Michael Marsicano Award for Philanthropic Leadership

The Institute for Philanthropic Leadership is pleased to announce the establishment of a prestigious new award, the Michael Marsicano Award for Philanthropic Leadership. This annual award aims to honor the extraordinary achievements and remarkable career of Dr. Michael Marsicano, the recently retired President & CEO of the Foundation For The Carolinas.  

Throughout his 33-year career, Marsicano demonstrated unparalleled dedication to the philanthropic sector, making an indelible impact on the communities of Charlotte and Durham as well as throughout the Carolinas. This award will not only celebrate his achievements, but lift up other examples of philanthropic impact being made by members of the IPL Leadership Gift School community.  

Career Highlights of Michael Marsicano

Michael's career has been nothing short of exceptional, characterized by his unwavering commitment to fundraising and his unmatched ability to rally support for worthy causes. His professional journey began as the Executive Director of the Durham Arts Council, a position that few graduates would achieve so early in their careers. It was during his tenure in Durham that Michael led a groundbreaking $14 million capital campaign to renovate the Royall Center for the Arts, setting the stage for his future fundraising triumphs.  

In 1989, Michael moved to Charlotte to assume the role of President/CEO of the Charlotte Arts + Science Council. Over the course of a decade, he spearheaded the growth of the ASC's annual campaign from $1.8 million to an impressive $13 million in private sector funding. He also secured two endowment funds totaling approximately $35 million, solidifying ASC's long-term sustainability.  

Michael's final position, as President & CEO of the Foundation For The Carolinas, allowed him to leave an enduring legacy of philanthropic leadership in this region. When he joined the foundation in 1999, its assets stood at $246 million. Through his tireless efforts, strategic vision, and exceptional fundraising acumen, the Foundation's assets are projected to reach a staggering $4 billion by the end of this year. Michael's personal involvement in campaigns such as the Levine Arts Campus, Carolina Thread Trail, and the Covid Response Fund has resulted in an astonishing personal fundraising achievement of over half a billion dollars, and a collective impact of nearly $600 million on the communities he served.  

Eligibility Requirements for the Award

The Michael Marsicano Award for Philanthropic Leadership seeks to recognize individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and accomplishment in the field of philanthropy. The ideal candidates will possess the following qualities:  
Successful participation in one of the first 11 Cohorts of Leadership Gift School
• Demonstrated Excellence in Fundraising: Nominees should have a proven track record of success in fundraising, displaying an ability to mobilize resources and generate significant financial support for philanthropic initiatives.
• Commitment to Community Impact: Nominees should have made a substantial and lasting impact on their communities through their philanthropic efforts, improving the quality of life and addressing critical social challenges.
• Ethical Leadership and Collaboration: Nominees should exemplify ethical leadership, demonstrating integrity, transparency, and a collaborative approach to working with diverse stakeholders to achieve shared goals.
• Visionary Leadership: Nominees should have demonstrated visionary leadership, driving innovative strategies and initiatives that have transformed philanthropy and inspired others to follow their lead.  

Application Timeline and Award Announcement

The application process for the award will open on July 1st, 2023. Interested individuals or organizations are invited to submit nominations through an online application form highlighting the nominee's accomplishments and their alignment with the award criteria noted above.  The deadline for submissions is August 30th, 2023.  

A sub-committee comprised of members from the IPL Board of Directors will carefully review all nominations. The recipient of the Michael Marsicano Award for Philanthropic Leadership will be announced on October 11th, 2023, during a lunchtime ceremony hosted by the Foundation For The Carolinas. The recipient will also be awarded an honorarium of $1,000.  
MM award finalists 2023

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