Categories & Criteria

The entry process for the Third Sector Awards is your opportunity to shout to the sector just how great your charity/organisation/team are! This is the chance to bring your work back to life, tell us its story and be awarded for it! The Third Sector Awards pride themselves on educating and inspiring the sector, offering every entrant detailed feedback on their entry from our expert panel of judges.

Has your charity excelled in a particular area of your work, or had an excellent year overall? If so, the following categories will allow you to showcase your endeavours and successes. 

 

Charity of the Year

This prestigious award will go to the charity or voluntary sector organisation that has had a truly exceptional year and whose recent achievements have attracted the admiration of the sector.

Please explain in no more than 1,000 words (which includes your 200 word executive summary) why you believe the organisation should win the award. Please address the following questions your entry.

  • Charity overview: How many people does the charity employ? When was it founded and who does it support?
  • What are the charity's objectives? How does it achieve its goals?
  • What has the charity achieved over the past year? What challenges has it faced and how did it overcome them? What impact has the charity had on its beneficiaries or the wider sector in the past year?
  • How has the charity evaluated its success?

New for 2017: Long-listed entrants for this category will be invited to present at the live judging day in July as part of the judging process.

 

Annual Report

For the annual report or review that best communicates the mission, operations and achievements of the organisation in an unusual or innovative way.

  • Aims: What was the aim of the report. Please include details on the budget. (200 word max)
  • Approach: Who was responsible for producing the report (i.e. was it designed in-house or by an agency)? What form did the annual report take? (250 word max)
  • Achievements: How effective was the report? Please include details on how success was measured (250 word max)

A copy of the annual report must be provided as either a PDF copy or a URL if your report is hosted online.

 

Big Impact Award

Awarded to a project that has had a substantial impact on national or international life.

  • Aims: What was the aim of the project and when did it begin? (200 word max)
  • Approach: What approach did it take and how was it funded? What challenges did the project have to overcome? (250 word max)
  • Achievements: How effective was the project? Please include details on how success was measured. (250 word max)

 

Brand Development

For the best new, changed or evolved brand. This can range from a totally new identity, the merging of two or more organisations, logo changes or an on-going evolution of an existing brand.

  • Aims: When and why did the organisation decide to refresh its brand? (200 word max)
  • Approach: Who was responsible for designing the new brand (i.e. was it designed in-house or by an agency)? What was the budget for the new brand? How did the process work? For example, did the charity undertake research or engage services users in the rebrand process? What challenges did the charity face? (250 word max)
  • Achievements: What difference has the brand change made to the charity? For example, has it helped improve brand awareness, attract more service users or increase fundraising? (250 word max)

Please include before and after examples of the branding.

 

Breakthrough of the Year

This award is an opportunity to showcase something new or different. Areas could include supporter and/or donor engagement, extending the reach of the charity or introducing a new way of working.

  • Aims: What was the project and its objectives? (200 word max)
  • Approach: What approach did it take? How was it delivered? Include any challenges you faced. (250 word max)
  • Achievements: How effective was it? Include details on how success was measured. (250 word max)

 

Communications Agency Campaign of the Year

Awarded to an agency that has helped to create a highly successful communications campaign for its client, or provided an exceptional level of support and advice. This category is open to marketing, advertising and PR agencies. 

  • Aims: What was the name of the client you assisted and what did you hope to achieve? (200 word max)
  • Approach: What campaign did you run and what techniques did you use? (250 word max)
  • Achievements: How successful was the work? (250 word max)

 

Communications Campaign of the Year

Awarded to a charity for a highly successful, innovative or inspiring communications campaign. 

  • Aims: What were the goals of the campaign and why was it needed? (150 word max)
  • Approach: Who was responsible for devising the campaign concept (i.e. was it an agency or devised in-house)? What approach did the campaign take and how was it promoted? Please Include any challenges you faced. (250 word max)
  • Achievements: How effective was it and what impact did it have? (250 word max)

Optional case study can be provided. Entries are also welcome from agencies on behalf of charities. 

