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People Helping People Awards

The People Helping People Awards are an annual member-led program that recognizes and supports great causes in our communities.

Our People Helping People Awards are an annual celebration of exceptional work within the communities we serve. We honor members and nonprofits that drive positive changes through service to others.

2023 People Helping People Award Recipients

Member Volunteer of the Year: Nancy Harris, who nominated OneWorld Now

OneWorld Now

OneWorld Now's mission is to develop the next generation of global leaders. They envision a world where all young people have access to transformative international education. Through teaching languages critical to the global community (Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Korean, and Swahili) - and combining those skills with leadership development and education abroad experiences - they equip students to thrive in a globalized world while giving them access to new educational and career opportunities.

People's Choice Award:

Emma's Exceptional Equipment Exchange

The mission at Emma's Exceptional Equipment Exchange is to bridge the gap between what insurances cover and what individuals with disabilities need to comfortably and safely enjoy basic daily living. Their program provides a space for families to request and find items, share items when they have an abundance/have outgrown things and to obtain things at no cost.

Employees' Choice Award:

Cares of Washington

Cares of Washington's mission is to support people with disabilities and low incomes to realize their purpose, potential, and strength. They connect clients to employment and basic needs resources.

Past Recipients' Choice Award:

PFLAG Skagit

PFLAG Skagit's mission is to support, advocate for and educate about the LGBTQIA+ community by providing an opportunity for dialogue about sexual orientation and gender identity and acts to create a society that is healthy and respectful of human diversity.

Check back here in the spring to see the key dates for the 2024 People Helping People program.

The BECU People Helping People Awards are granted in the following amounts:

Member Volunteer of the Year Award: (1) $50,000
Selected by a panel of judges, the award is granted to a nonprofit organization on behalf of an outstanding member volunteer.

People's Choice Award: (1) $40,000
Selected by popular vote from the community, the award is granted to one nonprofit organization.

Employees' Choice Award: (1) $30,000
Selected by popular vote from BECU employees, the award is granted to one nonprofit organization.

Past PHPA Recipients' Choice: (1) $30,000
Selected by popular vote from past PHPA recipient nonprofits, the award is granted to one nonprofit organization.

Community Benefit Award: (14) $15,000
Selected by a panel of judges, the awards are granted to fourteen nonprofit finalists that have been nominated by members.

BCDP Nonprofit Capacity Award:
As part of the Black Community Development Project, BECU is awarding up to $150,000 in grant funding to small, Black-led nonprofits that are trying to build capacity to deepen their work in the community.

In addition to the above listed award amounts, all PHPA recipients will receive a glide path grant of $2,500 for the two years following their initial award (glide path funding does not apply to BCDP grant recipients).

BECU members may nominate any nonprofit organization you support with your time, talents or money. Nonprofits must also meet the following requirements:

  • Active 501(c)(3) tax exempt status with the IRS.
  • Must have a direct impact in one of the following areas:
    • Washington state
    • County of Charleston, South Carolina
    • Oregon Counties: Benton, Clackamas, Columbia, Deschutes, Lane, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Washington, Yamhill
    • Idaho Counties: Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Clearwater, Idaho, Kootenai, Latah, Lewis, Nez Perce, Shoshone
  • Nonprofit work must be focused in any one of the following seven giving areas:
    • Advancing education (Pre-K through college): Access to education, mentoring, educational materials and programming, classroom, school and PTSA funding for educational programs/materials/experiences.
    • Arts and culture: Equitable access to art experiences, underrepresented art and cultural organizations, cultural programs.
    • Creating economic opportunity: Living-wage jobs, small and startup businesses, job quality for low-wage workers.
    • Preserving health and promoting wellness: Access to healthcare, illness prevention/cure, mental health, patient support, disabilities, veteran advocacy.
    • Preserving or restoring the environment: Conservation, stewardship, sustainability.
    • Providing for basic human needs: Affordable housing, homelessness, senior advocacy, infant and child advocacy, food/diaper/clothing banks.
    • Strengthening local communities: Neighborhoods, public safety, search and rescue, outdoor spaces, rotary/chamber.


Contact the BECU social impact team: