Graphic: Arrow Join Now! Graphic: Arrow MY AFP Profile Graphic: Arrow AFP Canada Graphic: Arrow AFP Mexico Graphic: Star MAKE A GIFT


Maria Cuomo Cole to Speak at 2015 National Philanthropy Day Honors

September 23, 2015

Awards Ceremony Will Recognize Top Philanthropists From Across North America

(Arlington, VA)  Maria Cuomo Cole—philanthropist, activist and nonprofit leader for the homeless, as well as an Emmy-award winning and Academy Award-nominated filmmaker—will serve as the opening speaker at the 2015 National Philanthropy Day Honors, held by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), on Nov. 12 at the 92nd Street Y at 7:30 p.m. 

The National Philanthropy Day Honors recognize individuals and organizations who have significantly improved the quality of life for people in their communities and around the world.

Six honorees from across North America are being awarded this year in the categories of outstanding philanthropist, volunteer fundraiser, corporation, foundation and youth in philanthropy.  These include: 

  • Outstanding Philanthropist: Joan and Macon Brock, Virginia Beach, Va.
  • Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser: Peter Ferranttelli, San Diego, Calif.
  • Outstanding Corporation: The Coca-Cola Company, Atlanta, Ga.
  • Outstanding Foundation: The Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation, Winter Park, Fla.
  • Bob Carter Companies Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy, Individual: Kinsey Morrison, Louisville, Ky.
  • Bob Carter Companies Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy, Group: Youth Making a Difference, Pratt, Kan.

The public can attend the 2015 National Philanthropy Day Honors event free of charge. Attendees can register for the event at

Information about each of the honorees can be found at the National Philanthropy Day website:

Cole is the chairman of HELP USA, a leading national developer of housing for homeless and low-income populations, including families, victims of domestic violence and veterans. She also serves as a director on the boards of The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, HELP PSI, Mentoring USA and Street Soccer USA.  She is also a founding member of Sankofa, an organization founded by legendary entertainer and social rights activist Harry Belafonte to address pressing social justice issues.

Cole has worked as an advocate for the homeless and Chairman of HELP USA since 1992.  Under her leadership, HELP USA has developed over $180 million of permanent supportive housing, providing 5,773 units of permanent and transitional housing and operating in 43 residences across the nation.  HELP USA is a Hand up, not a Hand Out. 

Cole’s 2011 documentary, Living for 32, about gun laws in America, was shortlisted for an Academy Award.  She was an executive producer of The Invisible War, a documentary about the epidemic of rape and sexual violence in the U.S. military that was nominated for a 2013 Academy Award.   The Hunting Ground, about sexual assault and rape on college campuses in America, was just released this year to incredible reviews. She has been honored for her philanthropic work by many organizations, the latest in 2014 when she received the Outstanding Philanthropist Award by the AFP New York City Chapter.

“We are tremendously excited to have such a dynamic, generous and dedicated philanthropist and speaker as Maria Cuomo Cole kick off the National Philanthropy Day Honors event,” said Andrew Watt, FInstF, president and CEO of AFP’s International Headquarters. “National Philanthropy Day is the day we celebrate everything philanthropy—and those involved in giving and volunteering—have contributed to our world. Mrs. Cole will provide a unique and inspiring perspective on the importance of philanthropy and what it has meant in her life.”

AFP’s National Philanthropy Day Honors have highlighted outstanding individuals and organizations in the philanthropic world since 1980. Just a few of the past recipients include H. Ross Perot, Dorothy and J.B. Fuqua, James Michener, Jeff Skoll, Hallmark Cards, Inc., Bank of America, Johnson & Johnson, the Kresge Foundation and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation recognizing National Philanthropy Day in 1986, and the Canadian government made National Philanthropy Day a permanent day of recognition in 2012.

More information about National Philanthropy Day, including this year’s honorees, can be found at


4300 Wilson Blvd, Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22203 • 703-684-0410 | 800-666-3863 | Fax: 703-684-0540
©2009 AFP. This site content may not be copied, reproduced or redistributed without prior written
permission from the Association of Fundraising Professionals or its affiliates.
Privacy Policy | Feedback | Contact Us | Advertise with Us