Holiday Impact Prize Announces Per Scholas as a 2023 Winner

Holiday Impact Prize Announces Per Scholas as a 2023 Winner

Annual award presented by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Nicholas Kristof raises millions for featured organizations.

Campaign for donations and volunteer recruitment open through January 31, 2024.


NEW YORK, November 20, 2023: This year’s annual Holiday Impact Prize has announced Per Scholas as a 2023 winner for our work advancing economic equity through rigorous training, professional development, and employer connections in IT careers for individuals who don’t otherwise have access to such opportunities. 

The Holiday Impact Prize is presented by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and supported by Focusing Philanthropy. It connects Kristof’s readers to exciting opportunities to donate and volunteer each holiday season. Since 2019, the Holiday Impact Prize and the special edition C-19 Impact Initiative have together raised over $34 million and recruited over 4,600 volunteers for the organizations featured. 

This year’s Prize honors three previous winners as part of a special readers’ favorites edition: Per Scholas, CAMFED, and OneGoal. Each organization will receive $50,000 in addition to donations raised from readers. The campaign also recognizes one volunteer opportunity, Welcome.US, for its work facilitating the private sponsorship of refugees seeking safety in the United States.

For the first time, Kristof’s three Holiday Impact Prize winners will also become beneficiaries of the New York Times Communities Fund. Formerly known as the Neediest Cases Fund, the annual initiative has encouraged readers to donate to charitable causes since 1911. Now in its 112th year, the campaign has raised over $330 million for nonprofit organizations that have helped countless people improve their circumstances.  

“I’m humbled by the generosity of the Communities Fund in adding this year’s Holiday Impact Prize winners to its list of beneficiary organizations. It is exciting to have the opportunity to introduce the broader New York Times audience to these deserving organizations, augmenting the reach of The Holiday Impact Prize and ultimately providing more people with life-changing support,” said Nicholas Kristof.

Since 2009, Kristof has written an annual “holiday gift guide” column to bridge a philanthropic gap: readers who wanted to help but didn’t know how and heroic individuals and organizations who desperately needed resources but were off donors’ radar. These columns have helped raise the profiles of nonprofits that work on the very issues he covers in his journalism—health, education, climate, human rights, and women’s rights, both domestically and abroad. In 2019, Kristof introduced his Holiday Impact Prize as a way to increase donations and create a more ambitious campaign.

“The holidays are a time when we can come together and try to help others. I’m grateful to supporters who have made it possible for the Holiday Impact Prize to continue into this fifth year. Your contributions have aided remarkable organizations working to make the world a better place,” said Kristof. “I’m delighted to welcome back a few organizations that readers particularly loved so we can help the most people possible this holiday season.”

“For Per Scholas to be among 2023’s Holiday Impact Prize honorees is pivotal. We’ll grow our Career Access Fund, which removes barriers and closes the equity gap for thousands of diverse future technologists across America. The value of an opportunity like the Holiday Impact Prize is far greater than the sum of the dollars we will raise and will empower donors to help break down those barriers and grow opportunities for diverse tech talent,” said Plinio Ayala, President and CEO of Per Scholas.

Anyone looking to join in and make a difference can donate or sign-up to volunteer through January 31, 2024 by visiting For more information, read Kristof’s holiday giving column in The New York Times.

Focusing Philanthropy, a 501(c)3 nonprofit that finds and funds high-impact, scalable programs around the world, provides the platform for this initiative by processing readers’ contributions, monitoring and reporting on results, and replenishing credit card transaction costs of donations made on so that 100 cents on the dollar will support the winning organizations.

About the Honorees 

  • CAMFED: Across rural Africa – where 95% of girls from the lowest-income communities never complete high school – CAMFED (Campaign for Female Education) addresses the complex barriers to their success. CAMFED provides school fees, supplies, menstrual products, bicycles or boarding, and builds a community support network around each girl: trained teachers, CAMFED graduates, and parent groups look after her psychosocial and learning needs. Girls supported by CAMFED achieve up to five times the learning gains and are three times more likely to stay in school than their peers. Graduates join the CAMFED Association, a sisterhood of leaders already 250,000 strong. As teachers, health workers, and climate-smart entrepreneurs, each member financially supports (on average) three more girls in school. This Multiplier Effect drives scale and sustainability. It takes just $150 to fund a girl’s education for a year. In turn, she’ll triple your investment, helping to build an equitable future for all.

  • OneGoal: Throughout the country, only 22% of students from low-income communities earn a postsecondary degree compared to 67% of their peers from high-income areas. OneGoal’s three-year program helps students from low-income backgrounds identify paths to success, navigate the system, and enroll in their choice of postsecondary institution. The model leverages the talents of existing high school teachers to deliver OneGoal as a daily, credit-bearing class in 11th and 12th grade and continues with remote support through the critical first year of a student’s postsecondary education. 81% of OneGoal high school graduates enroll in a postsecondary institution, and 73% persist one year later–rates that even outpace students from high-income communities. An independent study by the University of Chicago found that OneGoal students are 40% more likely to earn their postsecondary degrees than students from similar backgrounds. Your investment can help OneGoal close the opportunity gap for thousands more young people annually. $1,500 provides a student with a full year of OneGoal instruction, advising, and support.


  • Per Scholas: In 30 of the largest metropolitan regions in the U.S. today, 10 million people have at least a high school diploma but earn less than $25,000 a year. The same regions are home to 1.4 million well-paying tech jobs that don’t require a college degree. Per Scholas is a national organization that prepares individuals traditionally underrepresented in technology for high-growth careers in the industry. In 15 weeks or less, Per Scholas learners (85% people of color, 40% women) gain knowledge and skills, earn industry recognized credentials, and graduate as highly attractive candidates for technology roles at companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies. 85% of learners graduate and 80% of graduates are hired within one year at an average of three times their pre-training wage. Every $700 donated covers the cost of supplies and resources for a learner to participate in Per Scholas’s tuition-free training and join the diverse talent pipeline that is changing the face of tech.


  • Welcome.US: Welcome.US partners with the U.S. government to allow everyday Americans to sponsor and provide critical support for a refugee family in their community. Americans signed up to sponsor more refugees in the first 18 months of the launch of private sponsorship programs than the U.S. government has admitted in the last 20 years combined. Following the success of private sponsorship for Ukranians and Latin Americans, American citizens and permanent residents can now sponsor refugees worldwide. Support can take many forms: helping with furnishing a home, job applications, enrolling children in school, grocery shopping, doctor visits, the process for getting a driver’s license—daily routines in the U.S. that can be daunting to a newcomer. Sign up on Welcome.US to join the two million+ Americans who have raised their hands to be a bridge to safety for people seeking refuge. Becoming a sponsor uplifts entire communities and is an opportunity to change lives—including your own. 

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