For 2007 we've got extra categories, a larger panel of distinguished judges and a stylish new venue for the dinner and presentation in September. I hope you will think back over the best things you've done in the past year, put in your entries and join us for a great night out - and the chance of an extra boost to your organisation's morale and profile.
- Stephen Cook, Third Sector Editor
In 1998, one man conceived of a charity that would collect unwanted football kit in the UK and put it to good use in Africa. Motivated by a visit to Tanzania, where he discovered that local people shared his passion for the game, Derrick Williams, an employee of Three Valleys Water in Hertfordshire, set about his mission. Despite having no paid staff and only 10 volunteers, KitAid has distributed more than 10,000 shirts to people in 15 countries since the end of 2004. It has also built a relationship with Three Valleys Water of which many much larger charities would be envious, and it works closely with other voluntary organisations. Last year, the charity received Third Sector's Small Charity, Big Achiever award.
Inspirational achievements such as these are the ones that the Third Sector Excellence Awards seek to promote - stories that make our readers proud to say they work in the voluntary sector; successes that can be shared and built upon. Once a year, the awards give the magazine and our readers the chance to pause, admire the many achievements and ground-breaking advances made in the sector and celebrate in style at a black-tie reception.
Reaching every part
This year, the Third Sector Excellence Awards have been expanded and improved to give prominence to yet more of the vital roles and responsibilities involved in running a modern charity. The number of awards has gone up from 14 to 24, and most of them fall under the subject headings, from communications to governance, that we use in the At Work section of the magazine. But five of them fall into two extra categories - for partnership and innovation - and the final three under the heading of Third Sector awards. These include the Lifetime Achievement award for an outstanding individual, the Small Charity, Big Achiever award and our new Changing the World Award for the charity or voluntary organisation that's had the biggest impact on society at a cultural, political, national or international level.
We've attempted to cover all the most important aspects of modern charitable work, from Best Fundraising Event and Best Use of Digital Media to Accountability and Transparency. Awards for teams and events predominate, reflecting the collaborative nature of most charity work. But there are some individual awards as well, such as Volunteer of the Year and Employee Innovation.
To match the expansion of the awards, we've chosen a different venue for the dinner and presentation on 20 September - the striking Georgian clubhouse of the Hurlingham Club in Fulham, west London. We aim to make it a night to remember. We've also refined and clarified the entry criteria to make it easier for you to decide which categories to enter and how to go about it.
Our judging board is made up of a series of independent expert panels specialising in each one of the areas that the awards celebrate. Each panel includes a number of experts, ranging from consultants and umbrella body representatives to charity chief executives and directors. This ensures that each entry will be assessed by people with skills and experience relevant to the category concerned. So remember the best things your organisation has done over the past year, submit your entries and we'll put them in front of the judges, who are listed below.
Mirella von Lindenfels, director, Communications Inc; Marc Middleton-Heath, managing director, Catalyst Works; Chris Greenwood, joint managing director, nfpSynergy.
David Burrows, head of fundraising, TDA; Adrian Melrose, founder, Giving Matters; Judy Beard, director of fundraising and communications, Macmillan Cancer Support.
Helen Verney, finance director, Jewish Care; Helen Donoghue, chief executive, Charity Tax Group; Astrid Honeyman, chief executive, Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund.
Cedric Frederick, chief executive, Adepta; Kate Aldous, head of the Collaborative Working Unit, NCVO; Simon Blake, chief executive, Brook Advisory Centres; John Stoker, Commissioner for the Compact.
Debra Allcock Tyler, chief executive, Directory of Social Change; Jon Sparkes, chief executive, Scope; Terry Ryal, chief executive, v.
Jolanda Lasota, head of the Governance Hub, NCVO; Philip Kirkpatrick, partner, Bates Wells & Braithwaite; David Pitchford, managing editor, Intelligent Giving; Richard Marsh, director, ImpACT.
Sabina Khan, director of policy and research, Social Enterprise London; David Emerson, chief executive, Association of Charitable Foundations.
Third Sector awards
The three Third Sector awards will be assessed by the editor and a panel of judges from the magazine.
- Brand Development
- Best Use of Digital Media
- Best Website
- Best Communications Campaign
- Best Communications Team
- Best Direct Marketing Campaign
- Best Fundraising Event
- Best Fundraising Team
- Best Annual Report
- Best Investment Strategy
- Best Finance Team
- Best Charity Partnership
- Best Corporate Partnership
- Best Use of the Compact
- Best Employer
- Employee Innovation
- Volunteer of the Year
- Most Improved Trustee Board
- Accountability and Transparency
- Innovation in Grant Making
Third Sector awards
- Lifetime Achievement
- Small Charity, Big Achiever
- Changing the World Award
They said it ...
'The award has helped us extend our activities and it's also given us added validity and kudos'
- Trewin Restorick, director of Global Action Plan, last year's winner of Best Communications Strategy
'The awards recognise excellence, and you can see from the winners how much this means to them'
- Andrew Hind, chief executive, Charity Commission
'Winning Best HR Strategy has provided us with a platform to share our approach with our peers'
- Sue Kaemena, director of human resources, the Children's Trust, winner of Best HR Strategy in 2006
The practical details
Who can enter?
Entry is open to all voluntary organisations based in the UK - registered charities, non-profit social enterprises and campaigning groups. Agencies and consultancies may enter on behalf of voluntary organisations with which they work.
Any work completed during the period from 1 June 2006 to 29 June 2007 is eligible for entry. Sponsor companies are not allowed to enter the category they have agreed to sponsor.
Cost of entry
Charities and not-for-profit organisations: free.
Agencies and commercial organisations: £50 plus VAT.
Closing date for entries: Friday 29 June
Judging day: Friday 27 July
Awards ceremony: Thursday 20 September
The Hurlingham Club, Ranelagh Gardens, London SW6
If you missed the pack in the 16 May issue, you can download it from www.thirdsectorexcellenceawards.com. Alternatively, contact: Steven Lewis, 020 82674042 or email@example.com
Ticket bookings for the ceremony: Steven Lewis, 020 8267 4042, firstname.lastname@example.org