Piñon Awards | Honoring Excellence in the Nonprofit Sector

Since 1987, the Santa Fe Community Foundation has selected and awarded the Piñon Awards to local nonprofit organizations that have made extraordinary contributions to the community. First held in a board member’s living room, the Piñon Awards ceremony has become a fall tradition filling the La Fonda ballroom with awardees, supporters and friends of the Foundations. In 2012, we added the selection of a philanthropic leader – someone who has made deep and meaningful contributions to the community and who has used the Santa Fe Community Foundation to accomplish their philanthropic goals.

Winning nonprofits have operated for at least three years in northern New Mexico, they are a 501c3 or tribal entity, they have a proven track record, serve the Foundation’s geographic area of service (Santa Fe, Mora, Rio Arriba, and San Miguel counties), and their work is aligned with one or more of the Foundation’s funding priorities: Cultural Vibrancy, Economic Security & Opportunities, Educational Success & Career Pathways, Health & Wellbeing, and Sustainable Agriculture & Stewardship of Resources. Organizations may be nominated by a board member, funder, past Piñon Award recipient or any member of the community. Staff from eligible nonprofits may also nominate their organization.

2021 Piñon Awards Categories & Winners

Courageous Innovation Award: Sky Mountain Wild Horse Sanctuary
The Courageous Innovation Award honors an organization that uses a bold approach to solve a persistent problem in the community. Sky Mountain Wild Horse Sanctuary works to create healthy ecosystems for wild horses and to give sanctuary for vulnerable mustangs where they live free. The Sanctuary’s bold, science-based methodology addresses habitat loss, climate change, and range conditions that affect wild mustangs on the Carson National Forest, tribal, and private lands, allowing them to live, thrive, and remain in a natural environment that is a healthy and sustainable ecosystem.

Quiet Inspiration Award: Communities In Schools of New Mexico
The Quiet Inspiration Award honors an organization whose hallmark is to work quietly and respectfully among a wide range of people in the community. Communities In Schools’ mission is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and succeed in life. Through its evidence-based approach, adapted to meet each school’s unique needs, Communities In Schools strategically aligns and delivers needed resources so that students can focus on learning.

Tried & True Award: School for Advanced Research
The Tried and True Award honors an organization that is known for consistent, high-quality programming, despite changes in the external environment. The mission of the School for Advanced Research is to advance creative thought and innovative work in the social sciences, humanities, and Native American arts. Throughout its 114-year history and amid a global pandemic, the School has continuously provided consistent, much-needed services and opportunities to the community.

Visionary Award: Hermit’s Peak Watershed Alliance
The Visionary Award honors an organization that can anticipate the unmet needs of future generations and has the stamina to achieve success. The Hermit’s Peak Watershed Alliance works to protect and restore the ecological and cultural heritage of watersheds in the Hermit’s Peak region through ecological restoration, environmental education, and community action. The nonprofit has quickly grown to become one of New Mexico’s most dynamic and respected environmental stewards and has already accomplished major construction projects on the Gallinas River watershed, captivating the imagination and support of the greater Las Vegas community.

Click here for previous Piñon Award winners from 1987-2020.