2020 Prix D'Excellence Award Categories

Category 1: Best Alumni Event

Eligibility: This category includes individual alumni events such as social or networking activities, educational alumni events, and alumni receptions. Events may be annual or one-time. Events related to fundraising or development should be submitted in Category #2.

Judging Criteria

  • Judges will look for interest, attendance, volunteerism, any media coverage, uniqueness, and impact on the institution.

 

Category 2: Best Development Event

Eligibility: This category includes one-time events or a series of activities relating to a fundraising program, such as donor recognition celebrations, gift announcements, campaign events (launches, milestones, closing events), annual fund events, and other related development-focused events.

Judging Criteria

  • Judges will look for interest, attendance, volunteerism, any media coverage, uniqueness, and impact on the institution.

 

Category 3: Best Special Event

Eligibility: Included in this category are individual one-time special events such as open houses, building dedications, and anniversary galas aimed at various constituencies. Alumni or Development events, recurring open houses, and annual events should be submitted in either Category #1 or Category #2.

Judging Criteria

  • Judges will look for interest, attendance, volunteerism, any media coverage, uniqueness, and impact on the institution.

 

Category 4: Best Alumni Initiative

Eligibility: Entries may include one-time activities or initiatives that take place over a period of time. Examples include alumni strategies, communications, programs, award activities, services, benefits programs, etc.  Alumni events should be submitted in Category #1.

Judging Criteria

  • Judges will look for participation, uniqueness, strategic outcomes, and impact on the institution.

 

Category 5: Best Fundraising Initiative

Eligibility: Entries may include one-time activities or initiatives that take place over a period of time, and can reflect fundraising at any target level, including annual, major or planned giving fundraising. Examples include annual fund strategies, proposals, solicitation communications; acquisition, renewal and cultivation programs. Fundraising events should be submitted in Category # 2; Fundraising materials should be submitted in Category #28. Annual Fund Initiatives should be submitted in Category #13.

Judging Criteria

  • Judges will look for funds raised, participation, and impact on the institution.

 

Category 6: Best Donor Relations Initiative

Eligibility: Entries may be one-time activities or initiatives that take place over a period of time, including initiatives related to donor recognition, appreciation, and stewardship; donor/accountability reporting; customer service; or other donor-focused initiatives. Donor events should be entered into Category #2.

Judging Criteria

  • Judges will look for funds raised, participation, and impact on the institution.

 

Category 7: Best Community Outreach Initiative

Eligibility: This category includes initiatives that involve internal and/or external community members in the life and work of your institution – enhancing the town-and-gown relationship. Examples include service-learning outreach initiatives, local collaborative fundraising drives, community literacy programs, and student/community volunteer interactions.

Judging Criteria

  • Judges will look for a notable, positive increase in the relationship between your institution and the community within which it resides.

 

Category 8: Best Volunteer Initiative

Eligibility: New and innovative ways institutions are maximizing volunteers and their engagement within advancement initiatives and projects.  Entries may be one-time activities or initiatives that take place over a period of time, including initiatives related to advancement volunteer involvement. Volunteers can include; Board members, Faculty Advisory Boards, Planning Committees, alumni boards, campaign boards etc.

Judging Criteria

  • Judges will look for impact on the institution.
  • Judges will look for new and innovative ways that entrants maximized the use of volunteers in meaningful and impactful ways.

 

Category 9: Best Indigenous Relations Initiative

Eligibility: Entries can be one-time events, programs, fundraising initiatives or initiatives that take place over a period of time. This includes all events, and fundraising initiatives related to  ways institutions are moving forward in their reconciliation journey.

Judging Criteria:

  • Judges will look at ways Institutions involved students and community.
  • Judges will look at the ways Institutions involved local members of the Indigenous community members
  • Judges will look for evidence of effective planning, innovative ideas, and conclusive evidence of success in reaching intended audience.

  

Category 10: Best Media Relations Initiative

Eligibility: Media relations initiatives may include one-time initiatives or a series of related initiatives. Examples include news releases; pitches to individual or multiple news media outlets or journalists; or other media relations activities that demonstrate overall excellence or innovation in methods used to obtain coverage in external media.

