DETROIT — Ally Financial announced that 57 U.S. auto dealers have been selected as nominees for the 2014 TIME Dealer of the Year award, which recognizes the nation's most successful auto dealers who also demonstrate a long-standing commitment to community service.

Now in its 45th year, the TIME Dealer of the Year award is recognized as one of the automobile industry's most prestigious and highly coveted honors.

“The dealers nominated for this award are community heroes, as well as economic and civic leaders, who have time and again shown their dedication to making a difference,” said Tim Russi, president of Auto Finance for Ally. “Ally is pleased to once again be supporting these dealers in their efforts to create vibrant, thriving communities.”

A recent survey by Ally and NADA found that nearly two-thirds of U.S. dealers increased their charitable giving in 2013 compared to 2012, with the bulk of dealers (90 percent) giving to causes focused on community services. The survey also found that more than 63 percent of dealers organize staff volunteerism in the community, with nearly 28 percent saying their employees provide more than 100 hours of community service.

In its third year as exclusive sponsor, Ally will recognize dealer nominees and their efforts in supporting their communities by contributing $1,000 to each nominee's charity of choice.  An additional grant will also go to causes chosen by the 2014 winner and finalists, who will be announced at the 97th annual National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention & Exposition in New Orleans, La. on Jan. 25, 2014.

In previous years, nominee grants have supported various local community organizations, including youth athletic leagues, educational programs, cultural offerings and local nonprofits. Last year’s Dealer of the Year, Michael Alford of Marine Chevrolet in Jacksonville, N.C. chose Girls on the Run, a local transformational running program for students, to receive the 2013 winner’s grant from Ally. The funds allowed 225 local students to participate in the program who otherwise may not have been able to.

The 57 nominees will be highlighted on, which showcases the philanthropic contributions and achievements of auto dealers and stories of their charitable outreach in local communities.

For a list of all 2014 TIME Dealer of the Year nominees, click here.

To learn more about previous TIME Dealer of the Year winners, click here.