2021 Simon-DeVos Prize Recipient Announced

Philanthropy Roundtable is pleased to announce the selection of investor and philanthropist William E. “Bill” Oberndorf, chairman of Oberndorf Enterprises, LLC, as the winner of the 2021 Simon-DeVos Prize for Philanthropic Leadership. Each year, the award is given to a living philanthropist who has shown exemplary leadership through charitable giving, either directly or through the foundations he or she has created.

Oberndorf has made education equality for all children a centerpiece of his work. As chairman of the American Federation for Children and the American Federation for Children Growth Fund, the nation’s largest school choice advocacy and educational organizations, Oberndorf has helped school choice grow from a small group of supporters into a nationwide movement. He also served as chairman of the Board of Overseers at the University of California San Francisco, one of the nation’s leading medical and research institutions, and he is a life trustee of University School in Cleveland, Ohio. 

In addition, his family foundation has been active in helping children and fighting poverty in the San Francisco Bay Area through its generous support of various organizations including the YMCA of San Francisco, The Salvation Army, and Tipping Point, a community nonprofit. Previously, Oberndorf has been honored by the Black Alliance for Educational Options, the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco, and Philanthropy Roundtable.

The Simon-DeVos Prize seeks to advance the principles of personal responsibility, resourcefulness, volunteerism, scholarship, individual freedom, faith in God and helping people to help themselves. Its purpose is to highlight philanthropy’s powerful and unique role in tackling society’s greatest challenges and seeks to inspire others to strive for excellence in their charitable giving. 

As the 2021 Prize recipient, Oberndorf will receive a $200,000 award, payable to the charity of his choice. In recognition of his achievements, Oberndorf will be honored during a special luncheon on Oct. 14 at Philanthropy Roundtable’s 2021 Annual Meeting in Colorado Springs, Colo.