With the promise of spring comes the bustle of the gifts and awards season. The sprouting greens come to life much like the vested efforts that led to the accomplishments of the past year. For many organizations it’s the time to celebrate the annual achievements of the student body, faculty, board, donor or volunteer contributions and professional excellence. Whether updating a donor wall, coordinating sales recognition or an award program there are many details that must come together to ensure a seamless execution.
I've always found an excellent guiding principle to be Covey’s The 8th Habit: Be Proactive. Consider the events that will highlight these achievements. Know the deadlines for contributions or the timing at which recipients will be identified and Begin With The End In Mind. While it may seem simpler to work towards a scheduled event, the challenges of maneuvering the critical steps are sometimes managed best with a work-back schedule.
- Start by pinpointing your target date.
- Outline the necessary tasks and how much time is needed to complete them. Considerations may include:
New awards/programs – Recognition copy, levels of contribution or achievement, hi-res or resolution independent artwork for logos or images will likely be some of the necessary elements.
Changes - Have there been updates to your organization’s logo or identity, a new sponsor, new contribution or achievement levels that need to be taken into account?
Personalization details – Many individuals commonly identify with a nickname or short form of their given names. The beneficiary may have been part of a group and would like the team or family to be acknowledged. For repeat front-runners these details may be available based on prior recognition. These preferences as well as titles or designations can go a long way toward thoughtful recognition.
Approvals and content – Are there committees or individuals that need to supply information or sign off on details and what is the best way to reach them?
Production timing – Consulting internal or external services and suppliers to collect necessary materials like an updated logo, availability, scheduling or production allowances is prudent as they all impact the schedule.
Grace period – Time permitting, a period of time prior to the event which can allow for resolutions to deficiencies or accommodating any last minute additions.
Working backwards from your event, plug in the necessary steps beginning with the last stages and ending with the initiating factors. You’ll have a strong sense of when you need to begin or how to get on track.
Check out our new Awards website.