Nonprofits First
Hats Off Nonprofit Awards FAQs
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How are the entries judged?

Nominations are evaluated by a panel of 40+ leaders from the business and philanthropic communities who are independent of Nonprofits First.


What are the judges looking for?

Judges are looking for applications that are a good fit with the award category. They want a compelling story and examples that illustrate how the nominee is making a difference in the community.


Will finalists be notified in advance?

No. Although there will be "honorees"  Hats Off is about honoring all nominees and celebrating the Palm Beach County nonprofit community. The anticipation is part of the experience! Please join us!


Do nominees get a complimentary ticket?

Unfortunately, no. We work hard to keep the ticket price reasonable and we hope you will purchase a ticket and enjoy the party! 


When do we find out who won?

Honorees will be announced live at the Hats Off Nonprofit Awards. Honorees will be kept secret up until that point.


Who is eligible to win an award?


Nonprofit of the Year


Three Awards will be given in this category. Nonprofits of all sizes and services are doing incredible work in Palm Beach County. They are housing the homeless, educating children, caring for neglected animals, planting community gardens, and more! We want to shine a spotlight on small, medium, and large-sized organizations. Budget size can be found on line 12 on Form 990 or line 9 on Form 990-EZ for the most recent fiscal year. 

1)    Organization with an annual operating budget less than $500,000

2)    Organization with an annual operating budget between $500,001 and $2.49 million

3)    Organization with an annual operating budget over $2.5 million

Lifetime Achievement, Nonprofit Executive, Professional, MVP, Volunteer of the Year, and Community Collaborators


Nominees must work or volunteer on behalf of a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose program(s) serve the Palm Beach County community. Winners in these categories have best contributed to the long-term impact of the nonprofit that he or she serves and whose leadership exhibits best practices in nonprofit governance. For Volunteer of the Year, active volunteerism can be ongoing or linked to a specific single project or cause.


If selected as a finalist, a representative from the organization or the individual nominee must be present. 


People’s Choice Live Award


Organizations who have been nominated in the Nonprofit of the Year category are automatically entered to win the People's Choice Award. The winner will be chosen live at the event via ballot voting by event attendees. Ballots will be distributed at the door and must be received by 6:15 PM.


We operate as a nonprofit under an umbrella organization, but do not have our own 501(c)(3) status. Are we still eligible to apply?

Yes, on the application list the parent organization and your organization name as the applicant organization.


More questions?

Please contact us at 


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