Judging Criteria

  • Judges will look for evidence of effective planning, innovative ideas, and conclusive evidence of success in reaching external media.

 

Category 11: Best Public Relations/Marketing/Communications Initiative

Eligible initiatives include communications, marketing or public relations initiatives for internal or external audiences, whether one-time or recurring; or government relations initiatives that demonstrate overall excellence or innovation in methods used to engage and influence external or internal constituencies.

Judging Criteria

  • Judges will look for evidence of effective planning, innovative ideas, and conclusive evidence of success in engaging and influencing target
  • Judges will look for a summary of any responses by target constituents and the impact on the institution.

 

Category 12: Best Student and/or Young Alumni Initiative

Eligibility: Entries may include one-time activities or initiatives that take place over a period of time, including student and young alumni strategies, communications, programs, award activities, services, community relations, and benefits programs. Student and young alumni events should be submitted in Category #1.

Judging Criteria

  • Judges will look for evidence of effective planning that incorporates the views and preferences of students / young alumni; innovative ideas; and conclusive evidence of success including participation, uniqueness, strategic outcomes, and impact on the institution.

 

Category 13: Best Annual Giving Initiative

Eligibility: Entries may include one-time activities or initiatives that take place over a period of time, including annual giving strategies, communications, programs, award activities, services, community relations, and benefits programs. Annual Giving Events should be submitted under Category #2.

Judging Criteria

  • Judges will look for funds raised, participation, and impact on the institution.
  • Judges will look for evidence of effective planning and fundraising strategy
  • The judges will also consider the amount raised, the percent of donors who gave (including new and renewed donors) and the impact of the initiative on the institution and its students.

 

Category 14: Best Advancement Services Initiative

Eligibility: Initiatives may include one-time activities or initiatives that take place over a period of time, such as best practice in gift/data entry, prospect research, donations processing, receipting, database management, performance management, and advancement service functions specific to the institution.

Judging Criteria:

  • Judges will look for evidence of effective planning, innovative ideas, collaboration with other units/ departments, and conclusive evidence of success, including impact on the institution.

 

Category 15: Best Use of Social Media

Eligibility: This category recognizes how advancement professionals are using social media strategies and new technologies to build constituent relationships. Examples include effective use of in publicly available platforms such as blogging, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Flickr, LinkedIn, Tumblr, etc.; and/or the use and development of independent strategies such as promoted posts, online community building, photo contests, or new implementations.

Judging Criteria:

  • Judges will look for information regarding ownership/authorship of the account, and a short description of the platform’s functionality and objectives.
  • Judges will look for conclusive evidence of success, including measurable engagement of target audiences, evidence of user-generated content, integration across platforms and with other sites, and impact on the institution.
  • Judges will look for project analytics as evidence of success and growth.

 

Category 16: Best New Idea: Creativity on a Shoestring

Eligibility: This category recognizes innovative solutions / new and imaginative ideas that are modest in cost relative to your departmental budget and make the work of professionals in alumni relations, development, communications or public affairs easier or more effective.

Judging Criteria

  • Judges will look for innovative ideas and conclusive evidence of success.
  • Judges will assess uniqueness and creativity in the program and implementation, and cost of the new idea relative to the departmental budget.

 


Categories 17 - 28 require additional creative materials beyond the 3-page entry form, to be used for scoring in the judging process. The required additional material is considered the creative element. Maximum 2 supplementary creative materials are allowed in addition to the 3-page entry form. No hard copies will be accepted.


 

Category 17: Best Website 

Eligibility: Creative Element Requirement: Within your 3-page entry report, submit links to all multi-media (or secure locations where judges can download the entries) to be used as context for judging purposes; please also note the ideal viewing platform for the entry. 

Creative Element Requirement: Within your 3-page entry report, submit the url address of the website being judged and the url address of your institution’s official home page in your 3-page entry report to be used for scoring in the judging process. If applicable, please also note the ideal viewing platform for the entry.

