NonProfit PR Awards

Awards Timeline

Entry Deadline:
November 23, 2012

Late Entry Deadline:
November 30, 2012

Awards Luncheon
Spring 2013 in DC


Check back soon for more details on the 2013 Nonprofit PR Awards program.

PR News’ Nonprofit PR Awards Program is solely dedicated to honoring the most talented communicators and teams in the nonprofit sector. Juggling the needs of various constituents, managing critical public issues, projecting a positive image of an industry and its members—these are the many challenges facing communications professionals at nonprofits and associations worldwide.

Enter PR News’ Nonprofit PR Awards program and join a distinguished circle of those holding the key to “best practices” in the nonprofit communications arena. We’re not looking for the campaigns or initiatives that are just “good” or “make budget”: We’re looking for the best, the most innovative programs—those that exceed expectations. So show us what you’ve done and get recognized for all your hard work.

The Nonprofit PR Awards are presented by the leading industry publication PR News and are judged by a blue-chip panel of communications experts. Winners will be recognized at an awards event in spring 2013 in Washington, D.C., in PR News and on


Who Should Enter? 

This awards program is open to any communications/marketing team at a nonprofit organization, association, government agency, NGO or educational institution. Where applicable, categories are also open to corporate PR professionals and PR firms. Size of organization and campaign budget are taken into consideration and will be judged relative to campaign goals and returns.

Eligibility Requirements  

To be eligible, the campaign or PR initiative must have taken place (either in part or in full) between November 2011 and November 2012. Some of the work must have occurred during this time, but it’s not necessary for it to be completed during the eligibility period, and it can be on-going. The Nonprofit Awards are open to all individuals and teams worldwide including:

  • Nonprofit organizations/associations/government organizations
  • PR firms representing a nonprofit client
  • Corporate teams partnering with a nonprofit
  • Nonprofit colleges and universities



Winners will be recognized in the following categories:


