanthropy and demonstrating its value as a tool for achieving progressive social change in their country or region. This might mean:

•  Encouraging others (foundations, companies, individuals, etc) to get involved in philanthropy in ways that are strategic and effective, or
•  Developing a culture of giving to address ‘difficult’ causes through personal example and other approaches that create wide support from the public and other philanthropists, or
•  Strengthening local philanthropic infrastructure, whether by building strong, transparent and well-governed philanthropic institutions, or working to improve the local fiscal and legal environment for giving, or introducing new and innovative mechanisms for giving or for creating or investing new philanthropic assets

Please note: while the organizers of the prize recognize the excellent work that is done by many NGOs and social enterprises around the world, as well as the value of fundraising for such causes, these are not the focus of the prize.

Nomination and selection process

Nominations for the prize should be submitted by one main ‘nominator’ and seconded by another person. The closing date for applications is 31 May 2016.

A shortlist of up to six people will be developed by the founders of the prize:

•  Maria Chertok, director, CAF Russia and former Philanthropy Bridge Foundation (PBF) trustee
•  Caroline Hartnell, Alliance consultant and former PBF chair
•  Jenny Hodgson, executive director, Global Fund for Community Foundations and former PBF adviser

The final winner of the £5,000 prize will be selected by the panel of judges below:

  • Andre Degenszajn, secretary general, GIFE, Brazil (chair)
  • Janet Mawiyoo, executive director, KCDF, Kenya
  • Atallah Kuttab, founder, SAANED, Arab region
  • Amitabh Behar, executive director, National Foundation for India
  • Larisa Zelkova, president, Potanin Foundation, Russia

All five judges possess a rich knowledge of social change philanthropy, particularly in developing and emerging contexts.

The winner will be invited to deliver a keynote speech at the Community Philanthropy Summit hosted by the Global Fund for Community Foundations in South Africa in December. In addition, all shortlisted candidates will be invited to the conference as special guests, and profiled in a special supplement in the September 2016 issue of Alliance and on the Alliance website.

The closing date for applications is 31 May 2016. Download the 2016-Olga-Prize-Nomination-Form

If you have any questions about nominations please contact olgaalexeevaprize@alliancemagazine.org


i)  I would like to nominate the inspirational and committed leader of an NGO which delivers a range of programmes to the community it serves. Is this person eligible for the prize?
No. If this person is a great fundraiser for a single cause/organization, this is not the focus of the prize and we would not consider them eligible. The purpose of this prize is to encourage the development of philanthropy as a force for progressive social change in developing and emerging market contexts. If the NGO that this person leads is using creative ways to promote a culture of local giving more broadly, then we’d like to know more.
ii)  Is the prize money for the individual or their organization?
The prize is for the individual rather than the organization. It is therefore for the prize winner alone to decide how they spend the money.
iii)  I nominated someone last year. Can I nominate them again this year?
Previous winners and runners-up cannot be nominated again for the prize. All other nominees are eligible for re-nomination.

Previous prize winners


The Third Olga Alexeeva Memorial Prize was awarded to Alina Porumb, strategic philanthropy programme director of Romania’s Association for Community Relations (ARC), for ‘the scale and quality of her accomplishments; her ‘indefatigable and inspiring leadership in support of the development of community foundations across Romania’; her intellectual leadership and her outreach internationally’.

Alina Porumb

Alina Porumb

‘Through this award, a community of philanthropy professionals are bringing to surface inspirational leaders and great work in the field of philanthropy globally, expanding the reach of these practices. Thank you for keeping Olga’s voice strong’

The prize was presented at the 2nd Emerging Markets Philanthropy Forum in Beijing on 23-24 November 2015 and hosted by the China Foundation Center.

Click here for more information about the winners and the runners-up.


The Second Olga Alexeeva Memorial Prize was awarded to He Daofeng, CEO of the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (CFPA) and chair of the board of the China Foundation Center, for his ‘significant, creative, far-reaching and, at times, courageous contributions to expanding the field of Chinese philanthropy and putting it on a trajectory to support progressive social change’.

He Daofeng

He Daofeng

‘Winning the Olga Prize last year was very important for me personally and also for its impact on the Chinese philanthropy sector. Philanthropy – and the spirit of commonweal, sacrifice and goodwill it involves – reflects how mankind’s basic character differs from that of animals. The Olga Prize gave me and my colleagues an example and a benchmark in this field and brought a new vision to Chinese philanthropy.’
He Daofeng

The prize was presented at WINGSForum 2014 in Istanbul, 26-28 March.

Click here for more information about the winners and the runners-up.


The First Olga Alexeeva Memorial Prize was awarded to Jane Weru and Kingsley Mucheke of the Akiba Mashinani Trust, Kenya ‘for their innovative work to build assets among the most marginalized community in Kenya – landless slum dwellers – and for the way they have developed a philanthropic mechanism to support transformational efforts by that community’.

Jane Weru

Jane Weru

Kingsley Mucheke

Kingsley Mucheke

‘Winning the award came as a pleasant shock that strengthened my resolve to reach deeper, go further, work harder and give more of myself  to help the over 700,000 poor people living in Nairobi’s Mukuru slums. The global recognition helped tremendously at the local level as it gave us credibility, especially with government officials and policymakers, who became more responsive towards the allocation of resources to provide land, housing, water and sanitation in slums.’
Kingsley Mucheke

The prize was presented at the International Forum on Emerging Markets, Emerging Philanthropies in Peterhof, Russia in July 2013.

Click here for more information about the winners and the runners-up.

About Olga Alexeeva

Olga Alexeeva

Olga Alexeeva

Olga Alexeeva died suddenly and unexpectedly on 20 July 2011. Olga was only 42. She had recently left Charities Aid Foundation to set up the Philanthropy Bridge Foundation, whose goal was to build meaningful connections, partnerships and, most importantly, trust between philanthropists looking to give and individuals and institutions looking to ‘do’ in developing and emerging market countries around the world.

Underpinning this was Olga’s unswerving belief that philanthropy should and could be about making the world a better and fairer place, and that the best solutions invariably emerge when they are inspired and informed by local context rather than being imported from outside. This prize is in honour of her memory and beliefs.

About our funders

The Olga Alexeeva Memorial Prize is an Alliance project. It is generously supported by:

•  The Lodestar Foundation
•  The Vladimir Potanin Foundation
•  The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

The Alliance supplement profiling the shortlisted candidates is being sponsored by Charities Aid Foundation as a tribute to Olga Alexeeva, who worked with them for many years.

If you have any questions, contact olgaalexeevaprize@alliancemagazine.org