The Mission Capital Awards celebrate the people and organizations at the heart of solving complex community problems. Finalists will be celebrated at Party for Good on November 1, 2017 and nonprofit honorees receive a $2,000 cash award.


Nominations for 2017 awards are now closed. Nominees will be contacted in April with a decision.




Community Leader of the Year
2017 Community Leader of the Year Award Winner, Senator Kirk Watson

Mission Capital is proud to celebrate Senator Kirk Watson for his extraordinary service in support of this community we all love! A longtime public servant and a former Mayor of Austin, Senator Watson was first elected to the Texas Senate (District 14) in 2006.

Repeatedly recognized for his legislative and coalition-building work, in 2011, Senator Watson proposed “10 Goals in 10 Years” to transform the health and economy of Central Texas. Through this vision, Central Texas welcomed the first class of students to the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas in 2016, will open Seton Healthcare Family’s new teaching hospital in 2017, made Austin a center of comprehensive care through the LIVESTRONG Institutes, and established high-quality, neighborhood-based health clinics for uninsured, low-income residents of Travis County.

Senator Watson has served on numerous nonprofit boards, including Austin’s American Cancer Society, Ballet Austin, Community Partnership for the Homeless, El Buen Samaritano and KLRU. He is the former Chair of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, Texas Advisory Board for Environmental Defense and CAMPO, the primary transportation planning agency for Central Texas

Named in recognition of its inaugural recipient, this award honors an individual who passionately champions transformational community impact. Through extraordinary volunteer service to our community and inspiring philanthropic investment in social change, this individual’s efforts have personally resulted in a more prosperous Central Texas. In addition to Libby Malone (2013), recipients include Earl Maxwell (2014) and Jeff and Deanna Serra (2015).



Formerly the Nonprofit Excellence Awards, the Mission Capital Awards shine a light on the transformational work happening right in our backyard. Awards are open to all nonprofits and social entrepreneurs serving Central Texas in the following categories:


Nonprofit Leadership Award

The Nonprofit Leadership Award is presented to a current nonprofit CEO/Executive Director whose notable achievements over the course of his or her career have resulted in lasting community impact.

Recognized by peers as a longstanding sector leader, this individual has served one or more organizations with a track record of effective leadership and lasting outcomes. A model of excellence, this leader inspires and empowers others to achieve meaningful, measurable and sustainable solutions to critical community challenges.

Outstanding Nonprofit Award

The Outstanding Nonprofit Award is presented to a stand-out organization whose relentless focus on results has created powerful progress for the Central Texas community.

Regardless of size, this nonprofit has demonstrated significant, measurable community impact, especially within the past year. Through a clearly defined vision, creative program delivery and smart operations, this nonprofit balances innovation that addresses the challenges of today with long-term sustainability.

Social Entrepreneurship Award

The Social Entrepreneurship Award is presented to a pioneering individual driving social innovation through a nonprofit or for-profit social enterprise.

Through inventive, market-oriented approaches and risk-taking, his or her creative approach to problem-solving disrupts the status quo and is making promising headway in an area of pressing community need. By contributing to the social good and resourcefully optimizing financial value as well, this individual’s work demonstrates that the success of both social and business entrepreneurship is essential to the creation of vibrant communities.

Aligned for Impact Award

The Aligned for Impact Award is presented to a cross-sector, mission-driven collaborative working to create deep, system-wide change in Central Texas. It recognizes that some of our community challenges are so complex that only a strategically collaborative approach can bring about meaningful transformation. Ownership and decision-making authority in this collaborative reach beyond a single partner, and the collective work is guided by shared leadership. The activities of each partner contribute to the collaborative’s clearly aligned, collective goals. The collaborative has established shared metrics, tracks progress and can demonstrate real impact in an area of clear community need.

This nominee should be composed of at least three partner organizations representing at least two sectors (i.e. nonprofit, business, government). This may include, but is not limited to, ad hoc task forces, ongoing collaboratives, or working groups.

2015 Award Winners


On November 17, 2015 at Party for Good, it was our great honor to  announce the winners of the 2015 Nonprofit Excellence Awards. Check out the great work they’re doing to address our community’s most complex challenges.

  • Nonprofit Executive of the Year Award Winner, Karen LaShelle of Creative Action
  • Excellence in Impact, Foundation Communities
  • Excellence in Innovation, Sustainable Food Center
  • Excellence in Collaboration, Children in Nature Collaborative of Austin
  • Libby Malone Community Leader of the Year, Jeff and Deanna Serra