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Communications Contest

Deadline for 2022 Entries: December 6, 2021

The 2022 categories are:  

Strategic Communications Excellence (four categories)
NAYDO Strategic Communications Excellence Awards recognize exemplary YMCAs that have developed a multi-faceted communications campaign designed to inform, educate or persuade specific audiences about the Y's cause, impact or an initiative. Awards will be given to small, mid-size and large Ys in the following categories of communications excellence:
- Best Overall Campaign Excellence Award recognizes one small, one mid-size and one large Y for developing the best overall strategic campaign in its class.
- Communications Champion for Inclusion Award recognizes a Y that has demonstrated its commitment to welcoming and serving all people within a philanthropic campaign. It should be clear that elevating the commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion was a focal point of these communications pieces.
- Philanthropic Communications Champion Award recognizes YMCAs for a clear and creative strategic approach to the development of communications fundraising campaign and tools. Entries should include a compilation of 3-5 pieces that best demonstrate your philanthropic strategy in action which may include annual report, impact reports, annual support campaign materials, capital campaign materials, endowment or planned giving, general donor cultivation materials.
- Small Budget Star Award recognizes YMCAs that have developed a multi-faceted communications campaign designed to inform, educate or persuade specific audiences about the Y's cause, impact or an initiative WHILE SPENDING $5,000
or LESS ON THEIR CAMPAIGN.

Cause Communicator of the Year (one award)
This award recognizes efforts by a YMCA leader to inform, educate and engage his or her team, volunteers, donors and/or community. This person clearly articulates a vision that inspires and motivates others to positive action. Excellent communication requires real strategy. Your entry should demonstrate the strategic effort related to internal and/or external communication by a leader at your Y.


Communications Awards Criteria

Judges will be looking for the following: 

  • Follows YMCA graphic standards applicable to your country. Materials that do not meet graphics standards will not be considered for judging or recognition. Entries will be reviewed by representatives from YMCA of the USA and YMCA Canada for compliance with the most recent graphics standards. 
  • ​Used in previous 23 months (January 2020 - November 2021)
  • Reflects the development of a strategic approach to communications.
  • Successfully supported a financial development effort.
  • Graphic and digital design and/or videography is clean and easy to follow.
  • Content reflects the Y's mission and voice.
  • Strong imagery supports the content and purpose.
  • Evaluation/measurement that demonstrates communications and/or philanthropic success.
  • Possesses a distinctive caliber of excellence, or an extraordinary or insightful approach or result.

Entry requirements for each category are listed below.
Questions? Contact Communications Awards Chair Christina Harley, CFRE, christina.harley@swo.ymca.ca or
519-907-5500 ext 1152

Download a PDF of the Communications Contest categories and entry requirements


Submission Requirements
- Uploading electronic versions of all materials (i.e., PDF version of print materials) is required for all entries.
- Each category has its own entry form. Only online submissions are accepted. If you win, you will need to supply actual copies of winning materials (where applicable).
Reminders:

- By entering your YMCA's materials, entrants are giving NAYDO permission to copy and keep the entry for the NAYDO library, website and/or conference distribution. 

- All submissions and supporting documents become the property of NAYDO and will not be returned.

- It is your YMCA's responsibility to ensure all elements of any entry meet your country's YMCA brand standards.

Strategic Communications Excellence Awards Entry Requirements
To be valid, this award submission must include 3 components:
1. Strategic Communications Excellence Awards Entry Form 
Each entry form should be properly completed. Read the instructions thoroughly to ensure you have included all necessary components including the Submission Summary described below.
2. Submission Summary  
Your summary should explain your Y's rationale, organization and impact of your campaign. The summary should be a maximum of two (2) pages and should answer these questions:
  1.) What is your campaign about?
  2.) What were your goals?
  3.) Describe the media, channel or assets you used in this campaign. These are the examples you will upload. 
  4.) How did you measure success?
  5.) How much did it cost to deliver?
  6.) Why do you feel your campaign deserves recognition?
Your summary will be a PDF that you will upload along with your communications pieces.
3. Portfolio of Communications Pieces  
A portfolio of 3-5 communications pieces that best demonstrate your communications strategy in action with no more than 1 per category. These may include any of the following: annual report/community impact report, annual support campaign materials, capital campaign materials, endowment/planned giving materials, general donor cultivation tools, media or public service campaigns, websites and/or social media.
NOTE: Video submissions should be original content and source link, not a web video like YouTube.

Cause Communicator of the Year Entry Requirements

To be valid, this award submission must include 3 components:

1. Cause Communicator of the Year Entry Form  
Read the instructions thoroughly to ensure you have included all necessary components including the Submission Summary described below. 
2. Submission Summary
Your entry must include a maximum two (2) page summary. The summary should clearly articulate why you believe the nominee should be selected. Please include:
  1.) Who are you nominating? Your nominee can be a CEO, director, volunteer or other leader. Please include name, title, association, and brief biographical information.
  2.) What challenge or opportunity is your nominee addressing? Either independently or with the support of your Y's marketing, communications and/or financial development team, describe how your nominee applies strategy to increase awareness and support for the Y's cause and/or need for philanthropic support from a specific target audience. Target audiences can be staff, volunteers, elected officials, community partners, or any other specific group(s).

  3.) Describe the media, channel or assets the nominee used. These are the examples you will upload. 
  4.) How did you measure success?
  5.) How much did it cost to deliver?
  6.) Why do you feel your nominee deserves recognition?
Your summary will be a PDF that you will upload along with your communications pieces.

3. Portfolio of Communications Pieces 
A compilation of 3-5 philanthropic communications pieces that best demonstrate your nominee's efforts to engage and inspire audience groups. These pieces may include internal and/or external communications materials such as emails, newsletters, social media, media interviews, videos, presentation materials, communications plans and/or message platform materials. You may include photos or videos of this person actively engaging others. 
Note: Video submissions should be original content and source link, not a web video like YouTube.