Press Release

General Service Foundation and Tara McKenzie Sandercock Honored as 2021 Council on Foundations Awards Winners

The Council on Foundations (“the Council”) today recognized outstanding leadership in the philanthropic sector through its awards program. Tara McKenzie Sandercock, Senior Vice President of Grants and Community Partnerships at the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, is this year’s winner of the Distinguished Service Award, and the General Service Foundation receives the Robert W. Scrivner Award for Creative Grantmaking.

The Distinguished Service Award honors an individual whose leadership and integrity have deeply impacted the field of philanthropy by helping to advance the greater good. Ms. Sandercock has devoted her career to tackling pervasive socioeconomic issues and building trusting relationships in philanthropy, having spent over 30 years in the field, including more than 25 years at the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro. She has facilitated or nurtured over a dozen funding collaboratives on topics including HIV/AIDS, capacity building for Latino-led nonprofits, increased funding for LGBTQ-serving organizations, educational attainment, workforce development, and social capital research. Her work also includes local collaboratives focused on nonprofit capacity building, interfaith relations, disaster relief, youth philanthropy, and neighborhood development. She is also one of the founding members of Hispanics in Philanthropy’s N.C. Funders Collaborative for Strong Latino Communities and has served on its international board.

“I am truly humbled to receive the Distinguished Service Award and all it represents,” said Ms. Sandercock. “Throughout my career, I’ve strived to guarantee that everyone in the Greater Greensboro area and beyond has a seat at the table. It is an honor to share in this recognition with my colleagues and partner organizations.”

The Robert W. Scrivner Award for Creative Grantmaking acknowledges a grantmaking organization or group of grantmaking organizations for an especially innovative or inventive contribution to the greater good. The 2021 Scrivner Award winner, the General Service Foundation, is being honored for their commitment to empowering grantees in their grant practice. Under the leadership of executive director Dimple Abichandani, this initiative includes replacing written grant reports with phone calls, streamlining their application process, and providing multi-year general operating support.

“We are so honored to receive this award,” said Mrs. Abichandani. “Many of the grantmaking ‘best practices’ in our sector, like labor-intensive narrative reports, are just default habits, ripe for revisiting and reimagining. In this urgent moment, funders can increase our impact by aligning the ‘how’ of our grantmaking with our values, so that we are centering our grantees and shifting power to them.”

“The Council Awards are one of the premier honors within the social sector,” said Kathleen Enright, President and CEO of the Council on Foundations. “It’s a joy to recognize Tara Sandercock and the General Service Foundation as exemplars in the field. Many have been inspired by their commitments to fostering equity through philanthropy and going the extra mile to surmount the tough conditions created by COVID-19.”

To learn more about the Council Awards and the 2021 winners, visit or attend the 2021 Council Member Meeting, which is open to both members and nonmembers of the Council community, on December 2. Tara McKenzie Sandercock will give a keynote address.


The Council on Foundations fosters an environment where philanthropy can thrive and cultivates a community of diverse and skilled philanthropic professionals and organizations who lead with integrity, serve as ethical stewards and advocate for progress. Learn more at

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