We’re highlighting organizations dedicated to making the world a smarter, safer, healthier and more sustainable place. Show us how corporate social responsibility is woven into the fabric of your mission.   

You’re leading the charge on diversity, organizational transparency, service learning, public health and education. We want to see how you developed, promoted, executed and told stories about those efforts and how they’ve made a difference for your organization.

We’re excited to honor the campaigns, programs and initiatives that are changing the world for the better.

Want to know how your ideas and execution stack up? See last year’s winners here.

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 April 19, 2019, inclusive.

Recognition

Each category winner will receive:

  • A featured write-up in a Special Edition of Ragan.com
  • An elegant trophy
  • One complimentary registration to any Ragan event, webcast, or conference within 12 months of winning

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. Find out more about the site here: https://ragantraining.com/

CATEGORIES

ENGAGEMENT & COMMUNICATIONS

CSR Event

Coordinating an event is a reliable way to bring attention to a cause or campaign. Did you put together a fundraising event to collect donations for your cause, set up an awards gala to honor those making a difference in your community or celebrate the success of a recent cause-related campaign? How did you get journalists and local influencers to drum up enthusiasm before the event? What media outlets covered it? How did it affect your business?

*NEW!* Internal Communications Campaign

Share your method for communicating with employees about your CSR campaign. How did you encourage them to get involved with your fundraising campaign, join their team’s volunteering initiative or assist with collecting donations? Tell us your strategy for communicating internally and how you measured success.

Media Relations or PR Campaign

Journalists, media outlets and your customers were eager to share the news of your corporate social responsibility initiative. How did you entice and inspire them to write features about your project and generate buzz? What resources did you provide for them to learn more about your cause and persuade them to get involved? What were your PR and media goals? Share the big-picture strategy and break it down with metrics that prove its success.

Report (Annual or One-time) (Print or Electronic)

Your CSR campaign was a complete success, so you pulled together a report to show it off. How did you put the results on display in a captivating manner? Show us how you showcased your achievement with excellent writing, unique visuals and striking metrics. Send us the report and the positive responses it received.

Social Media Campaign

How did social media help you generate excitement about your corporate social responsibility initiative? How did it provide opportunities to get involved with your cause? What social media channels did you use? Did photos, videos or giveaways help you meet your goals? Share your campaign and its incredible results.

Stakeholder/Employee Engagement

Your employees and stakeholders drive the success of corporate social responsibility. How did you inspire them to get involved with your cause and tell others in their community about it? Tell us how you made them into ambassadors for your mission and how it affected the overall success of the program.

Video or Visual Design

Inspiring others to speak on behalf of your education, environmental or health initiative requires great storytelling. How did you use video or visuals to create a heartwarming, humorous or inspiring narrative? Did you interview people affected by the issue you wanted to spotlight? Did you create an infographic breaking down statistics about the problem? How did you share it? Provide us with the video or other visual elements, and tell us about the results.

SOCIAL IMPACT

Cause Advocacy Campaign

You raised awareness for an under-the-radar issue with a cause advocacy campaign. What did you do to make sure your message was heard? What channels did you use to distribute it, and whom did you target? What was the cause and what were your goals? Tell us how you got people talking about this oft-ignored issue and inspired them to get involved.

Community Affairs

Community members help your business thrive. You gave back to them with a community affairs campaign that addressed the issues they care about. What problem were you hoping to solve or bring to light for your community? How did you tackle the issue? Tell us how you worked together for the well-being of your community and how it affected your organization.

Corporate-Community or Nonprofit Partnership

Collaboration is the key to any successful partnership. You found a partner for a mutually beneficial relationship that also helps your community. Tell us how you chose your partner and how you worked together. How did the reputation enhance the work you’re doing together? What were the results of this partnership?

Disaster Prevention or Relief

We want to know how your organization provided resources and assistance to affected groups in anticipation of—or after—a natural disaster. Did you organize a volunteer initiative, raise funds or provide support in a unique way? How and why did your organization choose to address a local or international humanitarian crisis? How did you communicate this to your employees and community with compassion and grace?

Education or Scholarship Program

Tell us how your organization works to support education and scholarship within your community. Did you put together a scholarship program for students at a local school? Donate funds to an underserved school in your area? Provide additional training or scholarship opportunities to employees? Share your passion for education and scholarship, and tell us how it affected your business.

Fundraising and Philanthropic Initiative

Money makes the world go around, and no one knows that better than a nonprofit in need of donations. Tell us about the cause you raised money for and your strategy for collecting funds. Did you put together an event or set aside funds each year to donate? How did you inspire others to give with an open heart? Tell us about the difference these funds are making in your community and the world.

Global CSR Initiative

You dedicated yourself to an issue affecting the world, and thought beyond borders to lend a helping hand. Did you dedicate yourself to ending world hunger? Ending the global water crisis? Why was it important to address an international issue? Tell us how you raised money or awareness or provided resources for those issues. How did that affect your business?

Public Health or Safety Initiative

Issues of public health and safety can profoundly affect your community. How did you create a beneficial CSR initiative that couldn’t be ignored? What issue(s) did you address? How did you educate people to help them develop healthier habits? Tell us how you made your community a better place. Include your relevant videos, contests and metrics.

BUSINESS PRACTICES

Brand Activism

Your organization took a stand on a social issue. It may have been risky, but your passion and values were more important than maintaining the status quo. Tell us about the issue that you’re passionate about and how you communicated that to employees and the public. What steps are you taking to address violence in your community, issues in health care, education reform or civil rights? How has this mission been woven into the culture of your organization?

Employee Volunteer Program

Service learning can inspire and motivate employees. Why is that an important component of your business, and how has it made a difference for your organization and team? How did you recruit volunteers? What project did you take on? Did you take a day off to help build a house, volunteer at an animal shelter or plant an urban garden? Tell us how you inspired your team of volunteers. How has this affected employee recruitment and retention, along with your reputation in the community?

Green and Environmental Stewardship

Sustainability is a major pillar of your organization. Tell us why going green is important to you, and what your goals are for reducing your carbon footprint. How did you educate your workforce about environmental issues and inspire employees to get on board? Did you start an in-office recycling program? Perhaps your organization made the switch to an alternative energy source—how did you do it? Let us hear about how you transformed your business practices to preserve the health of our planet.

Diversity and Inclusion Initiative

Your organization prides itself on being a welcoming place for all. How did you work to eliminate conscious and unconscious bias to create a more inclusive work environment? Tell us what programs you developed to make your organization a place that thrives on unique, diverse perspectives. Share how your business benefitted from an employee resource group, multicultural talent management initiative or training program.

Organizational Transparency

Honesty is the lifeblood of your organization. How did you pull back the veil of corporate secrecy and put the heart of your organization on display? How did you address ethical issues and make changes that are important to your community? Tell us how open conversations and educating the public about products, services and business practices has made your organization a leader in your industry. How did this effect the reputations of your employees, stakeholders and customers?

GRAND PRIZE

Campaign of the Year

Your CSR campaign outshone them all. What challenges stood in the way of your success, and how did you overcome them? Tell us about your CSR initiative and how you exceeded your promotional, recruitment or fundraising goals. Be sure to include measurable results.

Agency of the Year

Your agency is staffed by CSR experts who can expertly navigate initiatives and campaigns for clients. You’re surrounded by first-rate creatives and strategists who work diligently to make every campaign a success. Tell us about the impressive campaigns you pulled off and how they have elevated your client roster, talent pool and reputation.

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 our sponsorship team at sponsorship@ragan.com.