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Spirits were high as some 420 nonprofit leaders, volunteers, state legislators and their staff gathered in front of the state Capitol for the first in-person celebration lunch since 2019 of California Nonprofits Day and the Nonprofit of the Year honorees.

“Nonprofits like yours are the backbone of California,” CA Attorney General Rob Bonta told the group during his keynote. “You are the reason so many Californians still have access to housing, healthcare, education and beyond. Especially over the last two showed up and you stepped up. You gave, you saved and you sacrificed more than anyone can imagine.”

The gathering honored 109 Nonprofits of the Year chosen by 109 state legislators, the highest participation we’ve had in the seven years of the awards program. We were also pleased to have had close to 90 state assemblymembers and senators take part in the lunchtime celebration.

”Each of you were chosen by members of the legislature because of your significant impact and what you do for the lives of the constituents in each of our districts,” said Senator Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara), chair of the Senate Select Committee on the Nonprofit Sector, in her remarks at the event. “As legislators we recognize that government alone cannot do it. The pandemic proved what we already knew to be true: we must ensure the partnership between government and nonprofits, and that partnership must be strong.” She also offered a message from Assemblymember Luz Rivas (D-San Fernando Valley), chair of the Assembly Select Committee on the Nonprofit Sector, who was unable to attend.

The recognition as a Nonprofit of the Year brings deserved attention to outstanding nonprofits while illustrating the remarkable diversity and vibrancy of California's nonprofit community.

The annual awards program is co-sponsored by CalNonprofits along with both the Senate and Assembly Select Committees on the Nonprofit Sector.

ABOUT THE PROCESS: Legislators themselves select nonprofits from their districts; CalNonprofits has no involvement in that process. We recommend getting to know your state representatives and encourage them to participate next year.

Learn more about Nonprofit of the Year and see more photos from the celebration.

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