Judging Criteria:

  • Judges will look the efficacy and appropriateness of the page for the intended audience; design, creativity, and how these combine to capture the unique qualities of the institution and its brand identity.
  • Judges will assess the overall effectiveness in communicating information or a message; usability and navigation; mobile accessibility; innovation, interactivity, and design.
  • Judges will also look for a description of the process used to develop the website.

 

Category 18: Best Online Publication 

Eligibility: This category includes all online general and special interest newsletters, magazines, view books, or other publications sent to alumni or other external audiences (e.g., research, fundraising, alumni, or university magazines). Printed magazines should be entered in Category #21; Reports to Donors in Category #22; and printed newsletters or flyers in Category #23.

Creative Element Requirement: Within your 3-page entry report, submit the url link for the online publication to be used for scoring in the judging process. If applicable please also note the ideal viewing platform for the entry.

Judging Criteria

  • Judges will look at the writing and editing within your 3-page entry form and the layout, design, imagery, usability and navigation of your publication, and how these all combine to capture the unique qualities of your institution.

  • Judges will not consider advertising revenues in the budget.

 

Category 19: Best Use of Multi-Media

Eligibility: Eligible initiatives include one-time activities or initiatives that take place over a period of time. Entries may include audio files, video games, mobile apps, webcasts, podcasts, virtual reunions, virtual campus tours or testimonials, and slide or multi-media presentations, produced for fundraising, alumni relations, student recruitment, news and information, or other general promotional purposes.

Creative Element Requirement: Within your 3-page entry report, submit links to all multi-media (or secure locations where judges can download the entries) to be used for scoring in the judging process; please also note the ideal viewing platform for the entry.

Judging Criteria:

  • Judges will look for innovative ideas, content, script, photography, soundtrack, editing, and conclusive evidence of success based on audience engagement.

 

Category 20: Best Use of Video/Film

Eligibility: Eligible initiatives include one-time activities or initiatives that take place over a period of time. Entries may include videos and films of no more than 30 minutes in length produced for fundraising, student recruitment, alumni relations, news and information, or other general promotional purposes.

Creative Element Requirement: Within your 3-page entry report, submit links to all videos (or secure locations where judges can download the entries) to be used for scoring in the judging process, please also note the ideal viewing platform for the entry.

Judging Criteria:

  • Judges will look for innovative ideas, content, script, videography, soundtrack, editing, and conclusive evidence of success based on viewer engagement and the impact on the intended audience.

 

Category 21: Best Print Magazine

Eligibility: This category is not limited by size of institution or budget. This category includes all general and special-interest magazines sent to alumni or other external audiences (e.g., research, fundraising, alumni, or university magazines). Entries in this category must have a printed component; online-only magazines should be submitted in Category #18. Admissions view books are not accepted.

Creative Element Requirement: Only one issue of the magazine may be submitted for consideration, and must be submitted in digital form, whether as a url to the online version or a PDF file format of the magazine to be used for scoring in the judging process.

Judging Criteria:

  • Judges will look at the writing and editing within your 3-page entry form and the design and imagery of the magazine; and how these all combine to capture the unique qualities of the institution.
  • Judges will not consider advertising revenues in the budget.

 

Category 22: Best Report to Donors

Eligibility: Entries in this category may be institutional or departmental, and they may include either online or print deliveries. This award is based on excellence in concept, graphic design, layout and editorial content in communicating the institution’s sense of accountability to its donors and other key constituents.

Creative Element Requirement: The report to donors must be submitted in digital form, whether as a url to the online version or a PDF file format of the report to be used for scoring in the judging process.

Judging Criteria:

  • Judges will look at the writing and editing within your 3-page entry form and the layout, design, and imagery; alignment with best practices in donor communication and stewardship; and how these all combine to capture the unique qualities of the institution.
  • Judges will look for information regarding all expenses related to design, printing, freelance photography and writing in the budget.

 

Category 23: Best Printed Brochure, Newsletter, or Flyer

Eligibility: This category is for brochures (any multi-page publication with saddle-stitched or bound pages), flyers (any single printed sheet folded in any manner, or circulated unfolded) or newsletters (any multi-page periodical, printed on paper stock, comprising mainly short news and information articles, usually published more than once per year). Audiences for brochures, newsletters or flyers may be internal or external, and all documents should be designed to convey information in a brief, interesting and effective manner. Online editions of the above should be submitted in Category #18. Admissions view books are not accepted.

