Awards: Celebrating the best

Stephen Cook, Editor, Third Sector

It's clear from many of the stories we publish that the voluntary and community sector is alive with innovation. That's why we have decided to launch the Third Sector Excellence Awards, which will be presented at the Riverbank Park Plaza in London on 6 October. I hope you will take the opportunity to enter them and be with us on the night.

AWARD CATEGORIES

STRATEGY

Business strategy

For the overall strategy that most effectively tackled the issues facing a charity and helped it achieve its objectives

HR strategy

For the HR strategy that has most successfully addressed staffing issues to contribute to the overall effectiveness of the charity

Finance strategy

For the finance strategy that has most successfully dealt with the management of investment, accounting and other financial issues to contribute to the overall effectiveness of the charity

PR strategy For the PR strategy that has produced the best media coverage and managed potentially damaging press attention

MARKETING

Corporate sponsorship

For the corporate partnership agreement that achieved the greatest success in raising money and/or the profile of a charity and cause

Integrated campaign

For the integrated marketing campaign that achieved the greatest fundraising and/or awareness-raising success International campaign

For the marketing campaign that most effectively reached target audiences in the UK and abroad

New media campaign

For the campaign that most effectively used new media techniques to reach a targeted audience

Best use of direct mail

For the direct mail campaign that most effectively reached its target audience

TEAMS AND INDIVIDUALS

Fundraising team of the year

For the fundraising team that has most exceeded its targets or been most innovative in its methods

Volunteer of the year

For the volunteer who has shown greatest commitment and achievement in a voluntary role over the past year

Personality of the year

For the personality who has done most to promote a charity or charities both inside and outside the sector

THE THIRD SECTOR AWARDS

Third Sector award for lifetime achievement

For the individual who has shown continued commitment to the sector and has helped further the achievements of charities

Third Sector award for overall excellence

For the charity that has particularly impressed the judges by showing that it has achieved the most consistently excellent or improved delivery of its objectives over the past year

JUDGING PANEL

The awards will be judged by a panel of distinguished independent experts, including practitioners from the voluntary sector, academics and representatives of umbrella and regulatory bodies. The panel has been carefully selected to include specialists in key voluntary sector functions - from fundraising to marketing and HR. The judging for each category will be guided by a lead judge who is an authority in that area.

Judges include: John Low of the RNID and Acevo, Lindsay Boswell of the Institute of Fundraising, Joanna Wootten of the NCVO, Kate Nicholas of PRWeek and Philip Smith of Marketing Direct and the New Media Group at Third Sector's parent company Haymarket.

MIKE HUDSON, founding director of the Compass Partnership, will lead the judges in the strategy category. Before setting up Compass, Hudson worked for Friends of the Earth, gained an MBA from London Business School and was a management consultant in the UK and the US

BETTY MCBRIDE, marketing and communications director at the British Heart Foundation, will be one of the expert panellists. McBride is responsible for promoting the work of the BHF and raising awareness of heart health issues. She has also worked as head of press relations at Help the Aged

RICHARD WHITE, celebrity supporter manager at children's charity NCH, will lead the judging for the personality of the year category. NCH uses more than 300 celebrity appearances each year to promote the work of the charity and doesn't do any formal advertising

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