The Community Foundation for Southern Arizona announces Betty Stauffer as the 2021 Buddy Amos Founders Award Recipient.

Literacy Connects was founded in 2011 after a Tucson Regional Town Hall, hosted by CFSA, identified increasing literacy levels as the single best way to ensure a prosperous economy and an improved quality of life for everyone in Tucson. Five local organizations, who together represented nearly 100 years of nonprofit experience, came together to form this new organization in the hopes of shining a brighter light on the need for strong literacy programs in the community.

Betty, then Executive Director of Literacy Volunteers of Tucson, became the Founding Director of Literacy Connects. The mission of Literacy Connects is to open a world of possibilities to people of all ages through literacy and creative arts programs.

Under Betty’s leadership, the organization grew in leaps and bounds and planted deep roots in the community. In 2014 Literacy Connects found a permanent home when it purchased its current campus on Yavapai Road, nestled in the heart of the Amphi District, and began renovations to make it the welcoming place for learners that it is today.

Reflecting on her work at Literacy Connects, Betty shared, “The work I did over the years to create and build Literacy Connects was driven by my desire to bring literacy improvement opportunities to more adults and children in Pima County. I believe that strong literacy skills open all sorts of opportunities for people that they would otherwise miss…I am so pleased that I retire leaving Tucson a bit better than when I arrived in 2000.”

George H. “Buddy” Amos, Jr. (1934-1990), a native of Tucson and the owner of Tucson Realty and Trust Co., believed in giving back to the community that he loved so much and imparted that spirit upon his family and those around him. A natural fundraiser, it was hard for him to turn down requests to spearhead donation drives. He could often be found with other community leaders, “dialing for dollars” in a phone bank at Jim Click’s Automotive Group.

Phil Amos remembered that as time went on, his father was growing increasingly concerned about sustaining the good work the local nonprofits were doing to benefit the community. “He was afraid that people were getting tired of the calls,” recalled Phil, who was in college at the time. The answer to the merry-go-round of raising-and-spending-and-raising-and-spending came when Buddy learned about the community foundation model: charitable contributions are pooled to strategically address local needs that one individual cannot solve on his/her own.

In 1980, Buddy, along with James “Jim” Burns, Edward R. Moore, Jim Click, Jr., and F. Grainger Weil, created a community endowment organization that they called the Greater Tucson Area Foundation and laid out a framework for investment.  Today, with more than $150,000,000 in assets and grants totaling over $10,000,000 a year, the organization they started more than 35 years ago has grown beyond their wildest dreams and is facilitating giving, effectively changing lives and creating impact every single day.

To honor his vision and ability to inspire, the Buddy Amos Founders Award was created in 2015 and given to the Amos Family at the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona’s 35th Anniversary event.  Phil and Hank accepted the award on behalf of their father and the entire family.

Nominations are completed through Common Grant Application.  If you don’t have a Common Grant Application login already, you will need to create an account before you begin.

Nominate A Nonprofit Founder

Nominations for 2021 are now closed.

General Criteria

  • Nominees are recognized as the Founder(s) of a nonprofit organization
  • The nominees’ organization must be based in and serving Southern Arizona
  • Nominees can be an individual, couple (related or unrelated) or family
  • Nominees have demonstrated inspirational leadership in the areas of community service, philanthropy, mentoring, collaboration and/or systems change that reaches beyond the organization
  • The recipient must be able to participate in public relations before, during, and after the event and willing to speak to the attendees at the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona’s March event.


  • Nominations may be made by anyone familiar with the Founder/Nominee
  • Before submission, nominee(s) must agree to be nominated; verification is included on the application Up to three letters of support no more than 1 page in length may be uploaded along with the application. A minimum of one letter is required. No more than 1 letter from the organization they founded
  • Only fully completed nominations with no more than three letters submitted by the deadline will be considered
  • A review committee selected by the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona’s Board of Trustees shall be appointed to determine the recipient from among the nominees
  • All nominees will be notified prior to the event

Please contact Enedina Miller, Program Manager, Awards Community Foundation for Southern Arizona at 520-209-1525 or for questions regarding this process.

Previous Recipients

2021 Recipient Betty Stauffer

2020 Recipient Leza Carter

2019 Recipient Jeannette Maré

2018 Evelyn Carswell Bing

2017 Recipients Barry Corey + Mark Homan

2016 Recipient Marian Lupu

2015 Recipient Phil Amos

Click Here To Support This Award