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2019 Southwest Missouri Nonprofit Excellence Awards Nomination Criteria

Entry Instructions

  • Complete the online 2019 entry form. Please complete a separate entry form for each submission.
  • Once you click submit, you will receive a confirmation email with your completed form. 
  • Entries are to be submitted no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, March 8, 2019.
  • All entries become the property of BKD and will not be returned. 

Nomination Criteria

  • All entries must be from a 501(c)(3) organization with a main office located within the 5-county Springfield Metropolitan Statistical Area: Greene, Christian, Webster, Polk and Dallas counties.
  • Nominees must be available to attend the awards ceremony from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16, 2019, at the Oasis Hotel and Convention Center in Springfield, Missouri.
  • There is no limit to the number of entries an organization may submit.
  • An organization can enter a single submission under more than one category. An organization can enter multiple submissions under one category.
  • Incomplete submissions and submissions that fail to follow directions will be disqualified.

Judging and Notification

  • A panel of nonprofit experts and community judges will select the winners. The judges and BKD CPAs & Advisors reserve the right to ensure each entry is submitted in the appropriate category.
    • Jean Harmison (Owner, Club Management Services, LLC)
    • Greg Horton (CEO, Integrity Home Care & Hospice)
    • Barb Houser (Shareholder, KPM CPAs and Advisors)
    • Laura Johnson (Presiding Circuit Judge, Christian County)
    • Brian McDonough (President/General Manager, KY3 Inc.)
    • Dan Prater (Senior Managing Consultant, BKD CPAs & Advisors)
  • The top three nominees of each category will be notified in March 2019. Award placement will be announced at the Southwest Missouri Nonprofit Excellence Awards celebration on Tuesday, April 16, 2019.

Submit a Nomination


Award Categories & Judging Criteria

Organization of the Year

  • This award honors an outstanding organization that has made a significant contribution to our local community. It recognizes the most forward-thinking, creative and effective organization at accomplishing its goals. (The organization’s achievements must be relevant within approximately the last 12 to 18 months.)
  • The award is given in three categories:
    • Small – Annual Budget Under $500,000
    • Medium – Annual Budget Greater than $500,000, Less than $3.5 Million
    • Large – Annual Budget Greater than $3.5 Million
  • What are the organization’s core values, goals and overall mission?
  • How has the organization built and maintained its leadership role in the community? (What efforts has the organization made to strengthen other nonprofit groups within the community?)
  • Demonstrate ways the organization has made outstanding contributions to the community.
  • Explain the benefits of the organization’s services/programs and how they set it apart from other nonprofit groups that provide similar services/programs.
  • Provide quantitative results of the organization’s programs/services.
  • How many individuals in the community benefit annually from the organization’s services? 
  • What awards, certifications and/or other recognitions has the organization received?

Executive Director/CEO of the Year

  • This award honors an outstanding leader whose achievements have significantly affected a nonprofit organization and helped improve a community issue. This individual exhibits excellent management and leadership skills and inspires others to achieve measurable results.
  • Nominees must be employed in a full-time position for a nonprofit organization listed as a 501(c)(3) and have a main office located within the Springfield Metropolitan Statistical Area 5-county area: Greene, Christian, Webster, Polk and Dallas counties.
  • How has the nominee displayed a willingness to learn new concepts and adapt to evolving regulatory challenges?
  • Describe how the nominee has excelled in his/her position while demonstrating integrity and a strong commitment to the organization’s mission and values.
  • Provide examples of how the nominee’s leadership has strengthened the organization and helped it make a greater impact in the community.
  • How does the nominee create a vision and inspire others?
  • How does the nominee create a positive image for the institution while leading it to greater levels of success?
  • How has the nominee been willing to take risks to achieve change?
  • Why should the nominee win the award?

Board Member of the Year

  • This award honors an individual who is actively serving as a board member in good standing with an active 501(c)(3) organization that has a main office located within the Springfield Metropolitan Statistical 5-county area: Greene, Christian, Webster, Polk and Dallas counties. The nominee must have a consistent record of attending various activities and programs of her/his organization.
  • Explain how the nominee contributes time, talent and resources to the purpose and objectives of the organization.
  • Demonstrate how the nominee’s record of service and contribution to committees and other functions have led to organizational success.
  • Provide at least two specific examples of how the nominee has inspired others to engage (internally and externally) with the organization and its work.
  • Provide a list of other notable accomplishments (with supporting evidence).

Arvest Bank Communitarian Corporate Citizenship Award

  • This award honors a for-profit company/corporation that demonstrates strong civic responsibility by consistently integrating programs and practices into its operations to make a positive impact in the community where it does business. 
  • Describe how the company has been a longtime advocate for the community and developed its reputation for above-and-beyond corporate social responsibility.
  • Explain how the company has demonstrated a strong commitment to corporate social responsibility and how its leaders have supported and expanded those efforts.
  • How is this company's community work/support strategically linked to their business mission?
  • In what ways does this company demonstrate its commitment to the community (beyond just writing a check)?