  • Advocacy Campaign and Lobbying Efforts - This category recognizes a campaign or ongoing initiative using a wide range of strategies (e.g. media, special events, Web content) where outcomes demonstrate change (e.g. legislation passed, funds raised, key support and/or endorsements from other groups, legislators, etc.)
  • Annual Publication or Brochure - Submissions will be judged on design and content, and success at connecting with a target audience and producing desired results.
  • Blog/s - Recognizing an outstanding, influential business-related blog or online journal written by a representative of an organization with the goal of espousing a cause or a certain message. Blog should be written with flair and personality.
  • Branding/Re-Branding  - Entries should be clear in stated goal of branding/re-branding and show measurable results proving that these efforts resulted in more donations or increased corporate involvement or more community/employee involvement, etc.
  • Corporate/Nonprofit Partnership/s - Recognizing outstanding alliance/s with a corporate entity in the past 12 months, with an eye toward exceeding the stated mission of the partnership. Note: It is recommended that you enter partnerships separately, not as a single entry. 
  • Crisis Management - Communications surrounding any crisis, from an industry crisis to internal executive malfeasance, are eligible in this category.
  • Digital PR and Marketing - The winner of this category will have shown outstanding use of digital media (Web, e-mail, etc) to communicate a message/s. This can include a marketing campaign on your Web site or a partner’s; outstanding e-mail communications and other capitalization of digital media for PR/marketing.
  • Email Newsletter/s - Entries should demonstrate consistent delivery of varied content relevant to target audience; engaging design; superior open and click-through rates.
  • Employee / Internal Communications - Recognizing outstanding internal PR efforts at nonprofits/associations, including employee communications campaigns and ongoing initiatives to motivate, inspire and retain employees.
  • Event PR - Entries should include PR conducted at an industry, association or other event/conference, or a series of events conceived and implemented by your organization (for instance, awareness of an issue). Note: this can include the entering nonprofit’s annual conference, for example, or a public relations efforts at an industry event. 
  • External Publication or Report (online or print) - This category recognizes an external publication produced by or for a nonprofit. Publication can be a one-time effort or an ongoing publication. Hard copy and electronic publications are eligible; please include 5 hard copies of the publication with your entry. Also include pertinent information from our standard campaign entry.
  • Facebook Communications Campaign -  Unique use of Facebook to communicate aims of a nonprofit organization or campaign; winning entry will also be judged on focused, stated aim of Facebook use and measurable results.
  • Fundraising - Recognizing outstanding communications surrounding a single or ongoing drive to raise funds or increase membership. Must demonstrate the role of PR in the outcomes.
  • Green PR/Marketing - Entries will be judged on originality of green PR/marketing initiative, how closely aligned it is with an organization's overall goals and measurable, desired results.
  • Internal Publication (online or print) - This category recognizes an internal publication produced by or for a nonprofit. Publication can be a one-time effort or an ongoing publication. Hard copy and electronic publications are eligible; please include 5 hard copies of the publication with your entry. Also include pertinent information from our standard campaign entry.
  • Marketing - Recognizes proven success with PR and marketing techniques for a nonprofit organization – judges will look closely at how well you integrated PR and marketing into your communications plan in general or for a specific campaign.
  • Media Relations - Recognizes outstanding strategies and outcomes with either a singular media relations campaign surrounding an issue or a proven media relations strategy whose outcome improved the nonprofit’s standing among its stakeholders.
  • Member Communications - This category salutes outstanding public relations efforts targeted at an association’s membership year-round or for a particular campaign.
  • New Member - Recognizes creativity of a new member campaign and quantifiable results of campaign.
  • Member Retention - Recognizes timing of campaign, originality in reaching out to membership, quantifiable results and positive feedback resulting from campaign.
  • Natural Disaster Communications - Entries will be judged on breadth of cross-platform communications, timing of communications, success at reaching the desired audience, overall usefulness of communications and feedback from target audience.
  • Nonprofit Partner of the Year - Recognizes corporation that has forged a deep and creative partnership with a nonprofit in an alignment that enhances the reputation of both parties.
  • PR on a Shoestring Budget - Recognizing outstanding examples of a nonprofit achieving success with limited funds/budget, whether it’s for a single campaign or ongoing PR/public affairs. While “shoestring” is subjective, the winners in this category are those who have done more with less, and have been creative with the limited PR dollars they have.
  • Press Release - Recogns one or multiple press releases for writing quality and achievement of desired results: ie, hits to Web site; responses to a call for action; inbound inquiries stemming from the release, etc.
  • Promotional Items/Merchandise - Recognizes successful results of using merchandise to promote the aims of a nonprofit organization or initiative.
  • Public Affairs/Issues Management - Recognizes successful promotion of a cause or social issue via public sector organizations and political channels.
  • Public Service - This category recognizes effective television, print, online and radio PSAs for a nonprofit, or produced by a nonprofit. PSA must have run in the past 12 months.
  • Social Media - This category recognizes campaigns that connect people and allow them to be integrated into a product or company. Social media campaigns can include: Internet forums, message boards, blogs, wikis, podcasts, pictures and video. 
  • Social Responsibility Campaign/Initiatives - This category recognizes a particular campaign in which the association's initiatives/brand is aligned with a cause.
  • Twitter Communications Campaign -  Unique use of Twitter to communicate aims of a nonprofit organization or campaign; winning entry will also be judged on focused, stated aim of Twitter use and measurable results.
  • Video and/or Podcast Program - Entries in this category should focus on the PR efforts surrounding a podcast and/or videocast, whether in the consumer or business-to-business arena.
  • Volunteer Program - Either a new or ongoing volunteer program from an organization (corporate or nonprofit); entries should be clear in stated aim of program and in number of volunteers involved, as well as results of volunteer efforts.
  • Web Site - Recognizing outstanding Web sites among nonprofits, from a design, communications and navigation standpoint. Entrants must demonstrate the Web site’s effectiveness in building membership, raising issue awareness and the ways that PR has played a role in the site’s success.

