The Nonprofit Excellence Awards recognize exemplary achievements of local nonprofits. Award winners are celebrated at Party for Good and nonprofit honorees receive a $2,000 cash award.


Award Categories


Libby Malone Community Leader of the Year

Deanna Serra (left) chats with Love Life Program founder and CEO Kim Love. Deanna and Jeff Serra (not pictured) bought the land for Mobile Loaves & Fishes. Photo credit: Nick Simonite (for ABJ)

It is our great honor to recognize Jeff and Deanna Serra with the 2015 Libby Malone Community Leader of the Year award. Longtime Austin philanthropists, the Serras are recognized for their transformational support around the complex issue of homelessness. Since 2013, Jeff and Deanna have served as co-chairs of the capital campaign for the Mobile Loaves & Fishes’ Community First! Village, leading the charge to break the cycle of chronic homelessness in Austin. Through years of personal service and support from their family foundation, The ABE Charitable Foundation, Inc., they have generously given of themselves in ways that inspire others to do the same.

In 2011, Jeff and Deanna were jointly named Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year by the Greater Austin Association of Fundraising Professionals. Also notable is their board service to a variety of local organizations, including Jeff’s work with Austin Habitat for Humanity and Deanna’s work with ZACH Theatre and as the co-director of Art House, a program of Mobile Loaves & Fishes that supports struggling, homeless artists by providing a place to create and sell their work, and by fostering creative expression through emotional and community support for the chance at a better life.

Nonprofit Executive of the Year

This award is presented to a current nonprofit staff leader (CEO, Executive Director or equivalent) whose distinguished achievements have resulted in significant progress toward resolving a critical community issue. Recognized by peers as a leader in the sector, he/she demonstrates excellence in leadership and management, and inspires others to achieve meaningful, measurable and sustainable results.

Excellence in Impact

This award is presented to a high-performing nonprofit whose programs and services set a high standard of quality in creating meaningful social change. This organization clearly defines its vision, aligns its mission and priorities with its end goals, has a relentless focus on results and can demonstrate evidence-based, measurable outcomes.

Excellence in Innovation

This award is presented to a nonprofit that takes a novel or ground-breaking approach to better meet its mission. This pioneering organization demonstrates entrepreneurial thinking combined with calculated risks to disrupt traditional modes of operation and create powerful social change.

Excellence in Collaboration

This award is presented to two or more mission-driven groups (i.e. a nonprofit, government agency, for-profit entity, funder, etc.), whose collective work is creating system-wide change. By leveraging combined resources, these strategic partnerships achieve greater results than one organization could achieve on its own.

Award Finalists

Nonprofit Executive of the YearExcellence in ImpactExcellence in InnovationExcellence in Collaboration

Al Lopez
Economic Growth Business Incubator


Amy Mills


Karen LaShelle
Creative Action


Breakthrough Austin


Foundation Communities


Refugee Services of Texas


Forklift Danceworks


Goodwill Central Texas


Sustainable Food Center


Austin Voices for Education & Youth


Children in Nature Collaborative of Austin


Dove Springs District Park Collaborative

Award Winners at Party for Good


Nonprofit Excellence Award winners will be announced at Party for Good on Tuesday, November 17, 2015 (6:30-9 PM) at the Hyatt Regency Austin. Join us to celebrate excellence in our social sector and support Mission Capital’s critical community services.

Your support turns the seemingly impossible task of solving our community’s most complex challenges into reality, and showcases your commitment to making Central Texas a place where everyone can prosper!



Atchley & Associates
Mobile Loaves and Fishes
Cavner Social Enterprises LLC

Hear From a 2014 Awardee