About the Sanford Teacher Award

The Sanford Teacher Award is named for philanthropist T. Denny Sanford, who is committed to supporting inspiring teaching through Pre-K-12 programs that are being expanded nationally by the nonprofit National University System.

The award criteria reflect the mission of education-focused programs, which are based on the vision of Mr. Sanford. Recipients of the award are selected by a committee of educators based on an application process that includes nominations and information provided by each teacher to assess how closely they represent the characteristics of inspiring teaching.

About Sanford Programs

National University System is leading the expansion, in coordination with universities around the country, of three initiatives inspired by philanthropist and entrepreneur T. Denny Sanford to address critical needs in the education and nonprofit sectors.

The Sanford Programs — which are available at no cost to educators, schools, districts and colleges of education — include Sanford Inspire, Sanford Harmony, and the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy. Mr. Sanford has donated over $160 million to the National University System in support of the programs’ national expansion, an effort that involves the collaboration of universities around the country that share a similar focus and dedication to the professional support of educators and the nonprofit sector.

Learn more about Sanford Harmony, Sanford Inspire, and Sanford Institute of Philanthropy below.

Sanford Inspire

Sanford Inspire is based on the idea that every child should have not one, but many inspiring teachers. Designed to foster inspired classroom environments and based on Mr. Sanford’s desire to support and celebrate educators, the innovative resources that encourage student engagement in curriculum are available at no cost to teachers, schools, districts, and Colleges of Education.

Learn More

Sanford Harmony

Inspired by Mr. Sanford, Sanford Harmony is a research-based social emotional learning program that promotes positive peer relations among Pre-K-6 students through lessons and activities that encourage communication, collaboration, and mutual respect. The program has been recognized as a quality SELect program by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), and evaluated for its ease of implementation by the Johns Hopkins University Center for Research and Reform in Education.

Learn More

Sanford Institute of Philanthropy

Sanford Institute of Philanthropy offers educational and training programs to help nonprofits increase their fundraising capabilities and their positive impacts on society. Based on the vision of Mr. Sanford, the Institute’s curricula is presented by recognized nonprofit leaders, faculty, and renowned philanthropists. A common cornerstone among each Institute is the Cause Selling approach that blends proven business strategies with relationship-building principles.

Learn More