People Categories

  • Nonprofit Communicator of the Year - We will bestow several awards in this category based on job title and experience. 
  • Association/Nonprofit Team of the Year - Communications teams that will be considered for the Team of the Year award will be those that have had clearly stated goals for the year (increase in donations, members, awareness, legislative action, etc.), formulated a strategy and successfully executed that strategy. Results should be measurable and listed in detail. Include names and roles of all team members, and demonstrate how the team worked together to achieve stated goals.

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How To Enter Online 

Compiling Your Entry
At the beginning of your 2-page synopsis, the following information must be listed:

  • Category entered
  • Title of entry (as it would appear on your award)
  • Key contact for entry
  • Organization submitting entry (multiple organizations can be listed)
  • Budget (All budget information is strictly confidential and will not be published w/o expressed permission.)
    * If you are mailing your entry, there are no binder specifications when compiling your entry.

Your Entry
Within your 2-page synopsis, please describe your campaign or PR initiative using the following sub-headings:

  • Objectives
  • Research
  • Challenges
  • Strategy/ Tactics
  • Execution
  • Evaluation of Success
  • Results (as it relates to category you enter)

Supporting Materials
Supporting materials should show evidence of the success of your work. Examples include: 
Web sites/URLs * Membership & Fundraising Stats * Brand Media Coverage * Clippings * Photos * Research Documents * Testimonials * Web Stats


Win in more than one category!
Multiple entries are accepted and encouraged. A single entry can be entered into one or more categories. Please follow the “How to Enter” instructions above for each additional category you will be entering.

Deadlines/Entry Fees 

Deadline: November 23, 2012 
Late Deadline: November 30, 2012 
All entries must be submitted by November 30, 2012

Entries submitted between November 23 and November 30, 2012, please add a $199 late feeper entry. Finalists will be notified at least 45 days in advance of the event in Washington, D.C., in spring 2013.

Entry Fees:
The price of each primary entry is $300.  If you are submitting a secondary entry of the same campaign into one or more categories the price will be $199 each.  Late entry surcharge of $199 per entry. Payment in full must accompany the entry. Entry fees are not refundable.


How are the entries judged?
Entries are judged by a blue-chip panel of corporate, agency, nonprofit and academic executives, as well as by the staff of PR News. We evaluate your entry based on creativity, innovation, sound planning implementation and results. Our most important criterion is proven success in aligning your strategic objectives with you end goals.

Who is eligible to win an award?
Any communications team or individual – nonprofit, association, governmental agency and/or corporations and agencies in partnership with a nonprofit, – of any size is eligible to enter the Nonprofit PR Awards Program.

Where and when will the reception be held?
The winners and honorable mentions will receive their Nonprofit PR Awards in spring 2013 during an awards event in Washington, D.C.

How do I increase my chances of winning an award?
Emphasize the goals of your campaign, as well as your campaign’s achievements in your synopsis. Provide as many concrete and specific examples of success as possible, and explain clearly and succinctly your research, planning, implementation and measurement of the campaign.

When will I be notified about the status of my entry?
You will be contacted by PR News staff regarding the status of your entry via email if you are named a finalist in the awards program. Finalists are notified 30-60 days in advance of the Nonprofit PR Awards ceremony.

Must we include our campaign budget?
It’s not a requirement, but it helps the judges to better compare your campaign against other entries. Include at least a reasonable budget range. The judges always take into account the campaign budget relative to the goals and outcome. All information is confidential and will not be published.

What is PR News/Access Intelligence's tax ID number?

W-9 Form Request


Contact Information:

Please contact Awards Coordinator, Mary-Lou French at [email protected].

Previous Winners

2011 winners
2010 winners
2009 winners   
2008 winners
2007 winners
2006 winners
2005 winners