Nomination Process

What is the nomination deadline?

The nomination period for the 2020 Citizens Awards closes on July 10, 2020.

Who is eligible to apply?

The Citizens Awards are open to businesses of all sizes, trade associations, and chambers of commerce. The Citizens Awards honor excellence in corporate social responsibility (CSR). Please note: Past winners are not eligible to submit an application for two years in the category for which they won. For example, 2018 award winners are not eligible to apply for the category in which the company won until 2021. Immediate past winners ARE, however, more than welcome to submit nominations in new categories!

Does a company have to nominate itself or can a third-party submit a nomination on a company’s behalf?

Any entity may nominate itself, or a third party may nominate a business, Chamber of Commerce, American Chamber of Commerce, or trade association. Given the public format of finalist information, third-party nominators should ensure the nominated entity is aware of the application and prepared to participate in awards activities.  

What if my program could fit in multiple categories?

This is very common as corporate citizenship programs often address societal issues that are intertwined. You are not limited in the number of submissions so we recommend nominating the program in each of the applicable categories. We do recommend tailoring your answers to address the respective category. However, a company can only be a named a finalist in one category.

What makes a strong nomination?

Here are a few tips from past winners and judges:

  • Review the quality of the project based on its goals, metrics, and results.
  • Analyze how well the project is integrated into the company’s mission and how it adds value back into the company.
  • Instead of worrying about the size of project, consider the size of its impact. Impact on the communities you serve as well as impact on the company.
  • Include all types of contribution—financial, intellectual, employee, in-kind, etc.
  • Emphasize how your whole company has integrated sustainability and corporate citizenship into its operations (for Best Corporate Steward Awards).
  • Understand shared value—at its core, shared value is about doing well by doing good. Include any information that shows shared value was considered as you built your program.
  • Prove impact—show how the program affected the targeted people and/or communities. Show the impact through data – metrics and measurable results. Show how the program has benefitted the company and its employees.
  • Show us your stakeholders: Be sure to share the key players who shaped, validated, and engaged in your work. Stakeholder engagement is a way to illustrate the thought and strategy behind a program or initiative.
  • Be mindful of the word limits—tell your story succinctly.
  • Ask fellow colleagues or others who are not as familiar with the project as you are if the nomination makes sense or if there are any gaps.
  • Provide a narrative—telling a story which paints a picture can strengthen your nomination.
  • Be candid. Let your passion come through. Judges appreciate honesty.
How is my nomination scored and who are the judges?

Nominations are scored based off of a weighted rubric giving more value to the strategic development, execution, and proof of positive impact of the project.

There are two rounds of judging—the finalist selection round and the winner selection round. The finalist selection round is judged by corporate citizenship and nonprofit professionals who review all of the applications in a single category and select the finalists. The winner selection round is judged by business and societal experts selected by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to review the finalist nominations and select the overall winner. Past judges have included CEO’s, non-elected senior government representatives, and university professors. 

Should I nominate a new program or one that has existed within the company for many years?

For the programmatic categories, the nomination should focus intensively on a single initiative within a larger business or corporate citizenship strategy. For the Best Corporate Steward awards, the nomination should focus on the company's overall corporate citizenship strategy and commitment. Please note, the metrics documenting the program's proof of positive impact must be limited to the years 2018, 2019, and 2020.

Why is the financial statement requested for the Best Corporate Steward Award?

The Best Corporate Steward award is all about “doing well by doing good.” We ask to see the financials to verify that the company is able to sustain and grow business operations for its employees, shareholders, and citizenship activities. 

Is there a fee to nominate a company?

There is no fee to submit a nomination.

Do you accept additional support materials?

We do not accept additional support materials. A strong, well-written nomination should be able to convey all of the necessary information within the parameters of the nomination form. Should a nomination be selected as a finalist, then we will ask for additional materials such as project photos and videos.

Can the answers be saved so the nomination can be completed and submitted at a later date?

Yes they can! Once you have created a profile and begun the process of nominating a company, your answers will be automatically saved throughout the editing process. You may log out and log back in and start right where you left off. This also allows you to share the nomination draft with others who may need to review before submitting the final nomination form.

Finalist and Winner Announcement 

When are the Citizens Awards Finalists named?

The U.S. Chamber Foundation will announce the finalists of the 21st annual Citizens Awards in September 2020. The three nominations highest in each of the eight categories will earn this recognition, pending verification oftheir eligibility.

When are the Citizens Awards Winners named?

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation will name the eight Citizens Awards winners during the annual Corporate Citizenship Conference & Awards on November 17-19, 2020.

We ask that every finalist company attend the event to be present when the winners are named.

Can I sponsor the Awards Gala?

Yes! This program would not be possible without the generous support of companies who believe in recognizing businesses for the good they do in communities around the world. There are multiple opportunities to support this program. Contact Rebecca Mousseau at RMousseau@uschamber.com to learn more.

Will the Chamber Foundation provide communications support for the finalists and winners?

Yes, in advance of both the finalist and winner announcements, the Chamber Foundation will provide a communications toolkit to help companies communicate their awards status to their stakeholders. The toolkit will contains sample media materials, sample social media messaging, and more.