Do you work at the intersection of profit and purpose?
Your company or nonprofit organization deserves recognition for the incredible work that you do!
Consumers are increasingly choosing purpose-driven companies who put their money where their mouth is. If you’re new to cause marketing or social impact, check out our guide for great resources to get you started. And, make sure you know some of the legal requirements. When it comes to cause marketing, what you don’t know can hurt you!
We’ve scoured the internet, spoken with social impact superstars, and reached out to various award hosts to compile the list of top social impact awards around the world. Below, you’ll find a synopsis of each social impact award and its application period. Or, if you’re driven by your calendar, check out our chronological list by application date. Wondering what social impact awards are and why you should apply? Find out here!
Of course, we think our own corporate social impact awards program, the Halo Awards (which open in December and close in mid-late January) should be at the very top of your list, but we understand that you may want to cast a wide net to receive as much recognition for your social impact efforts as possible.
The Definitive List Of Social Impact Awards
ACCP Purpose Awards
Hosted by the Association Of Corporate Citizenship Professionals, the Purpose Awards include three major awards that recognize excellence among senior executives, leading practitioners, and growing talent within corporate citizenship. Entries typically open in September, close in October and awards are presented at their Corporate Citizenship Conference conference in March.
BCCCC International Corporate Citizenship Film Festival
Hosted by the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, their film festival celebrates the work and impact of corporate citizenship programs – as well as the inspiring methods companies use to communicate their efforts. Awards are provided in five categories to films that run three minutes in length or shorter. Entries typically open in October, close in January and awards are presented at the International Corporate Citizenship Conference in March.
Brandweek Constellation Awards Best Team Effort on Brand Purpose
Hosted by Ad Week’s Brandweek, their social impact award is awarded to the best brand team effort on any cause-related initiative. This single social impact award is part of the larger Brandweek Constellation Awards. Entries typically open in May, close in September and awards are announced in November.
Cannes Lions Awards
Hosted in France each year by Cannes Lions, these awards are home to a few social impact awards. Glass: The Lion for Change celebrates culture-shifting creativity and recognizes work that addresses issues of gender inequality or prejudice. Grand Prix for Good is awarded to work created as a public awareness message or for a nonprofit organization or charity. Sustainable Development Goals Lions celebrate creative problem solving, solutions or other initiatives that harness creativity and seek to positively impact the world. Entries typically open in January, close in April and awards are presented at their International Festival of Creativity in June.
Cynopsis Social Good Awards
Hosted by Cynopsis Media, the Social Good Awards (part of their larger Best of the Best Awards) spotlight the companies, programming, campaigns and people that are using media in innovative ways to help make the world a better place. They host multiple social good awards in a variety of categories. Entries typically open in early October, close in late October and awards are presented at a live event in January.
The Drum Social Purpose Awards
Hosted by The Drum, The Drum Social Purpose Awards celebrate organizations who are champions of change and drive a more diverse, purposeful and socially responsible representation of marketing today. Hosted in the UK, these 19 awards are open to campaigns from around the world. Entries typically open in early August, close in late August and awards are presented at their in November.
The D&AD Awards host a variety of awards for work that demonstrates creative excellence in commercial creativity. Their social impact category is “Creativity for Good” which includes subcategories for different campaigns and innovative ideas that build a brand or business by doing good. Entries typically open in November, close in March and awards are announced at the end of the D&AD Festival at the end of May.
D&AD Impact Awards And Future Impact Program
A subset of the D&AD Awards, the D&AD Impact Awards recognize campaigns, projects and products that address some of the most pressing issues in the world. Through their Future Impact Program, D&AD also helps to accelerate projects with the potential for impact through a 12-month Future Impact program. Entries typically open in April, close in September and awards are announced in November at the Impact Showcase in NYC.
Fast Company Most Innovative Social Good Companies
Hosted by Fast Company, the Most Innovative Social Good Companies award recognizes companies that embody the best in business and innovation by transforming industries and shaping society for the better. These are for-profit companies doing their part to make the world a better place. Entries typically open in August, close in September and awards are announced in February or March.
Global Good Awards
Formerly known as the National CSR Awards, the Global Good Awards reward businesses, NGOs, charities and social enterprises of all sizes for doing good globally. They are driven by the desire to shout about those who are making strides towards a better world for people, the planet and the global economy. Entries typically open in December, close in March and awards are announced in June.