Creative Element Requirement: The creative material must be submitted in digital form, whether in PDF file format, or as an image of the final product to be used for scoring in the judging process. Images must be clear and show the entire frame of the print material. File format for images must be jpg or png with minimum resolution 200dpi.

Judging Criteria

  • Judges will look at the writing and editing within your 3-page entry form and the layout, design and imagery, and how these all combine to capture the unique qualities of the institution.

 

Category 24: Best Feature Writing - English

Eligibility: This category recognizes excellence in reporting and writing for articles published in English in the 2019 calendar year. Articles may be on any topic, but must have appeared in institutional (print or online) magazines, newspapers, newsletters or other publications for internal or external audiences. This category includes feature stories, news, editorials or articles written to explain important initiatives, profile significant persons or programs, persuade or clarify complex issues.

Articles must be submitted in digital form, whether as a url to the online version or a PDF file format of the article. Indicate whether the author is an employee of the institution or a freelancer.

Judging Criteria:

  • Judges will consider writing style, organization and clarity; the complexity of the subject; and the ability of the writer to present the material in a creative and compelling manner.
  • If the author is a freelance contributor, judges will assess the impact on the departmental budget.

 

Category 25: Best Feature Writing - French

Eligibility: This category recognizes excellence in reporting and writing for articles published in French in the 2019 calendar year. Articles may be on any topic, but must have appeared in (print or online) institutional magazines, newspapers, newsletters or other publications for internal or external audiences. This category includes feature stories, news, editorials or articles written to explain important initiatives, profile significant persons or programs, persuade or clarify complex issues.

Creative Element Requirement: Articles must be submitted in digital form, whether as a url to the online version or a PDF file format of the article to be used for scoring in the judging process. Indicate whether the author is an employee of the institution or a freelancer.

Judging Criteria:

  • Judges will consider writing style, organization and clarity; the complexity of the subject; and the ability of the writer to present the material in a creative and compelling manner.
  • If the author is a freelance contributor, judges will assess the impact on the departmental budget.

 

Category 26: Best Advertisement or Poster

Eligibility: This award is given for achievement and excellence in advertisements or posters. Submissions may be a single item, or a series of ads or posters promoting a specific event, program, or other institutional initiative such as student recruitment, a grand opening, lecture series, or institutional image campaign. Ads or posters must have appeared in the 2019 calendar year.

Creative Element Requirement: The creative material must be submitted in digital form, whether in PDF file format, or as an image of the final product to be used for scoring in the judging process. Images must be clear and show the entire frame of the print material. For images, the file format must be jpg or png with minimum resolution 200dpi or a PDF file format.

Judging Criteria:

  • Judges will consider appropriate use of graphics, imagery and text for the intended audience. Judges will also consider design and creativity of the end product.

 

Category 27: Best Photograph

Eligibility: This award recognizes the best original photograph to appear in an institutional publication. Black-and-white or colour photography may be entered. Photos must have been shot in 2018 or 2019, and published in 2019.

Creative Element Requirement: Please submit a digital copy of the photograph. Images must be clear and show the entire frame of the print material. File format for images must be jpg or png with minimum resolution 200dpi. Indicate whether the photographer is an employee of the institution or a freelancer.

Judging Criteria:

  • Judges will evaluate composition, technical quality, appropriateness for stated goals, and creativity.
  • If the photographer is a freelance contributor, judges will assess the impact on the departmental budget.

 

Category 28: Best Fundraising Materials

Eligibility: This category recognizes excellence in fundraising materials designed to attract support for major institutional fundraising initiatives such as a capital, anniversary, annual or research campaign.

Creative Element Requirement: The creative material must be submitted in digital form, whether as an image of the final product or a PDF format to be used for scoring in the judging process. Images must be clear and show the entire frame of the creative material. File format for images must be jpg or png with minimum resolution 200dpi.

Judging Criteria:

  • Judges will look for clarity in fundraising goals; the writing, design, structure and imagery of the materials; and how these all combine to capture the unique qualities of the institution.