Is your nonprofit communications team creating influential communications campaigns? We want to see your work. Enter PR Daily’s 2019 Nonprofit PR Awards.

We accept submissions from philanthropic foundations, government agencies, professional associations, charitable organizations, academic institutions and the agencies that represent them. This is your chance to show off the campaigns and projects that were instrumental in changing lives.

This year we’re excited to offer you a variety of categories to showcase your work, including four new category options.

Want to see what it takes to be a winner? Check out the 2018 Nonprofit Awards Special Edition.

See a full list of categories and eligibility requirements, and read how to enter below.

Eligibility Requirements

These awards are open to in-house, agency and independent communication practitioners in the private, corporate, nonprofit and government sectors. Enter your work, the work of your organization or submit entries on behalf of your client.

Companies from around the world are welcome to enter as long as the entry is submitted in English.

Contact Brendan Gannon to find the perfect category for your campaign or project. You can reach him at 312-960-4407 or brendang@ragan.com.

This year’s program is open to any work executed between Jan. 1, 2018, and July 26, 2019, inclusive.

Recognition

Each category winner will receive:

  • A featured write-up in a Special Edition of Ragan.com
  • An elegant trophy
  • Fifteen percent off registration to as many conferences as you’d like within one year of the winner announcement

The winners of the Grand Prize categories also will receive a one-year membership to Ragan Training —a premium online training library featuring hundreds of hours of the very best content from Ragan events. 

CATEGORIES

CAMPAIGNS & PARTNERSHIPS

Advocacy or Awareness Campaign

How did you raise awareness for the cause your organization advocates for? Share the channels that led to success. Tell us about the obstacles, goals, strategy and results of your campaign.

Branding or Rebranding Campaign

Did your brand need an update? Did you modernize your creative assets, redefine your organization’s mission or build a new brand from the ground up? Share how your branding campaign elevated your public profile and captured attention from your audience. Tell us about the changes that defined your rebranding effort.

Community-Nonprofit Partnership

Whether your nonprofit works to solve problems locally or abroad, your community can be a driving force for positive change. How did you collaborate with your community to champion an important cause or initiative? Did you host a 5K, a charity ball or a golf outing to inspire a mass audience to give back to your organization and community? We want to hear the inside story of how you partnered with a local government, civic group or school this past year. What was the goal? How did you achieve it?

Corporate-Nonprofit Partnership

Corporate resources, especially volunteer manpower, are just what a nonprofit needs to achieve regional or national prominence. How did you combine forces with your for-profit partner? We’re especially interested in seeing how both organizations benefitted from the partnership. Tell us about your partnership and how you worked together to achieve amazing results.

*NEW!* Email Marketing Campaign

Share the email strategy that resulted in great success for your organization. Why was email the right strategy for sharing news, promoting events, seeking donations or finding volunteers? Did you segment audiences based on their past donations or event attendance? What messaging did you employ to meet your goal? Share powerfully crafted subject lines, open rates and other metrics for success.

Event PR and Marketing

Your event was created to raise awareness about a cause, raise funds, honor those affected by an issue or recognize your donor base. How did you drum up excitement about this event? Tell us what PR and marketing tactics you used to encourage RSVPs and make invitations a hot commodity. What was the attendance, fundraising or engagement goal for your event? How did you measure its success?

Executive Visibility Campaign

Your executives are the chief champions of your organization’s mission. Tell us about the PR campaigns you developed to share the story of their connection to your nonprofit and goals for the future. We want to see the media relations efforts, speaking engagements, partnerships and other executive visibility efforts that were a success for your organization this year. How did this affect organizational goals like securing donations, building brand awareness or recruiting volunteers?

Fundraising Campaign

Your nonprofit depends on funds to make a difference. How did you find creative solutions to your lack of funding? How did you appeal to the generosity of your audience? Tell us about your fundraising campaign and its goals. We want to see how you met or exceeded your objectives.

