Santa Fe Community Foundation 34th Annual Piñon Awards

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.


Timeline for the 34th Annual 2021 Piñon Awards is as follows:


Nominations Due:  Friday, May 7, 2021 by 5:00 pm

Nominees notified of Award winner decisions:  Friday June 4, 2021

Awards ceremony in Santa Fe: Thursday, November 4, 2021


The Santa Fe Community Foundation gives Piñon Awards to nonprofits in each of the following categories:

  • Courageous Innovation Award:  an organization that is building off a solid base of knowledge; creating a new approach to solving a persistent problem in the community.  Is using a bold and courageous approach, based on sound theory, to create solutions with broad, lasting impact that don’t currently exist in our region.
  • Quiet Inspiration Award: an organization whose hallmark it is to work quietly and respectfully among a wide range of people in the community.  Has to be an organization that, despite its non-assuming presence in the community, has the full, long-term support of its clients and constituents.
  • Visionary Award:  an organization that is making measurable progress toward a well-articulated and achievable vision for what is to come.  Has to be an organization that sees the ultimate outcome of their work being achieved far beyond the present, can anticipate the unmet needs of future generations, and has the stamina and patience to develop a path to success. 
  • Tried-and-True Award:  an organization that provides high quality, much needed services and opportunities to the community.  Has to have been in the community for more than ten years, be known for consistent high-quality programming, and have relevance in its core purpose despite changes in the external environment.

2020 Piñon Award Recipients:

Courageous Innovation Award – Earth Care
The Courageous Innovation Award honors an organization that uses a bold approach to solve a persistent problem in the community. Earth Care was founded in 2001 to educate and empower young people to create healthy, just, and sustainable communities. Earth Care trains and organizes youth and parents in communities of color and low-income communities to take part, influence, and transform the institutions and decision-making processes that impact our lives and the future of our communities.

Tried & True Award – Adaptive Sports Program New Mexico
The Tried & True Award honors an organization that is known for consistent high-quality programming, despite changes in the external environment. Since 1985, the Adaptive Sports Program New Mexico (ASPNM) has fulfilled its mission of enhancing the lives of individuals with disabilities through recreation. Over the past 35 years, ASPNM has served thousands of individuals with disabilities throughout the state. ASPNM was founded as a ski program; however, recognizing that the need for therapeutic outdoor recreational throughout the year, the organization began offering year-round sports programming many years ago. Today, ASPNM proudly offers a variety of adaptive watersports (kayaking, waterskiing, rafting, and wake surfing, to name a few), archery, rock-climbing, and more, in addition to its ongoing ski and snowboard programs

Visionary Award – Santa Fe Habitat for Humanity
The Visionary Award honors an organization that can anticipate the unmet needs of future generations and has the stamina to achieve success. The mission of Santa Fe Habitat for Humanity is to promote affordable home ownership for Santa Fe area residents by constructing simple, adequate, and energy efficient new homes, and repairing or rehabilitating existing homes through the cooperative efforts of partner families, volunteers, donors, and staff. Santa Fe Habitat was founded in 1987 and to date, has completed 122 new Habitat homes. The organization is consistently growing and adapting to meet needs in our local community and address the concerns of our global environment. Santa Fe Habitat believes that a healthy community is one where homes are built with concern for our environment and valuable energy resources.

Policy Champion Award – New Mexico Immigrant Law Center’s New Mexico Immigration Corps Leadership Development Pipeline Program
The Policy Champion Award honors an organization that is creating positive social change by focusing on a policy and systems-based approach to long-term transformation in our region. According to the American Bar Association, the legal profession is the least diverse profession in the United States. New Mexico Immigrant Law Center’s New Mexico Immigration Corps Leadership Development Pipeline Program is an unparalleled, transformative program resulting in greater access to the legal profession for immigrants, first-generation students, and people of color. Moreover, the program creates greater access to justice by supplying desperately needed legal services to low-income immigrant communities throughout New Mexico.

Above and Beyond Award – United Way of Santa Fe County 
For the first time, Santa Fe Community Foundation is introducing the Above and Beyond Award to recognize the innovation, response, and courage of a nonprofit addressing community needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through their front-line work to provide much needed support services to families, workers, health professionals, and first responders under these extreme pandemic conditions, we were delighted to select United Way of Santa Fe County as a perfect example of this category.

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


2019 Award Winners

Courageous Innovation Award: Tewa Women United

Tried & True Award: Presbyterian Medical Services

Visionary Award: Reunity Resources

Policy Champion Award: New Mexico Voices for Children