2021 Simon-DeVos Prize Recipient

Philanthropy Roundtable is pleased to announce the selection of investor and philanthropist William E. “Bill” Oberndorf 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. Oberndorf, chairman of the American Federation for Children, has made education equality for all children a centerpiece of his work. In recognition of his achievements, the Roundtable will present the prize and $200,000 award at its 2021 Annual Meeting, which will be held Oct. 13-15 in Colorado Springs, Colo. 

“We are thrilled to honor Mr. Oberndorf’s important work to bring quality education to every child in America with the 2021 Simon-DeVos Prize,” said Elise Westhoff, president and CEO of Philanthropy Roundtable. “Each year, the prize showcases the important work that philanthropists undertake to inspire positive social change. Mr. Oberndorf has devoted much of his life to the pursuit of quality education for our country’s disadvantaged children and has proven his success at bringing others along to contribute to this worthy work.”

“It is a great honor to be awarded this very special prize named after two families I have the great privilege to know well,” said Bill Oberndorf, Chairman of Oberndorf Enterprises, LLC. “I simply cannot thank them and the Philanthropy Roundtable enough.” 

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 prize and $200,000 award, which is payable to any charity, will be presented before a large audience of donors next month at Philanthropy Roundtable’s Annual Meeting in Colorado Springs, Colo. The award is generously funded by the William E. Simon Foundation and the DeVos Family Foundation. 

About the Simon-DeVos Prize for Philanthropic Leadership

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 the power of philanthropy and inspire others to support charities that achieve results. The award is intended to honor living philanthropists who have shown exemplary leadership through their own charitable giving.

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