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Charities Aid Foundation


"I'd just like to thank my agent, my stylist, and everyone who believed in me when they said I'd never make it."

Ok, so we're a bit more sensible than the celebrities when it comes to award ceremonies but we challenge you to make it through a Charity Awards event without feeling moved by the tenacity, passion and power of charity to genuinely change lives. And the impact of awards extends far beyond a nice evening of canapés, posh frocks and well deserved recognition.

Having an Award under your charity's belt can be a powerful tool when it comes to recruiting new staff and volunteers, raising funds and building new partnerships.

With an increase in applications grant funders receive, noticing that a charity has won an award always grabs their attention - an award is seen as an external and objective stamp of quality and achievement.

So if you think you'll look back proudly at what your charity has achieved this year, you might want to consider picking up your pen and drafting that Charity Awards application.

1 Identify your story

The journey you have been on and obstacles you’ve overcome are what makes you stand out from the crowd, don’t be afraid to shout about it.

2 Read, read and then re-read

Make sure you understand the entry criteria and application form and ensure your submission answers all the points.

3 Give yourself plenty of time to complete your entry

You really need to dedicate some time, focus fully and give it your best shot.

4 Use examples

Don’t just make a statement about what you do or what you’ve achieved, substantiate your message with evidence and supporting anecdotes to demonstrate your impact.

5 Edit, edit, edit

Your application needs to be clear and concise. The Charity Awards judges are going to receive and sift through numerous entries and you need to make it as easy as possible for them to understand why you should be given the award.

6 Proofread your submission

Typos and errors really don’t look good on an award application.

7 Plan ahead

Map out your next steps if you do get shortlisted for the awards. How will you maximise the exposure granted to you? How can you use this in your marketing plans and raise even more awareness for what you do?

8 Don’t take it to heart if you aren’t shortlisted

You’ll come out of the process having learned a great deal (you’ll even be able to use many of these learnings in other areas of your work) and be in a better position for your next application.

Read our Chief Executive Sir John Low's insight into being on the judging panel of the Charity Awards.

You can find out more about the Charity Awards on the Civil Society website You can also read about how winning an award has had a positive impact on previous winners.


If you think your charity could benefit from help when completing a grant application, our fee-based Advisory service can support you through the process. Get in touch or telephone 03000 123 334.