Influencer and Donor Relations Strategy

Did working with influencers have a positive effect on your organization’s goals? How did you partner with someone who was passionate about your mission to get the word out? Tell us about sponsored posts, social media takeovers, volunteer initiatives or events that heavily featured influencers. Why did you team up with them and how did it help?

Marketing Campaign

You took advantage of a variety of marketing tools to promote your nonprofit. Did you use print, digital, broadcast or outdoor advertising campaigns, email promotions, online and social media marketing or other tactics? Tell us about your marketing campaign’s success.

Media Relations Campaign

You harnessed the power of the media to share information about your cause or nonprofit. Did you think locally and work with reporters in your area to gain local newspaper and television coverage? Did your story make national news? Did you put together a press event or gain social coverage from local influencers? Tell us how you created a shareable brand story. Don’t forget to include links to or PDF’s of the media coverage.

*NEW!* Mobile Marketing Strategy

Reaching your audience on their mobile devices is becoming more important every day. Did you create an app to share fundraising updates, news from executives, videos and more? Did you optimize your website and emails for mobile users? Why was mobile an important element of your overall strategy, and what unique efforts were a success?

*NEW!* Personalized Marketing Strategy

Personalizing your content can help your audience feel connected to your organization. What efforts did you make to personalize your website, emails, social media promotions, mailers and more? Why was personalization important to your audience, and how did you meet that need?

Social Media Campaign

Social media is an easy and often free way to get in touch with your audience. What was the goal of your campaign? Which platforms were most successful for you? Did you take a multichannel approach? Share the social content you created and the metrics that prove its success.

*NEW!* Visual Storytelling

Did you upgrade your visual communications efforts? Share how video, original photography or updated design played into your overall marketing strategy. How did you use these creative assets to tell a story across multiple platforms, and what was the impact on your audience? Show us the creative work that was produced, and be sure to include results and responses.

CREATIVE PR ASSETS

Annual Report

Annual reports are useful tools for nonprofits. We want to see how you collected data and stories to share the success of your organization over the past year. How did you design your report to create an easy yet captivating reading experience? What insights did you think would be most valuable to your audience? Print and digital versions are equally welcome.

Article

Your articles aren’t only great storytelling pieces, they’re an essential marketing tool. Tell us about the feature you published about your organization’s founder or the interview series you created about people whose lives were changed by your nonprofit’s work. How did your article showcase your organization’s strengths and mission? We want to see stories written for your publication, along with op-ed pieces, online articles and other examples of great storytelling. We’d love to see the comments you got from readers as well.

Blog

Keeping your blog content up to date is a huge undertaking. How have you created a steady stream of content that’s original, informative and entertaining for your audience? We want to see blogs that give an inside look at the day-to-day operations of your nonprofit, share the stories of people you serve or provide insights into the problems you’d love to abolish. Please include a link to the blog and a minimum of three posts. As always, include measurable results of its success.

Digital Publication

Do your e-newsletter subject lines put The Skimm to shame? Did you create on online magazine to share information with internal or external audiences? Tell us how the design and content of your publication inspires readers to share it. We want to see lively writing that provides practical benefits to readers. Tell us all about your print, electronic, weekly, monthly or quarterly publication. Show us what makes it a hit. Share your reader feedback with us.

Print Publication

What materials do you publish that inform your members, stakeholders, community members or the broader public? Tell us about your magazine, pamphlet, mailer or other creative asset. Share your publication with us, along with the feedback you received, and tell us what made it successful.

User-Generated Content

The people your organization serves have powerful stories to share. You invited them to share social posts, videos and written content on behalf of your organization. Their stories inspired your audience and told your brand’s compelling story. What was your goal when calling for user-generated content? What feedback did you receive? Don’t forget to provide examples and metrics.

Video

Mastering the skill of creating powerful videos can generate significant results for your organization. We want to see how you used this popular communication medium to reach your audience. Was your video an emotional TV advertisement, a sharable clip for YouTube, a prepared media reel or a testimonial? Did you go viral? Send us your video. Tell us all about it and how it succeeded.

