Third Sector Awards Shortlist

  • by dan
  • 01/08/2019

Today the shortlist for this year's Third Sector Excellence Awards is announced, run by Haymarket publishing. If you're in the sector you'll know that, alongside the National Fundraising Awards which the IOF hosts at convention each year, these are the standard by which many charities set their sights.

I was delighted to be part of the judging panel this year. While obviously I can't give away any of the specific details, I thought it might be useful to pick a few highlights and trends.

The first is the volume. There were *lots* of entries - according to Haymarket the highest level and most competitive in recent years. Fantastic to see so much good work being put forward for recognition in a societal and economic climate of uncertainty. Perhaps this amplifies the essential work across the sector in rocky times. The two categories I judged had over 20 entries in the long list between them, which had already been whittled down from over 40 in the pre-live judging scoring. Wow!

Next is quality. It's always hard to judge one good entry versus another, and that was very much the case this year. The hard work shown and outcomes represented in the entries were really very good indeed. Naturally, some rose to the surface as we evaluated and discussed them, but there was not a single poor entry; all represented their case solidly with compelling material.

Thirdly were the panelists. Everyone on my panel, and others I chatted with in the breaks, were completely committed to the process, the sector and exuded enthusiasm for the organisations and entries they judged. When people give their time to take part, its fantastic to see energy till the very end, even if it's a long day and you end up discussing a particular entry for longer than perhaps time might usually allow because it warrants the attention.

And finally, innovation. Having been involved with not-for-profit organisations for over 15 years, it is clear to me that necessity is indeed the mother of invention. Charities large and small, with serious backing or DIY-ing it, have a knack of innovating in order to get things done! That's certainly what we see week in, week out at WPNC. And I expect the awards will show just that: brilliant causes showing how they can think and act differently to bring about change in a more impactful way, that has a positive effect on people, communities and important issues. At the end of the day, isn't that what we all do it for?

As for what happens next, if you want to check out the live announcements you can follow on Twitter @TSEAwards and the awards night itself is on 19th September when the winners will be announced. Best of luck to all the entrants!

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