 

Digital Innovation of the Year

Awarded to a charity or social enterprise that is pushing the boundaries of digital technology to reach supporters, donors, or beneficiaries.

  • Aims: What was the project and its objectives? (200 word max)
  • Approach: What approach did it take? How was it delivered? Please include any challenges you faced. (250 word max)
  • Achievements: How effective was it? (250 word max)

Optional web link

 

Enterprise Award

Excellence Awards

Awarded to a social enterprise or charity that has significantly improved its income from its commercial activities in recent years. Examples might include through the use of charity shops, the sale of products or services, or renting out office space or land.   

  • Aims: What are the goals of the charity/organisation? How did it set out to achieve these through its commercial activities? (200 word max)
  • Approach: What types of commercial activities did it undertake? Include any challenges that were faced. (250 word max)
  • Achievements: How successful has it been and how has the money been used to support beneficiaries? (250 word max)

 

Fundraising Campaign

Awarded to an innovative fundraising campaign that achieved or exceeded its target.

  • Aims: What was the campaign and what was its objectives? (200 word max)
  • Approach: What approach did it take and how was it delivered? Who was involved in the delivery the campaign (ie. was it managed in-house or by an agency)? How much was spent on the campaign? (250 word max)
  • Achievements: How effective was the campaign and what was the return on investment? (250 word max)

Optional case study

 

Fundraising Event

Awarded to a fundraising event that used an original or inspiring approach to secure donations.

  • Aims: What was the event and its objectives? (200 word max)
  • Approach: What approach did it take and how was it delivered? Who was involved in organising the event and when did it take place? What challenges did you face? (250 word max)
  • Achievements: How effective was the event and how much money did it raise? (250 word max)

 

Marketing Campaign of the Year

Awarded to the best charity marketing campaign of the year. Examples might include the successful marketing of an organisation’s products, services or membership programmes, or the use of affinity marketing.

  • Aims: What was the campaign and its objectives? (200 word max)
  • Approach: What approach did it take and how was it delivered? Who was involved in producing the campaign and what challenges did the charity face? (250 word max)
  • Achievements: How effective was the campaign? (200 word max)

Optional case study

 

Small Charity, Big Achiever

Excellence Awards

Awarded to an organisation with an income of less than £500,000 a year that has made a significant impact with its work.  

  • Aims: What are the goals of the charity/organisation? What did it set out to achieve? (200 word max)
  • Approach: How did it achieve these goals? Include any challenges that were faced. (250 word max)
  • Achievements: How successful has it been? Please include details on how success was measured. (250 word max)

Global Markets Consultants will be providing pro bono advice, subject to terms and conditions, to the winning charities of fundraising team of the year, rising chief executive and small charity, big achiever up to the value of £10,000 to be split equally between the three.

 

The following awards are an opportunity for organisations to demonstrate how they have worked with others in the sector or built partnerships or relationships with local or national businesses.

 

 

Best Charity Law Firm

Awarded to a legal firm that has provided outstanding support to its voluntary sector clients or the broader charity sector.

  • Aims: Which charity/charities have you advised and what did you set out to achieve? (200 word max)
  • Approach: What advice did you provide and on what basis was the advice provided (i.e. pro-bono)? (250 word max)
  • Achievements: How did your support help your clients? (250 word max)

 

Charity Partnership of the Year

Awarded to a partnership between two or more charities that has enabled the partners to more effectively deliver services to beneficiaries, reach new groups or reduce costs. This could also be a partnership between a charity and a social enterprise, or a not-for-profit campaigning group.

  • Aims: What were the goals of the partnership, and when and why was it established? (200 word max)
  • Approach: How did the partnership achieve these goals? What resources did the partners put in and what challenges did they face? (250 word max)
  • Achievements: How successful has the partnership been? Please include details on how success was measured. (250 word max)

 

Corporate Partnership of the Year

Awarded to a partnership between a charity, social enterprise or other kind of voluntary organisation and a business that has brought strong mutual benefits to both. Organisations that have previously entered Third Sector’s Business Charity Awards are still eligible to enter, but the entry must be from the charities’ perspective and not the corporate partner.

