What types of campaigns are eligible as Halo award nominees?
Entries must be for campaigns that occurred in whole or in part during 2020 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 2021 the deadline will be March 10th with late entries accepted no later than March 12, 2021 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 March 30, 2021. Winners will be notified privately in late March or early April. Winners will not be announced publicly until May 26-27, 2021 at the Halo Awards Program at the 2021 Engage for Good virtual conference. 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 relevant 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). Campaigns must occur in whole or in part during 2020 in the United States or Canada.
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?
Cause marketing or corporate social impact programs may be entered in one or more of the following categories (search all Halo Awards):
Best Activism/Advocacy Initiative 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. (e.g. a company making a charitable donation every time consumers purchase a product or 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 canisters, “pinups”, automated pinpad, cashier asks, round-ups, online auctions, etc.
Best Covid-19 Initiative (new!) Responding to the Covid-19 pandemic to serve those affected by the outbreak (e.g. a food service company pivoting to provide meals to first responders or a large corporation creating an effort to bolster small business). This category may include populations disproportionately affected by the pandemic from a health or financial perspective.
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 Meaningfully and measurably engaging a company’s employees in a cause-focused initiative to achieve both social and 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). This category encompasses both group and skilled volunteerism as well as more general engagement activities.
Best Health Initiative Producing a corporate social initiative that deals with health issues. (e.g. 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.
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 with the 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.
What are the entry fees?
Standard Entry: $195 (must be received by 3/10/21)
Secondary Entry of the same campaign into additional categories: $50/category
Late Entry Fee: (each submission received between 3/11/21 and 3/12/21) $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 March 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 March 30th.
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 late March or early April. The Gold and Silver winners in each category are announced publicly at the Engage for Good virtual 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.