Innovation Award

  • This award honors an organization that used a creative and nontraditional approach to effectively and efficiently solve a community challenge.
  • Describe how this organization has been a benefit to the community it serves.
  • In the past year, how has this organization innovated to improve itself?
  • List tangible effectiveness and results.
  • Demonstrate how the organization has implemented a creative solution—large or small—that has made a significant and positive difference.
  • How has the organization worked to develop new approaches for problem solving?
  • Provide an example of how the organization plans for long-term success.
  • Judges will evaluate a nominee’s innovative merits by these characteristics: 
    • Originality
      • Is the organization’s innovation a new concept or variation of an existing idea?
      • Was the innovation developed independently or in cooperation with others?
    • Impact
      • How does the innovation make fundamental changes to the organization?
      • How does the innovation impact the community?
    • Practicality
      • Is the innovation cost-effective to implement?
      • Are there risks associated with implementation?
    • Measurability
      • Does the innovation provide measurable cost savings?
      • Does the innovation create measurable efficiencies in either operations or services?
    • Applicability
      • Can the innovation be applied to other areas?
      • Can the innovation be applied more widely in the external community?

Emerging Leader of the Year

  • This award honors a CEO or managing director who is a first-time organization leader. The nominee must have been in the role for 1 to 3 years as of January 1, 2019, and demonstrated outstanding promise in leadership and service.
  • Provide specific examples of the nominee’s continuing activities.
  • Provide specific examples of the nominee’s commitment to advancing innovative ideas.
  • Provide specific examples of the nominee’s service to the profession beyond normal job responsibilities.
  • How has the nominee demonstrated leadership in initiating and/or steering a specific task or project to successful completion?
  • How does the nominee consistently demonstrate an ability to inspire, motivate and develop others?
  • How does the nominee set goals and measure performance against those goals? 
  • How does the nominee take responsibility for their professional development?
  • Describe how the nominee shares responsibility, enthusiasm, information and ideas to contribute to or develop highly performing teams.

Startup Organization of the Year

  • This award honors an organization that has been active for less than five years (as of January 1, 2019), demonstrates a clear vision and mission and has implemented solutions to address a specific problem or issue.
  • Explain how the organization has made a positive impact in the community.
  • What were the organization’s key initiatives and projects for the past 12 months, and how did it achieve them?
  • What difficulties did the organization overcome to achieve these objectives?
  • Why should the organization win this award?

Revel with a Cause Award

  • This award honors an organization meeting an important community need that lacks broad recognition.

    The winner of this award will receive approximately $5,000 in marketing services from Revel Advertising. The package includes various services, from high-level strategic planning to basic design layout.

    Nominees must explain how receiving this award would help the organization spread its message and become more effective in fulfilling its mission.
  • The nominee must be a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a main office located within the Springfield Metropolitan Statistical 5-county area: Greene, Christian, Webster, Polk and Dallas counties.
  • The nominee must have an annual operating budget of less than $500,000.
  • The nominee cannot have a paid staff member whose main role is marketing or communication.
  • The award package will include:
    • Brand Development (logo design, brand guidelines, cohesive messaging strategies, stationery, marketing collateral, sales collateral, etc.)
    • Advertising (campaign development, media planning and placement, design, copywriting, etc.)
    • Digital (website design, social media strategies and advertising, digital ads, SEO, etc.)
    • Marketing (strategic planning, PR, market research and analysis, etc.)
  • The award package will not include:
    • Purchasing of media
    • Cost of printing materials, etc.
  • Please answer the following questions to be considered for the Revel with a Cause Award:
    • 1. How would this award help you achieve your mission and address your cause?
    • 2. What is your timeline for implementing your awarded services?

Public Awareness Award

  • This award honors an organization that has excelled at raising public awareness and understanding of a specific cause or issue in the community through effective marketing and communication.
  • Explain how the organization maximizes public awareness and support for its community program via grassroots campaigns.
  • Provide examples of how the organization uses traditional and social media campaigns to increase public awareness.
  • Describe how the organization has raised community awareness and engagement on a specific issue or problem (provide specific examples).
  • How has the organization’s use of media/public awareness helped encourage other individuals and groups to collaborate on a cause?

Youth Leader of the Year

  • This award honors a teenager who has identified a need or problem and demonstrated leadership by developing a program or harnessing resources to help solve that problem or need.
  • The nominee must be between the ages of 13 and 18 as of January 1, 2019, and reside within the Springfield Metropolitan Statistical Area 5-county area: Greene, Christian, Webster, Polk and Dallas counties.
  • Explain how the nominee has given time and talent to projects, services or activities that have benefited others or the community as a whole.
  • A Change Maker is one committed to self-responsibility and action toward being the change in their community. How has the nominee been a “Change Maker” in the community and inspired others to be the same?
  • Provide specific examples of how the nominee’s actions have helped improve a situation or met a need.

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