Has your organisation excelled this year? Has a member of staff or volunteer demonstrated outstanding dedication to your cause? Has your campaign mobilised an army of supporters and achieved great change?
Scottish voluntary sector organisations, employees and volunteers are being urged to apply for the 2016 Scottish Charity Awards.
In their ninth year, the awards, run by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, look to reward those from Scotland’s vibrant third sector who have made an exceptional impact on their communities and throughout the country.
We’d like to hear from organisations large and small, staff and volunteers who have really excelled and gone the extra mile this year
Nominations are now open and this year there are seven categories.
Organisations are urged to apply in the Charity of the Year, Celebrating Communities, Perfect Partnership, Cracking Campaign and Digital Dynamo categories, while individuals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty are being sought for the Charity Champion and Exceptional Employee (see below) award.
Last year MND Scotland was crowned Charity of the Year after successfully increasing the profile of motor neurone disease (MND) alongside effective campaigning on a number of issues to improve the lives of those living with the condition.
Craig Stockton, MND Scotland’s chief executive, said since winning the title, the charity has received unprecedented levels of support with awareness and the profile of both the disease and the work of MND Scotland continuing to grow.
“Being chosen as Scotland’s Charity of the Year has definitely increased our profile, and given further credibility to the work that we do," he said.
"To receive this prestigious accolade has motivated everyone involved with MND Scotland, and has meant an enormous amount to our supporters who have worked tirelessly over the years to raise funds and awareness.”
Up to five finalists will be announced this year in each category and all finalists will be included in the People’s Choice public vote award, giving organisations a chance to encourage their supporters to get involved.
Last year’s People’s Choice award was also won by MND Scotland.
This year’s awards will once again be returning to Edinburgh’s Assembly Rooms, with the spectacular event set to take place on Thursday 9 June.
Martin Sime, chief executive, SCVO said: “So many charities and third sector organisations work tirelessly from one day to the next to support vulnerable people in our communities and to raise awareness of important causes. They really deserve a chance to reflect on the huge difference they make to people and to have a moment in the spotlight.
“We’d like to hear from organisations large and small, staff and volunteers who have really excelled and gone the extra mile this year.
“We know there’s amazing work going on right across Scotland, so please don’t be shy!”
The deadline for entries is Wednesday 18 March. To apply visit the awards’ website.
Exceptional employees get a chance to shine
This year’s Scottish Charity Awards will includes a brand new category to honour some of the incredible work carried out by paid staff in Scottish voluntary organisations.
The Exceptional Employee award has been introduced after event organisers the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) felt the awards did not recognise enough the professional contribution that staff make to the charity sector.
Nominations are being invited for people who have worked tirelessly to make a significant difference to one or more organisation or cause.
Exceptional employee nominees may have a life-long career in the third sector or be just starting out but making an incredible difference already.
“For some time, we’ve noticed that it’s hard for staff to compete in the Charity Champion category against outstanding voluntary contributions,” said SCVO event manager Alex Thomson. “The exceptional employee award gives paid staff a chance to shine and we can’t wait to see who gets nominated.”
The judges will be looking for evidence that the person has carried out a range of activities with an innovative approach and achieved outstanding success.