Website

Your website isn’t just a hub for information and donations, it’s a beautifully designed digital experience for all who visit. We’re seeking industry leaders whose impressively designed, navigable and functional websites tell the story of their mission clearly and creatively. The content and organization of your sites are important as well. We want to see it all. Microsites, custom and mobile websites are also eligible.

GRAND PRIZE

Nonprofit PR Campaign of the Year

A limited budget, lack of awareness and a small staff don’t get in the way of achieving your goals. Those challenges are simply motivation to create innovative new campaigns to promote your cause and organization. We want to see comprehensive PR campaigns that drove traffic to your website, inspired people to engage with you on social media, drove major fundraising initiatives or turned your supporters into your biggest advocates.

Nonprofit PR Team of the Year

Small but mighty is no cliché when it comes to your team. You hustle hard, overcome obstacles and champion your cause with unrelenting determination. This is your time to get recognized for the incredible work you do and the lives you’ve changed. Share an overview of your major challenges and even bigger wins over the past year.

How To Enter

On the entry form, be sure to include a thorough synopsis explaining the purpose and scope of your project. We ask that the synopsis be at least 1,000 words (max: 1,250 words) and include the following sub-headings (when applicable):

  • Goals
  • Strategy and tactics
  • Execution
  • Evaluation: success, results or ROI

Be sure to follow the guidelines laid out in the category descriptions, as the judges will look for those elements when they select the winners.

You will be able to upload up to five additional documents to your submission. We encourage you to include press releases, design concepts, videos, analytics, testimonials and anything else you feel will give us a better sense of your project. Proprietary or internal information can also be attached and will not be shared with the public.

Supporting documents that can’t be uploaded to the system should be mailed to:

Brendan Gannon
Ragan Communications
316 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 400
Chicago, IL 60601

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should you apply?
Our award programs help you measure the success of your work and prove the value of your contributions to your organization. You can set yourself apart in the industry as an expert, which will open doors throughout your career. As a winner, you’ll earn publicity for your brand across our websites and social media audiences, free training at a Ragan conference of your choice, a custom write-up about your campaign and a trophy.
Who can enter?
Entries may be submitted by organizations worldwide. The only requirement is that entries be submitted in English. Most programs are open to in-house, agency and independent communication practitioners in the private, corporate, nonprofit and government sectors. Our Nonprofit PR Awards are reserved for nonprofit organizations.
What does it take to be a winner?
Although each award program is unique, we look for top-quality work that shows clear, bold and creative ideas that benefit your business or client. Please provide metrics or media coverage that back up your claims, and share creative collateral such as videos, visual design or websites that were a part of your project. Please look at our past award winners to see what gets recognized and rewarded. We encourage you to submit the same campaign to multiple categories, if you feel they are relevant. Doing so increases your chances of winning.
What are the entry requirements?
The entry form requires that you submit a synopsis explaining the purpose and scope of your project. The synopsis—1,000 to 1,250 words, please—should include the following sub-headings (when applicable):
  • Goals
  • Strategy and tactics
  • Execution
  • Evaluation: success, results or ROI
Campaigns must have been executed within 18 months prior to the date we begin accepting submissions for a given program.
Why are some deadlines extended?
We extend deadlines based on applicant needs and upcoming promotional opportunities.
Who are the judges?
We currently work exclusively with an external judging partner. We are not looking for new judges for our programs at this time.
When will I find out results?
We try to announce a list of finalists six to eight weeks after the close of the program. The announcement of the winners comes about three to four weeks after the announcement of the finalists. Each announcement will be made with a headline on our website, in our daily email newsletter and on our social media platforms. Emails notify entrants in advance of these announcements. As deadlines are extended, so are expected announcement dates.

Additional Questions

Additional Questions

If you have any questions about the program or problems submitting your entry, please call Brendan Gannon at 312-960-4407 or email him at brendang@ragan.com.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsorship Opportunities

If you are interested in sponsoring one of Ragan Communications’ award programs, please contact Kristin Farmer at 312-960-4405 or email her at kristinf@ragan.com.