  • Aims: What are the goals of the partnership, and when and why did it begin? (200 word max)
  • Approach: What resources did the company put into the partnership, and how did it work alongside the charity? (250 word max)
  • Achievements: What benefits has the partnership brought for both the charity and the company? (250 word max)

 

These awards recognise the outstanding contribution of individuals and teams in the voluntary sector organisations. They are an opportunity to showcase and celebrate the role of both employees and volunteers.

Please explain in no more than 700 words (which includes your 200 word executive summary), why you believe the person or team should win an award in the following categories.

 

Celebrity Charity Champion

Awarded to a celebrity who has shown genuine and productive support for his or her chosen charity or charities.

  • When was the relationship established and why?
  • What role has the celebrity played in supporting the charity’s work?
  • How has their support helped the charity (i.e. increased income, raised awareness etc)?

 

Charity Chief Executive

Awarded to the chief executive who has made an outstanding contribution to his or her organisation, or the wider sector over the past year.

  • When did he or she join the charity, and when did they become chief executive?
  • What have they achieved?
  • Why do they deserve to win?

 

Charity Chair of the Year

Talent Awards

Awarded to the chair of trustees who has made an outstanding contribution to the charity over the past year.

  • When did he or she join the board and when did they become chair?
  • What have they achieved?
  • Why do they deserve to win?

 

Communications Team of the Year

Awarded to the communications team that has worked effectively together to raise awareness of a particular campaign or the charity’s overall work.

  • Who is in the team? What are their roles and objectives?
  • How do they achieve their goals? What challenges have their faced?
  • What have they achieved?
  • Why do they deserve to win?

New for 2017: Long-listed entrants for this category will be invited to present at the live judging day in July as part of the judging process.

 

Finance Team of the Year

Awarded to the finance team that has displayed exceptional financial leadership by, for example, improving the charity's financial performance or by helping it to overcome significiant challenges. 

  • Who is on the team?
  • What were their goals and how do they achieve them? What challenges did they face?
  • What did they achieve?
  • Why do they deserve to win?

To support those working in financial departments in not-for-profit organisations, Third Sector is pleased to announced this category is now free to enter. No late fee will apply. 

 

Fundraising Team of the Year

Talent Awards

Awarded to a fundraising team that has worked effectively together to achieve or exceed its fundraising targets.

  • Who is on the team?
  • What were their goals and how do they achieve them?
  • What challenges do they face?
  • How much money have they raised and what was the return on investment?
  • Why do they deserve to win?

Global Markets Consultants will be providing pro bono advice, subject to terms and conditions, to the winning charities of fundraising team of the year, rising chief executive and small charity, big achiever up to the value of £10,000 to be split equally between the three.

New for 2017: Long-listed entrants for this category will be invited to present at the live judging day in July as part of the judging process.

 

Rising Chief Executive

Talent Awards

Awarded to the chief executive who has made an outstanding contribution to his or her organisation, or the wider sector, during their first two years in post.

  • When did he or she join the charity, and when did they become chief executive?
  • What have they achieved?
  • Why do they deserve to win?

Global Markets Consultants will be providing pro bono advice, subject to terms and conditions, to the winning charities of fundraising team of the year, rising chief executive and small charity, big achiever up to the value of £10,000 to be split equally between the three.

 

Volunteer of the Year

Talent Awards

Awarded to the volunteer who has displayed the greatest commitment and achievement to a charity or voluntary sector organisation over the past year.

  • When did he or she start to volunteer and why?
  • How have they assisted the charity and what have they achieved?
  • Why do they deserve to win?

 

Volunteer Team of the Year

Awarded to the volunteer team that has had a significant impact on a charity or good cause over the past year.

  • Who is on the team? 
  • What were their goals and what challenges have they faced? 
  • What have they archieved? 
  • Why do they deserve to win?

 

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