Dawkins, a seven-time Pro Bowl pick during his 13 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, was named the 2009 honoree Thursday night at the Players Association Gala in Washington.
In Philadelphia, he was the regional spokesperson for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, worked with the Burn Prevention Foundation, which sponsors an annual golf tournament to raise awareness and funds for its programs, and with the Philadelphia Daily News, he created a weekly award for a local high school football player who best exemplified academics, character and sportsmanship.
"As far as charity, to whom much is given, much is required. That's biblical," Dawkins told the Denver Post.
Dawkins, 37, was traded to the Broncos in February.
Former winners include BET founder Robert L. Johnson, the majority-owner of the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats and NBA executive director Billy Hunter, a former U.S. attorney.