January 02, 2017


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There's no fee to submit a nomination. The deadline to apply is June 14, 2024. Get started today!

Nomination Process

What is the 2024 nomination deadline?

Please submit all nominations by June 14, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Who is eligible to apply?

The Citizens Awards are open to businesses of all sizes, trade associations, and chambers of commerce. The awards recognize high-impact business solutions developed to advance the good of America and the world, and nominee submissions should reflect that perspective.  

Please review our eligibility requirements in full.

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, or trade association. Given the public nature of the finalist and winner recognition, third-party nominators should ensure the nominated entity is aware of the application and prepared to participate in awards activities. Please review our eligibility requirements for more information. 

What if my program fits in multiple categories?

This is common, as societal issues and the efforts to solve them are intertwined. You are not limited in the number of nominations you can submit, so we recommend nominating the program in each of the applicable categories. We also recommend tailoring your answers to address each respective category.  

If a company submits for multiple categories, it can only be named a finalist in one category, which will be determined by the judges’ rankings. The program will be a finalist in the category where it was ranked highest. 

What makes a strong nomination?

Here are a few tips from past winners and judges:

  • Each category’s submission form comes with its own guidance for that topic. Follow that guidance and remain mindful of the category you are addressing, even if you’re submitting the same work in different categories. 
  • Provide a clear narrative with a distinct point of view on the work you’re doing. Be direct and succinct with the challenge you seek to address and why, and your methods for helping solve the challenge. If external stakeholders helped shape or validate the work, share that — stakeholder engagement is a way to illustrate the thought and strategy behind the work. Telling a well-prepared story can enhance judges’ understanding of your nomination.  
  • Quantify the quality of the work based on its goals, metrics, and results, particularly in the ways it has contributed solutions for the good of the world. Include all types of resourcing brought to bear — financial, intellectual, employee talent, in-kind, etc. 
  • State how the work is integrated into the company’s mission and how it adds value back into the company.  
  • Take time for quality control. Be mindful of the word limitations. Ask others who are not familiar with the work if the nomination narrative is clear. 

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 strategy. This applies to all non-corporate steward categories. 

For the Best Corporate Steward category, the nomination should focus on the company's overall social impact strategy and investments. Please note: the metrics documenting proof of positive impact must be limited to the years 2020 - 2024. 

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 until requested in the finalist stage. A strong, well-written nomination should be able to convey the information needed to reach a decision. Please review above “What makes a strong nomination?”  

Should a nomination be selected as a finalist, then we will ask for additional materials such as high-res photos and videos.

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

Yes. Once you have created a profile and begun the process of submitting a nominee, 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 it before submitting the final nomination form.  

Judging and Selection Process 

How is my nomination scored and who are the judges?

Nominations are scored based on a weighted rubric giving more value to the strategic development, execution, and proof of positive impact of the project. Follow the guidance in the nomination form.  

There are two rounds of judging—the finalist selection round and the winner selection round.  

  • During the finalist selection round, nine judging committees (one per category) review and score all of the applications in a single category to determine its finalists. This round is judged by subject-matter experts, corporate citizenship professionals, government representatives, and community leaders who review all of the applications in a single category. Their scores lead to finalist selection. The top three applications in each category become the finalists. In the event that a nomination is selected as a finalist in more than one category, it will be recognized in the category where they earned the highest score.  
  • The winner selection round is judged by business and societal experts invited by the U.S. Chamber Foundation to review the finalist nominations. Their scores lead to the overall winner in each category. Past judges have included CEOs, non-elected senior government representatives, and university professors. An official from an immediate-past winner in each category is invited to be part of this judging round, which is why the same nominee is not eligible in the winning category for two years after the win. If the average of judges’ scores results in a tie between two category finalists, a forced ranking will be based on the judges’ qualitative response and the points awarded for the highest weighted questions within the nomination form.  

Finalist and Winner Announcement 

When are the Citizens Awards finalists named?

The U.S. Chamber Foundation will announce the finalists of the Citizens Awards in early fall. The nominations ranked highest in each category will earn this recognition, pending verification of their eligibility.  

When are the Citizens Awards winners named?

The U.S. Chamber Foundation names the Citizens Awards winners during its annual Business Solves Conference & Citizens Awards Ceremony in November.  

We ask that every finalist company attend the event. Additionally, winners are given time on stage to make brief acceptance remarks. 

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

Yes. In advance of both the finalist and winner announcements, the U.S. Chamber Foundation will provide a communications toolkit to help companies celebrate and amplify their awards status to their stakeholders. The toolkit will contain sample media materials, graphics, social media messaging, and more. 

Citizens Awards Sponsorships

Can I sponsor the Citizens Awards?

Yes! This program would not be possible without the generous support of companies that believe in using their skills and resources to build stronger communities. There are multiple opportunities to support this program. Contact Rebecca Mousseau to learn more.