Hosted by Engage for Good, the Halo Awards are the highest honor for corporate social initiatives and cause marketing and showcase successful consumer engagement and employee engagement efforts with a variety of different categories. Find past winners here! Entries typically open in early December and close in mid-late January and awards are presented at the Engage For Good conference in May. Click here to be alerted when the next submission period opens.
IBC Social Impact Awards
Hosted by IBC, these Social Impact Awards recognize movements championing diversity and inclusivity, campaigns that make a positive impact on the wider world, and organizations with a strong dedication to social responsibility. Entries typically open in March, close in May and awards are announced at their conference in Amsterdam in September.
Hosted by Media Post, the OMMA Awards include one social impact category: Activism/Public Service. This award recognizes an online campaign for a cause, charity, non-profit advocacy, public service project or for a brand campaign that distributes all profits to charity. Unlike other social impact awards on the list, the OMMA Awards include “members choice” voting. Entries typically open in July, close in September and awards are presented during MediaPost’s OMMA Awards Cocktail Reception and Dinner in September.
Positive Change Effies
Hosted by Effie and run in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, the Positive Change Effies reward and celebrate brands and nonprofits that are promoting the greater good through marketing communications. They host a variety of awards in different categories and have specific entry deadlines for each country – make sure you apply for the appropriate one! Entries typically open in September, close in November, and awards are at their awards gala in June.
PR Daily Corporate Social Responsibility Awards
Hosted by Ragan and PR Daily, the Corporate Social Responsibility Awards highlight organizations dedicated to making the world a smarter, safer, healthier and more sustainable place. They host multiple social impact awards in a variety of categories. Entries typically open in March, close in June and awards are announced in October.
PR Week Purpose Awards
Hosted by PR Week, the Purpose Awards recognize activations that use creative ideas to further positive causes and to acknowledge the organizations and individuals behind them. Hosting social impact awards in a variety of categories, these awards celebrate authentic practice that makes a real difference. Entries typically open in June, close in July or August and awards are announced alongside their annual conference, PRDecoded in October.
Real Leaders Impact Awards
Hosted by Real Leaders, the Real Leaders Impact Awards honor top impact companies applying capitalism for greater profit and greater good. These awards recognize organizations that are making a positive social or environmental impact and have a new vision of what the world should look like and who should benefit. Entries typically open in March, close in August and awards are presented at the Awards Ceremony in January.
Hosted by The Real Time Academy, the Shorty Awards host a variety of awards including a few related to social impact. What happens on social media can change the world, create new stars and ignite global movements. The Shorty Awards celebrate the best of social media by recognizing these influencers, brands and organizations. Entries typically open in October, close in February and awards are presented on the web and at the Awards Ceremony in May.
Shorty Social Good Awards
Hosted by the Shorty Awards, the Shorty Social Good Awards is an awards program created to raise global awareness around the positive impact brands, agencies and nonprofits can have on society. They host multiple social good awards in a variety of categories. Entries typically open in May, close in September and awards are announced live in mid-November.
Like the Shorty Awards, the Streamys host a variety of awards, one of which relates to social impact. Hosted by Dick Clark Productions and Tubefilter, the Streamys include an award for a Social Good Campaign which honors a multi-platform campaign to raise awareness or funds for a cause with tangible results. Entries typically open in July, close in August and awards are presented at the awards ceremony in December.
Streamy Purpose Awards
Hosted by the Streamy Awards, the Purpose Awards reward and celebrate campaigns in five different social good categories. Award recipients include individuals and organizations with global audiences making some of the most innovative and well-watched programming in the world. Entries typically open in July, close in August and awards are presented at the awards ceremony in December.
The Citizens Awards
Hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the Citizens Awards honor partnerships and organizations that leverage their resources, expertise, and talent to make a positive impact. With a variety of categories, these awards honor the most accomplished social and community initiatives within the private sector. Entries typically open in March, close at the end of June and award winners are announced in November.
3BL Forum Responsible CEO of the Year Awards
Hosted by 3BL Forum, the Responsible CEO of the Year Awards recognize how individual CEOs take an active role in aligning their organization’s interests with their stakeholders to do well by doing good. While the majority of social impact awards focus on campaigns, this one is awarded to individual CEOs. It’s a great one to add to your list! Entries typically open in early March, close in late March and awards are announced in October.
Want a chronological list of these awards? Click here!
There are bound to be more social impact awards created in the future as the intersection of cause and commerce continues to grow. Check back as we add new awards to the list!
Have a social impact award you’d like featured on the list? Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll take a peek at your award.