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How to submit an entry for an award (and why you should)

Winning or even being shortlisted for an award can have a significant effect on your funding. By generating an increased positive public profile for your charity or cause, you can create a positive impact on donations and funds.

Awards are a great way of building your charity’s brand for both small and large organisations. If an award enables your charity to carry out even more important work, then submitting and entry is well worth the effort.


Pick your target

If you want to position yourself in the voluntary sector marketplace, there are of course sector-specific awards like the Charity Times Awards, Third Sector Awards and Business Charity Awards. But there may also be relevant other national and local awards which can also reach the people who will become your beneficiaries, supporters and advocates. Consider which would be best to highlight your cause and focus your efforts there. 


Plan ahead

Plan a year ahead to help you effectively get things in place; too often hard pressed charity people just run out of time to do a submission properly. If you get organised now, targeting the information to collect over the next few months, you’ll find writing an award submission so much easier, and be more likely to win. 


Write your submission

Make sure you thoroughly understand the award criteria and address every part of it when you come to write your submission. If you need some general pointers, Charity Times have published a set of useful guidelines for composing a compelling entry. Remember to write clearly and persuasively: use the active voice and avoid jargon.

This part can seem daunting but remember: this is your opportunity to share your achievements and celebrate the people you work with. From a team perspective writing up and sharing what you’ve achieved over the previous year or in a specific project can be quite therapeutic, simply because sometimes when going the extra mile you forget about the outcome or result, and the effort you put in.


Shout about it

To maximise PR, use social media or blogs to promote the submission, shortlist and award. In terms of visibility it’s always good to get positive PR for your organisation. Strategically an award nomination, shortlisting, or win will do you no harm, and it can help with funding and raise your profile at the highest level.

Larger charities that provide a wide range of services should use awards as part of your marketing and PR strategy; it’s a cost effective way to provide a wealth of blog and social media material to promote your charity.

Even an award nomination can be helpful as it shows internal stakeholders that the team or individual is on top of their game.

So go on. Write it up, submit it, and see where it takes you.

Further information

Content for this How To was supplied by Gary Webb, marketing director from multi-award winning NCVO trusted supplier FMP Global

FMP Global’s payroll division were an award winner at the Payroll World Awards in November 2015, and received the Global Payroll World Judges Award for Outstanding Achievement on 26 May 2016 in London. 


Page last edited Jun 23, 2017 History

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