What types of campaigns are eligible as Halo award nominees?
Entries must be for campaigns that occurred in whole or in part during 2019 in the United States or Canada. Campaigns qualify if they are designed to measurably advance the interests of both a business and a nonprofit partner or cause (note: this is MANDATORY. Campaigns that do not involve a company are automatically ineligible). Previous Halo Award winning campaigns are not eligible for re-entry in the category in which they’ve previously won (with the exception of new video creative in the Social Impact Video category).
When is the entry deadline?
For 2020 the deadline will be January 17 with late entries accepted no later than January 22, 2020 and subject to a $150 late fee. All of your materials must be RECEIVED by these dates.
What is the judging process?
A committee of up to seven judges will evaluate the entries and select one winner and one runner up in each category. Judges will recuse themselves from judging a category if they have a relationship with an entrant that presents a conflict of interest. The judges may, at their discretion, switch the category in which an entry competes.
Finalists in each category will be notified of their status on or before February 14, 2020. Winners will be notified privately in late February-early March. Winners will not be announced publicly until May 28, 2020 at the Halo Awards Breakfast at the 2020 Engage for Good conference in Austin. The identities of the judges will not be announced until the day of the event. The decision of the judges is final. In the event of a tie, the president of Cause Marketing Forum, Inc. will select the winning entry.
Who can enter?
Companies or nonprofits engaged in cause marketing or brand purpose work or their consumer promotion, advertising or public relations agencies. Campaigns qualify if they are designed to measurably advance the interests of both a business and a nonprofit partner or cause (note: this is MANDATORY. Campaigns that do not involve a company are automatically ineligible).
What are the judging criteria?
There are four judging criteria: Conceptual Strength, Execution, Business Results and Cause Results (Note: Entries in the video creative category will primarily be judged on their conceptual strength and execution).
- Fit: Is there a strong fit between the cause and the business? Does the brand purpose shine through?
- Ownability: Does this campaign stand out and have an ownable angle?
- Depth: Does this program demonstrate a commitment to cause marketing beyond a quick promotion?
- Creative: Does creative clearly communicate the program to target audiences?
- Promotion: Was the program integrated into an effective marketing communications program?
- Did the program achieve measurable results relative to stated objectives?
- Did the program achieve measurable results relative to stated objectives?
What are the categories?
Best Activism/Advocacy Initiative (new!) Leveraging business resources to engage consumers and/or employees to create social change in a way that aligns with business objectives (e.g. a company advocating on gun control and doubling employee match donations to related charities or selling a product designed to bring awareness to the LGBTQ issue and sharing resources to support legislation allowing same-sex marriage).
Best Consumer-Activated Corporate Donation Initiative Incorporating a linkage between a desired consumer action and a corporate donation. For example, a company makes a charitable donation every time consumers respond to a survey or a buy-one-give-one campaign in which a company donates a product for every product consumers purchase.
Best Consumer Donation Initiative Asking consumers to donate at point of sale (in a retail location or online) or via a crowdfunding campaign. Common forms include coin cannisters, “pinups”, automated pinpad, cashier asks, round-ups, online auctions, etc.
Best Disaster Prevention or Relief Initiative (new!) Responding to a natural or man-made disaster to provide relief to those affected by the event (e.g. an airline providing flights to an island stocked with supplies after a major hurricane). This category also includes efforts designed to help ready communities before a disaster strikes (e.g. a hardware store teaching customers how to create a “go kit” in the event of an earthquake).
Best Education Initiative Focusing on an educational issue such as supporting teachers with materials for the classroom or supplementing under-funded programs like art or music in a manner that supports business objectives of the company (e.g. helping create a future workforce or generating good relations in a community where the business operates.)
Best Employee Engagement Initiative (new!) Meaningfully and measurably engaging a company’s employees in a cause-focused initiative to achieve both a social and a business impact. This could include encouraging employees to take an action (e.g. donating to a micro loan program, voting or donating blood), broadening their horizons on a social issue (e.g. learning about a new culture, participating in implicit bias training) or supporting an employee’s personal volunteer passions (e.g. dollars for doers programs).
Best Experiential/Event Initiative Engaging people in in-person cause-related experiences that yield business and social outcomes. For example, an athletic footwear company’s pop-up store encourages consumers to run on a treadmill wearing a new model shoe in order to generate a company donation to supporting local high school athletics programs.
Best Health Initiative Producing a corporate social initiative that deals with health issues. For example, encouraging blood donations, encouraging good oral hygiene or generating support to fight a disease.
Best Inclusion Initiative Encouraging consumers and/or employees to involve and empower people, regardless of their abilities, age, social class, political beliefs, race, religion, gender or sexual orientation as valuable members of their communities.
Best Social Service Initiative Focusing on a social issue such as sheltering the homeless, providing food for children or training rescue dogs in a manner consistent the with company’s business goals.
Best Social Impact Video Highlighting effective and creative use of short-form video distributed online or via traditional channels as part of a larger cause-related campaign. There must be a company involved in these videos — not appropriate for traditional PSAs.
Best Sustainability Initiative (new!) Focusing on a sustainability issue (e.g. reusing ocean plastics to create a product, diverting items from landfills or encouraging consumers to change consumption behaviors) in a way that fits strategically with the objectives of the business.
Best Group Volunteerism Initiative Meaningfully and measurably engaging a company’s employees in a mass participation volunteer activity (e.g. constructing playgrounds, reading to kids) to achieve both a social and business impact.
Best Skilled Volunteerism Initiative Meaningfully and measurably engaging a company’s employees in a volunteer activity that leverages specialized skills that employees possess to achieve both a social and business impact (e.g. engineers assigned to a water project in a developing country or accountants analyzing a nonprofit’s finances).
What are the entry fees?
Standard Entry: $195 (must be received by 1/17/20)
Secondary Entry of the same campaign into additional categories: $50/category
Late Entry Fee: (each submission received between 1/18/20 and 1/22/20) $150 additional
Do you have to be an EFG Member to apply?
No. EFG Members and Non-Members are welcome to apply to the Halo Awards.
What is the process for notifying winners?
We will be in touch in February to let you know whether your campaign was selected as a finalist (each category typically has four finalists). Finalists are typically announced publicly on/about February 14th.
If your campaign is selected as a finalist, we will be back in touch to notify you if your campaign was selected as a Gold or Silver Halo Winner (each category will have one gold and one silver winner) in mid-late February. The Gold and Silver winners in each category are announced publicly at the Engage for Good conference.
Please note: if you are selected as a finalist, it does NOT necessarily mean you have won a Halo Award. If you have any additional questions about the distinctions between finalist and winner, please don’t hesitate to ask us.
If my campaign is selected as a finalist, does that mean we've won a Halo Award?
No. There are typically four finalists selected per category but only one Gold and one Silver Halo Award is given in each category. We will let you know if your campaign is a finalist and then we will be back in touch to let you know if your campaign was ultimately selected as a Gold or Silver Halo Award winner.