Our Awards

“We applaud those groups and individuals who are working to mitigate the problem of poverty in America. As a way of celebrating these efforts we announce the annual In Harmony with Hope® Award. In addition, we invite visitors to nominate those deserving of recognition with an Elfen Works® Award.”

Our In Harmony with Hope® Award

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Each year since 2007, The Elfenworks Foundation has paid tribute to a few select individuals who are working to create local abundance in our country through substantive, meaningful, and innovative change. The extraordinary people who are honored with an In Harmony with Hope award are creative social entrepreneurs who have developed innovative solutions to pressing needs in our society.  The programs also hold out the promise of being replicable in communities across the country.

From health care and housing to child welfare and gang intervention, from integrating inmates into society and jobs training to urban agriculture and food distribution, the programs created by our In Harmony with Hope winners have demonstrated proven results and had significant impact.

We have a rigorous process that takes all year. Candidates for the annual award come to our attention through formal nominations and through ongoing research by members of the Elfenworks team. In addition to carefully selecting for innovation, creativity, scope and impact, we use a Seven Pillar Methodology based on wisdom shared with our founder during a mentoring meeting early in 2006. We first put this methodology to use, ourselves, in our projects. Later, we came to recognize its usefulness in evaluating potential award candidates. The seven criteria are:

  • Vision: follow a vision, tuning out naysayers.
  • Chasm (Non-Duplication): go where you don’t duplicate the good work of others.
  • Special Skills: go where your special skills make a difference.
  • Partnership: work in partnership with the stakeholders.
  • Credit Sharing: share the credit with your partners.
  • Feedback: constantly measure for course correction.
  • Staying Power: allow for bumps along the path to great successes.

Thus far, we have recognized the following visionaries for their remarkable efforts: Will Allen (Growing Power), Rafael Alvarez (Genesys Works), Gregory Boyle (Homeboy Industries), Rosalynn Carter (The Carter Center), Joyce Dattner (Bay Area All Stars), Robert Egger (DC Central Kitchen and CForward), Dr. Paul Farmer (Partners in Health), Christa Gannon (Fresh Lifelines for Youth), Rosanne Haggerty (Common Ground & Community Solutions), Lois Lee (Children of the Night), Margaret Martin (Harmony Project), Dr. Jack McConnell (Volunteers in Medicine), Mauricio Lim Miller (Family Independence Initiative), Paul Minorini (Boys Hope Girls Hope), Rebecca Onie (Health Leads), Gary Oppenheimer (AmpleHarvest.org), Dr. Gary Slutkin (Cure Violence), Scott Warren (Generation Citizen), Andrew Yang (Venture for America), Peter Young (Peter Young Housing, Industries and Treatment), and Jim Ziolkowski (buildOn).

Each nomination undergoes a thorough investigation that includes research and speaking with individuals who have worked with the nominee.  A file is prepared for each of the strongest candidates and they are presented to the foundation’s Board of Trustees for final selection in the spring of each year. The annual In Harmony with Hope awards ceremony takes place in the early fall in the California Bay Area. Know someone who would make an ideal award recipient? You can visit elfenworks.org/nominate, or download and fill out this form, and post it to us at The Elfenworks Foundation, PO Box 431, Burlingame, CA 94011.

Elfen Works® Award

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The Elfen Works® Award was created to thank individuals like you and me for stepping up and choosing to make a difference. It is given in appreciation to those who are taking their ripple seriously, making a change and bringing hope. Awardees have one thing in common: they recognize the power of positive action.  With this award we aim to recognize those who have otherwise received little recognition.

You don’t have to be famous, quit your day job, risk your life, or have a lot of money in order to make a difference in the world. Ordinary people are creating ripples every day. You can create change by being involved in helping the homeless, finding ways to help those who are hungry, providing opportunities for those less fortunate, or by getting involved with any social justice issue that you are passionate about.

We’ve given this award to people for a wide range of work, but all of it has one thing in common: the willingness to step in and do the work necessary to make a positive difference. Everyone who has been honored with an Elfen Works® Award  was connected, engaged, and doing their part to heal, uplift, and help.

Just helping one person can bring a bigger change to the world than you could ever know. That’s why we say,“Help one, help many, cause a ripple, ” and “Never underestimate your ripple.” Little ripples can become big waves, and that’s definitely In Harmony With Hope!  [More about this Award]

Student Social Justice Awards

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Elfenworks, in partnership with Campus MovieFest, invites students to become social justice filmmakers and musicians by participating in Campus MovieFest and/or College Battle of the Bands.  It’s an opportunity to win up to $10,000,  make a difference with your art, and have fun, all at once.  Visit our award detail page for a how-to film created just for students, with tips and techniques for becoming an award-winning filmmaker.  Students, make your voice heard to a wider audience. Visit our detail page or the CMF website, to find out how! [More about this Award ]


Historically, we’ve also fostered awards through other organizations. For example, we worked with Mashup Camp to offer an Elfenworks award for Best Social Justice Mashup. >>more


Whether or not you put in for any of these awards, you’re already a winner, because you’re interested and involved in making a positive ripple. Thank you!