European Awards Entries – are you prepared to win?

European Awards Entries – are you prepared to win?

February 17, 2016 12:22 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

All JCI National organisations (NOMs) have been invited to submit their awards for the 2011 Area Conferences – that’s the European Conference in Tarragona for us!

JCI HQ have published the following six tips for success at the awards ceremonies and here in the UK we’ll be running an Awards Surgery at Presidents’ Day, with experienced judges Julia Lea and Andrew Morton, to give us the best possible chance of success now and in the future.

Follow these steps as you amend and submit your chamber’s award entries for the European Conference and prepare to win!

Play by the rules. 
JCI Local and National Organizations can submit entries from now until the deadlines listed below for the JCI Area Conferences. Winning projects from the JCI Area Conferences are automatically entered to win at World Congress, and these participants are free to edit and improve upon their entries until the Congress deadline.

The online JCI Awards System provides directions for every step of the submission process from start to finish. Read the JCI Awards Manualcarefully to become familiar with the details. If you’re new to the JCI Awards website, check out the Guide to the Online JCI Awards Systemto learn the ins and outs of the process. 

The best entries take planning and preparation, so start your submission well before these deadlines:

  • May 2: European Conference
  • October 3: JCI World Congress (fingers crossed!)

Strategize and categorize.
Submit your entry in an awards category that highlights your project’s greatest strengths. Would your project shine in the Best UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Project, or does it seem like a winner for Best Environmental Development Program? Consider the competition in each category, narrow your focus accordingly, and highlight the ways your project is the best in that respect.

Keep it short and sweet.
Judges read as many as 30 entries within a few weeks. Help them find the most relevant information quickly through clear and direct language. Don’t use eight words when three will do. Even the best results can get lost in repetitive and wordy explanations, so avoid this common problem and keep it straight to the point.

Document details from start to finish.
Awards judges want to see concrete facts such as numbers, photos, and specific details. Assign members to take pictures of the action and gather all the data from the very beginning. Instead of generalizations such as, “A lot of children were helped by this project,” you will be able to include compelling and specific facts, such as, “236 students ages 5 to 7 will attend primary school in 2011 thanks to the 10-room school built through this project.

Revise and spell-check.
Don’t let spelling and grammatical errors stand between you and a trophy. Judges must be able to clearly understand every part of the entry to evaluate it. Spell-check can save embarrassment, and a second or third editor can make your entry shine. If you’re not 100% comfortable with the JCI communication language, find someone who is who can review the spelling and grammar for you.

Showcase positive change.
Winning submissions show JCI members advancing the JCI Mission by taking action to create positive change in their communities. These initiatives provide a strong example for other Local and National Organizations, as well as an example to external partners of the accomplishments of JCI. They serve to display an organization’s best work for other members or groups to learn from and find inspiration. When writing about your projects, highlight how they have advanced the JCI Mission in your community.

Good luck!!!

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This post was written by James Lambert

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