Maximising the impact of your award

03/06/2024 | by Josephine Swinhoe, Executive Director of Income Generation at NSPCC

Jo Swinhoe, Executive Director of Income generation at the NSPCC, and National Fundraising Awards Judge, explains how you can really make the most of being shortlisted or winning an Award…

Whether you have won or have been shortlisted, there are ways in which you can maximise the impact of the entry! I’ve looked at this in three areas: your cause; your organisation and your career.

Already you may be wondering why I have split the cause from the organisation. Let me explain and cover those two first.

Working for a charity means we are working towards an end goal – often trying to put ourselves out of business! For NSPCC, we want to end cruelty to children and our strategy is aimed at taking us a bit further along that path.

However, the business part of a charity is just like any other business and to use your Award or shortlisting in the business side of the charity has major benefits.

Let’s start with the cause. Here are three things you could use your Award to further:

  1. Take time to celebrate and thank whoever has been central to that award externally – the corporate partner and especially their employees, the donor or support group. This will deepen the relationship you have with them and make it more likely that their support will continue.
  2. Your cause – shout about the success; rave about the impact of the project that won the Award; this is a chance for your cause to shine – just for a moment - above all others. Use it!
  3. When speaking to partners, donors and supporters, consider whether they might like to win an award. And if you think they do – then make sure you mention how successful you have been in getting a shortlist or winning.

For the organisation:

  1. Thank and celebrate – many people and teams will have helped get your success over the line, so take time to thank each and every one of them. Many Awards are won because communications departments have been a great partner for example.
  2. When pitching a business case for investment, consider whether this win can be used as part of the evidence that shows you are ‘best in class’. Directors of Fundraising and Finance look for all types of evidence so mention it if it has relevancy to your investment request.
  3. Prepare a ‘how we did this’ and share it with other teams. Success breeds success and there is a lot to be said for speaking confidently about the how, as well as the what.

And for your career..?

  1. Take a moment to congratulate yourself. Even the act of submitting an application can feel too much on top of a busy job – you did it!
  2. Put it on your CV – but make sure you are honest about your own involvement. Was it your idea? Was it your team’s work? Was it collaboration? Awards and winning won’t matter to all recruiters, but it will matter to some.
  3. Capture the feeling – how did you feel when you heard you had won? What did people say? Write it down, store it away – there are always dark days ahead and having a good news, good feeling moment to fall back builds resilience and positivity.

Thanks for entering – it was both fascinating and a privilege to read the submissions.