We are proud to announce the panel of judges for this year’s #MyGivingStory contest! These experts in the field bring an incredible depth of experience and knowledge and we’re so thankful to have them! Our panel of judges include winners of previous #MyGivingStory contests, as well as experts in the fields of storytelling, journalism, and the social impact sector. Learn more about our judges below. Then, submit your #MyGivingStory today!


JIMMIE BRIGGS Jimmie Briggs is a documentary storyteller, writer and advocate for racial and gender equity. A member of the New York City Mayor’s Gender Equity Commission, he is also an adjunct professor in social change journalism at the International Center of Photography in New York. He is the founder and executive director emeritus of Man Up Campaign, a globally-focused organization to activate youth to stop violence against women and girls. Jimmie is a National Magazine Award finalist and recipient of honors from the Open Society Institute, National Association of Black Journalists and the Carter Center for Mental Health Journalism. His 2005 book Innocents Lost: When ChildSoldiers Go To War took readers into the lives of war-affected children around the world. His next book project is an oral history of Ferguson, Missouri in the wake of Michael Brown’s death in 2014. Jimmie holds a Medal of Distinction from Barnard College.

HAFIZAH GETER is an editor at Little A from Amazon Publishing where she acquires full-length words of literary fiction and nonfiction. Hafizah, who was born in Zaria, Nigeria, serves on the board of VIDA: Women in the Literary Arts and co-curates the reading series EMPIRE with Ricardo Maldonado. Her writing has appeared or in The New Yorker, Tin House, Narrative Magazine, Gulf Coast, Boston Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, and West Branch, among others. She is on the poetry committee for the Brooklyn Book Festival and has previously worked for literary organizations such as Cave Canem, PEN America Center, and Poets House. She received her B.A. in English and Economics from Clemson University and her MFA from Columbia College Chicago. 

BETH KANTER is an internationally recognized thought leader in networks, social media, philanthropy, wellbeing in the workplace and training. Beth has over 35 years working in the nonprofit sector in capacity building and has facilitated trainings for thousands of social change activists and nonprofits on every continent in the world. She is an in-demand keynote speaker and workshop leader. Named one of the most influential women in technology by Fast Company and one of the BusinessWeek’s “Voices of Innovation for Social Media,” Beth was Visiting Scholar at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation from 2009 to 2013. She is author of the award-winning Networked Nonprofit and The Happy Healthy Nonprofit: Strategies for Impact without Burnout published by J.Wiley. She writes “Beth’s Blog,” one of the first nonprofit blogs. Her clients include foundations, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations. Beth is an adjunct professor at Middlebury College.

"Storytelling is secret sauce to fundraising success, whether it is nonprofits sharing stories or empowering their supporters to do so." - Beth Kanter

KATIE LEONBERGER is President and CEO of Community Resource Exchange (CRE), which works with more than 400 organizations each year. Her consulting expertise includes strategic planning, leadership and organizational development, innovation, coaching, and risk management. Katie speaks frequently on topics such as risk management, nonprofit consulting, and social sector business models, and teaches at the New York University Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. She serves on the Board of Directors of Cities of Service, Morgan Stanley’s Global Impact Funding Trust, and Microlumbia Fund, a nonprofit impact investing fund she co-founded. Before joining CRE, Katie was a senior leader on the Government Innovation team at Bloomberg Philanthropies, and was previously at McKinsey & Company and Cornerstone Research. Katie holds an M.B.A. with a concentration in Social Enterprise from Columbia Business School and an M.A. in international policy studies and a dual B.A. in economics and international relations with honors from Stanford University.

ELISHA PALMER is the proud mom to Knox Owen Palmer and the Co-Founder of the Knox Blocks Foundation. Baby Knox passed away at 3.5 months old in December of 2016 to SIDS. Knowing another parent should never have to feel this incredible heartbreak her mission began. Elisha and her husband Mark created a foundation that provides parents with an Owlet Smart Sock. The Owlet tracks infants heart rate and oxygen levels. Parents are notified if the levels become abnormal providing them with the right information at the right time. With each Owlet they donate they give parents a little peace of mind and a little piece of Knox.

"It’s in our stories of adversity that we provide hope to the hopeless, courage to those that are fearful and support to those that feel alone. Our stories change the world." - Elisha Palmer

GINA RIEDER has been a teacher for 30 years in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. She has spent ten years teaching elementary and the remainder of her career teaching middle school social studies. Her most rewarding school project, the Sabish Elf Project, is in its sixth year and was a first place recipient of #MyGivingStory. She has her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and master’s degree from Viterbo University.

RAQUEL SALAS RIVERA is the 2018-19 Poet Laureate of Philadelphia. Their work has appeared in the Journal of the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture (Revista del Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña), Apogee, PEN Poetry Series and McSweeney’s. From 2016-2018, Raquel was co-editor of The Wanderer and co-editor of Puerto Rico en mi corazón, a collection of bilingual broadsides of contemporary Puerto Rican poets. They are the first recipient of the Ambroggio Prize from the Academy of American Poets for their dual-language book x/ex/exis. They have authored six chapbooks as well as four full-length poetry books. Their latest book, lo terciario/the tertiary, confronts the PROMESA bill, was on the 2018 National Book Award Longlist, and was selected by Publishers Weekly as one of the best poetry books of 2018. 

MARY ALICE STEPHENSON is a renowned style and beauty expert, and the founder and force behind GLAM4GOOD, which harnesses the healing power, joy and attention fashion and beauty bring to bolster self-esteem, promote positivity, raise awareness, celebrate courage and provide clothing and personal care assistance to recipients across the country. A robust empowerment platform that is both experiential and digital, GLAM4GOOD uses style and beauty to empower a diverse group of causes and is proud of their collaborative partnership philosophy with like-minded organizations, non-profits, community groups, individuals, media outlets and global brands. 

ABBY GRAF SUBAK is Director of Organizing at Idealist. She works to encourage, support, and build connections between people around the globe who want to make a difference in their communities, with a focus on the Idealists of the World network and on monthly Idealist Days. She is also the Director of Arts Gowanus in Brooklyn New York and a former coordinator of the #MyGivingStory contest. She has spent over 20 years developing progressive non-profit social-impact organizations and initiatives.

DINI VON MUEFFLING married her love of communication and compelling storytelling with her passion for social change four years ago by founding Dini von Mueffling Communications (DVMC), a New York-based boutique public relations firm. She works with clients in numerous fields including technology, business, media, real estate, design, health, nonprofits, and high-profile individuals. Her commitment to social change is most aptly illustrated by her work with nonprofits. Dini helps pave the way for these thought leaders to deliver effective messages which in turn raise the funds necessary to reach their philanthropic goals. Beyond DVMC, Dini is the co-founder of Love Heals, the Alison Gertz Foundation for AIDS Education, a non-profit which launched in 1992 to provide HIV/AIDS education to the youth of New York City. Love Heals is now a division of GMHC. Prior to working in public relations, Dini was a journalist and authored two nonfiction books.

#MyGivingStory is a social media storytelling contest created to foster a public conversation about generosity and to inspire more people to give. What inspires you to give? Share your giving story and win up to $10k for your favorite nonprofit!