The Inaugural New York City Imagine Awards

**Due to the impact of COVID-19, the NYC Imagine Awards has been postponed to October 2021. We look forward to being back in touch with you over the next year as we un-pause the event.**

The Inaugural New York City Imagine Awards, the premier event that shines the spotlight on the nonprofit sector, will be held in October, 2021. We are extremely excited to bring the Imagine Awards to New York City and its surrounding boroughs. This event has been a mainstay of the Long Island nonprofit sector for the last seven years, so to be able to introduce this to the New York City marketplace is amazing.

This gala event was created to offer formal acknowledgment to some of the City’s most effective and innovative nonprofit organizations. 501(c)(3) nonprofits located in and serving The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens or Staten Island are eligible to apply.

Last year on Long Island, we received 172 applications across five categories, Arts & Culture; Innovation; Leadership Excellence; Rising Star; & Social Impact, with the winner in each category winning a $5,000 grant. In addition, the 20 finalists, 4 in each category, will each receive a professionally produced video, which will be showcased the night of the event, and two free tickets to the event. We are expecting even greater involvement from agencies servicing NYC.

The Awards

Rising Star NYC Imagine Award

Aetna Rising Star Award

This award will recognize a nonprofit generating under $5 million in revenue for its outstanding innovation, impact, and achievements in meeting its mission. The award will be given to an organization who demonstrates an outstanding record of sustained achievement, has successfully demonstrated successful financial performance, and has built a reputation for excellence within the community.

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Cerini & Associates Social Impact Award

This award will be given to a nonprofit that measures success not just by meeting its mission, but by affecting the surrounding community. Impact goes beyond the number of children served, shelters provided, and mouths fed. Impact looks at how the organization impacted the New York City community as a whole, and how the results have been measured.

NYC Arts & Culture Award Image

Claire Friedlander Family Foundation Arts & Culture Award

This award is available to any arts and/or cultural organization that has had a significant impact in New York City. This includes organizations that have had a significant, measurable impact on their community, developed new and/or innovative programming, developed effective fee-generating programs, or have demonstrated outstanding achievement in their artistic and/or cultural field.

NYC Imagine Leadership Excellence Award Photo

Leadership Excellence Award

This award recognizes an exemplary nonprofit leader (who may be an Executive Director, board member, staff member, volunteer, etc.) whose accomplishments have advanced his/her organization. The leader must work in and reside in any of the 5 New York City boroughs. This is not about traditional volunteering, directors, or funding, but focuses on innovation in driving organizational change and social impact.

NYC Imagine Innovation Award Photo

Innovation Award

This nonprofit has been innovative in adopting new platforms that have led to a significant increase in the organization’s ability to meet its mission. This could include the implementation of technology that enables the organization to achieve cost savings and better communication; a strategic approach to fundraising; a unique and effective public relations campaign; etc.

NYC Imagine Fan Favorite Award Photo

Fan Favorite Award

Each finalist is automatically entered into the voting pool to win the $5,000 Fan Favorite Award. Voting typically runs for 3 weeks in August/September. The public can vote daily via social media and each finalist is encouraged to share the link. The finalist with the most votes is declared the “Fan Favorite” and is announced LIVE at the event.


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Our MC

The Inaugural NYC Imagine Awards is thrilled to welcome WABC-TV’s “7 On Your Side” Nina Pineda to serve as MC at the nonprofit awards gala on Tuesday, October 20, 2020, 6-10pm at the Edison Ballroom. Ms. Pineda is an award-winning broadcast journalist for WABC-TV Channel 7.

Our Success on Long Island

Imagine logo

The Long Island Imagine Awards was founded 8 years ago by Ken Cerini, Managing Partner of Cerini & Associates, LLP. Ken’s vision was to shine a spotlight on the often overlooked nonprofit organizations that do so much for the Suffolk and Nassau communities. Since its inception the Long Island Imagine Awards has been a hugely successful event, not just for the $5,000 award winners but also due to the free promotional videos each finalist receives, the networking at the gala, and giving nonprofits who may not be well known more exposure.

The 8th Annual Long Island Imagine Awards, formerly scheduled for April 28th is now going virtual on July 8th, 5:30pm on YouTube Live. We are very excited to make this happen and hope you will share and join us for this free virtual experience that will feature the winners announced live. Press release here with the details.

Check out the 7th Annual Long Island Imagine Awards Winners’ Videos Below!

Cerini & Associates Social Impact Winner: Island Harvest Food Bank

Certilman Balin Leadership Winner: Dr. Ellenmorris Tiegerman, Tiegerman

Claire Friedlander Family Foundation Arts & Culture Winner: Bay Street Theater

Empire National Bank Innovation Winner: Paws of War

Vanguard Insurance Agency Rising Star Winner: Helping Makes U Happy, Inc.

Contact Us

Interested in joining the committee, sponsoring this event, or want to learn more? Please contact Hillary Needle or The New York City Imagine Awards. | (516) 993-4056 • | (631) 868-1117