Article modified: August 2021, Author:

There is a range of awards set up for the voluntary sector/those involved in it, but some are only available for registered charities. It is pretty rare that there is an entry fee. The entry or nomination procedure can be quite time consuming however, collating information and providing a well-written case. Given the often arbitrary nature of who enters and the judging criteria, many see receiving an award as of little value. But others will disagree, and the publicity may be helpful, as could cash or other tangible prizes.

Dates, in the form launch/closing month, are rough and often based on historic pattern. These, plus categories, prizes, criteria etc, may change.

  • Arts & Business Awards recognise excellence in business engagement with the arts. England version disappeared 2018, but possibly still in Wales.
  • Britain’s Best Volunteer Award wants to discover the nation’s unsung volunteering heroes. Run by Markel and Small Charities Coalition, anyone in an unpaid position can be nominated. February.
  • Better Society Awards from Charity Times (new October 2014) are for commercial organisations, including charity suppliers – entry fee of £99 plus VAT per organisation.
  • Care: Skills for Care AccoladesWales Care Awards – Jan/March? The Scottish version appears to have ended in 2014 – check SSSC website.
  • 3rd Sector Care Awards – launched in 2014 to celebrate and showcase the innovation and care excellence of the not-for-profit care and support sector. July/September.
  • Charity Awards from Civil Society Media. Categories such as Charity of the Year, Campaigning/Fundraising/PR team of the year, best use of the web. December/March.
  • Charity Times Awards from Charity Times. February/June.
  • Charity Trailblazer of the Year award, from The Guardian, ran in 2015 only?
  • Guardian Charity Awards. Open to registered charities with an income of less than £1 million, to recognise “truly outstanding” contribution to communities and society. Late March/late June.
  • Children and Young People’s Services Awards from Haymarket in association with Children’s Workforce Development Council. Various categories are open to voluntary organisations. ?/July.
  • Financial Leadership Awards from Sayer Vincent, charity accountants (launched 2013 to celebrate 30 years). Various categories.
  • Fundraising Awards from Institute of Fundraising. October/?.
  • GlaxoSmithKline IMPACT Awards run by King’s Fund. Open to community healthcare charities operating for at least three years, annual budget less than £750,000. Ten awards of £20,000, plus £10,000 to overall winner and up to 10 highly commended awards of £5,000. July/September.
  • HR Excellence Awards have a ‘public or voluntary sector’ category. Run by Haymarket’s HR magazine. Entry fee is a few hundred pounds. December?/early April?
  • Institute of Directors Scotland Director of the Year Awards have a Third Sector Director category. ?/December.
  • Leading Wales Award for personal achievement in outstanding leadership and management in Wales. Has Voluntary Sector category, also Social Enterprise at 2014. ?/March.

  • Nominet Trust’s NT100 is a celebration of the 100 most inspiring social tech innovations from across the globe. July/September.
  • Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service recognises outstanding commitment and contribution to local communities by groups of volunteers. June/September.
  • Scottish Urban Regeneration ForumSURF Awards for best practice and innovation in community regeneration. July/Sept.
  • Scottish Charity Awards, run by SCVO. Categories include Charity of the Year, Cracking Campaign, Perfect Partnership, Charity Champion, Celebrating Communities, and also a Sporting Chance Award. Feb/March.
  • Social Change Awards from Directory of Social Change July/October. Individuals and organisations other than charities can also enter – Everyday Impact Award, the Influencer Award, Investing in Social Change Award and the Public Body Award (as at 2008).
  • Social Enterprise Awards from Social Enterprise UK recognise organisations for their business excellence and contribution to society. June/July.
  • Tech4Good Awards recognise organisations and individuals who use digital technology to improve the lives of others.
  • Third Sector Awards, from Third Sector Magazine. April/June.
  • Wales Volunteer of the Year Award – categories may include Adult, Young Person, Green, Trustee, International Volunteer, Group. Feb/April.