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10 Tips for a Top Notch Award Program Entry
Tuesday, April 2, 2013 6:40 AM

You'll soon be preparing your entry for the Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award program or the Louise Herring Philosophy-in-Action Member Service Award, and you're probably wondering how to submit an award-winning record of your credit union's accomplishments.

On the state level, your entry competes with others in your asset group, while at the national level the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) Awards Committee members will review more than 160 entries for both programs. 


Here are 10 ways you can help judges get a clear picture of your program:

  1. Clearly state what your goals are and how you set out to accomplish them.
  2. Set aside a specific file for all your program documents -- you'll need those photos, thank-you notes, and newspaper clippings when you actually put your entry together.
  3. Plan to track your program's progress from the beginning.  Document the project's activities and events, funds raised and distributed or number of people served, and letters and media coverage received.
  4. Keep in touch with the agencies or groups you're working with for any information they can provide on the impact your involvement is having on those they serve.
  5. Get your awards packet from the league and review it carefully. Call (CONTACT) with any questions.
  6.  Follow the format of the entry form and answer all questions when describing your project. The Awards Committee carefully considers the answers to questions on goals, implementation, results, coverage, etc., to help them judge your entry.
  7. Include those items you've been saving that will bring your entry to life for the judges.  Photos, thank-you letters, articles, etc., all help the judges get a better look at your program.
  8. Keep in mind that quality, not quantity, is the key.  Choose the most representative items to include rather than everything associated with your program.
  9. The more concise, clear and to the point your entry is, the easier time the judges will have doing their job.
  10. Put yourself in the judge's shoes.  What would you look for in an entry?

The Texas Credit Union League (TCUL) announced March 29, that it is accepting entries for the Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award Program and the Louise Herring Philosophy-in-Action Member Service Award.  All entries should be submitted by Aug. 1.  Entries received after Aug. 1 will not be accepted.

Both programs identify credit unions that demonstrate the credit union "people-helping-people" philosophy. The Dora Maxwell award program honors the work of credit unions in the community, and the Louise Herring award program recognizes the practical application of credit union philosophy in daily internal operations.

When you enter the Dora Maxwell competition, your credit union will compete with others in the same asset category. Chapters/multiple credit unions involved in community activities are eligible to enter the chapter/multiple credit unions category. Entrants in the Louise Herring competition will also compete with credit unions in the same asset category.

For more information on the Dora Maxwell award, please visit