Southwest Florida High School Student Earns International Youth Award for Outstanding Entrepreneurship and Fundraising Efforts

This article was published on the AFP website 4/18/22.

(Arlington, Va.) The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) is proud to announce that Jacob Stein (above), a high school senior from Sarasota, Fla., is the recipient of the 2022 William R. Simms Award for Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy, Individual, presented by CARTER.


The William R. Simms Awards for Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy, presented by CARTER, honor young people with a proven record of exceptional generosity who demonstrate outstanding civic and charitable responsibility and whose philanthropy encourages others to engage on a community, national, and/or international level.

“Fundraising is a crucial element for driving change and should not apply to only a select group, said Jacob. Everyone should have a voice in the changes they would like to see made. To be recognized by a prestigious fundraising association is very validating. My work is taking on donor inequity, focusing on individuals’ collective ability to drive change. Dollar Donations creates changemakers through something as simple as donating $1 or even walking to earn free sweatcoin cryptocurrency.”

When Jacob’s sister was diagnosed with type one diabetes, he was passionate about supporting research for a cure. However, high-donation minimums within the nonprofit sector made him feel as if it were impossible to engage with the philanthropic sector. Jacob wondered if he was alone. His research revealed the growing problem of donor equity. Wealthy donors are contributing larger slices of charitable giving every year. When only the wealthy give, it influences the types of services that are available to those in need. He set out to change how nonprofits approach fundraising, empowering anyone to be a changemaker.

Jacob, nominated by the AFP Florida, Southwest Chapter, first completed a young entrepreneurs’ program through the Boys and Girls Club of Sarasota, learning invaluable business skills and receiving seed money to launch Dollar Donations. Since registering Dollar Donations as a nonprofit in 2019, he was awarded a $10,000 per month Google Ads Grant, which he uses to drive donations. To date, his efforts to harness the power of small donations has raised more than $10,000 from more than 40,000 traditional donors and sweatcoin cryptocurrency donors worldwide combined. With the funds, Jacob’s organization has supported 11 nonprofit organizations to advance their missions.

“We’re thrilled to recognize young philanthropists and leaders like Jacob,” said Bob Carter, CFRE, chairman of CARTER. “He wants to change how nonprofits approach fundraising so that diverse voices may be heard. His entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to fundraising through Dollar Donations sends a strong message to all generations that fundraising can be accessible and collectively make a big impact.”

Jacob plans to continue to scale Dollar Donations. He will bring on more nonprofit partners in other areas to support additional social causes, using input from donors at He would also like to bring on board a corporate sponsor, which would provide point-of-sale donation opportunities not currently offered.

“AFP actively works to address diversity, equity, and inclusion within the charitable sector, but the conversation surrounding inequity among donors is critical in ensuring individuals understand the difference their donations can make, no matter the size,” AFP President and CEO Mike Geiger, MBA, CPA, said. “Jacob is an extraordinary example of a young person who not only understands this important issue but has also envisioned a way to address it and is doing something about it. All of us at AFP are in awe of his work so far, and we’re excited to be able to honor him.”

“I wish to thank the AFP Southwest Florida chapter for nominating me for the award,” said Jacob. “I was honored they saw value in my work, and I am very proud to represent them through this award.”

The award will be presented at AFP’s ICON 2022, the largest gathering of fundraising professionals in the world, in Las Vegas.

More information about Jacob, along with AFP ICON, can be obtained by contacting Michael Nilsen at (425) 241-4675 or

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