The 2nd Annual Anthem Awards | Finalists Announced January 2023


Judge Spotlight

Meet an Anthem Judge: Susan McPherson, McPherson

We sat down with Susan McPherson, CEO and founder of the boutique agency, McPherson Strategies, to get the fine details of her profession and reveal the expectations she has for The 2nd Annual Anthem Awards.

Read the interview below!

The Anthem Awards warmly welcomes our new judge, Susan McPherson. Serial connector Susan has a high level of expertise in marketing, public relations and corporate sustainability. She has dedicated her career to empowering others by supporting and investing in women-led tech startups. Susan has also shared her advice through storytelling in her books such as The Lost Art of Connecting: The Gather and The Ask, Do Method for Building Meaningful Relationships. 


For those who are unfamiliar, can you tell us a bit about yourself and the work that you do?

With complete admiration and gratitude, I am fortunate to lead a team of 17 strategists at McPherson Strategies, a social impact communications boutique consultancy. We are a nine-year-old, B-Corp certified organization and proud to support Fortune 500 companies, key foundations, and NGOs. I am also the author of The Lost Art of Connecting (McGraw-Hill) and serve on the boards of USA for UNHCR and the 19th News. Additionally, I have funded 22 women-led startups.

What expertise are you bringing as a judge for The Anthem Awards? 

I have spent the last 20 years helping to amplify critical, meaningful impact across multitudes of platforms and channels. Additionally, I helped launch Giving Tuesday in 2012, a global day of giving now operating around the world.

What are you looking for in Anthem Awards entries?

An earnest and authentic commitment to driving social change with tangible and measurable impact.

What does it take for a project or campaign to cause real-world change?

Clear, actionable, and measurable goals with an inspiring engaging story that connects with the audience in a way that mobilizes action.

What social impact campaign, grassroot effort, fundraiser or project has recently inspired you?

We are currently engaging with The Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI), to help them launch Give to Women and Girls Day (October 11, 2022), a national awareness campaign to increase support and funding women and girls’ organizations. WPI measures giving to women’s and girls’ organizations through its Women & Girls Index (WGI) and, while nearly 50,000 organizations are dedicated to advancing women’s and girls’ causes across the United States, the Index consistently shows that less than 2% of all philanthropic support goes to these organizations. Two percent! In partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Give to Women and Girls campaign will be an unprecedented collaborative effort bridging this funding gap by bringing together hundreds of women’s and girls’ nonprofit organizations and leading partners including Giving Tuesday, Ms. Foundation, Philanos, Philanthropy Together, Vital Voices, Women Moving Millions alongside WPI to raise awareness and galvanize philanthropic support for women’s and girls’ causes. 

Don’t miss your chance to get your work in front of Susan – enter the 2nd Annual Anthem Awards by our Extended Entry Deadline October 21 here.

Patagonia – Don’t Buy This Jacket

Patagonia has put social impact at the core of their brand mission and values from the start, and their iconic Don’t Buy This Jacket campaign demonstrates how brands can use their platform to make an impact — or better yet, to help reduce our impact. This 2011 ad ran in the New York Times on Black Friday, making a lasting impression for its bold message addressing the issue of consumerism head on and asking readers to take the Common Threads Initiative pledge to reduce, repair, reuse, recycle, and reimagine a world where we take only what nature can replace.

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Ad Council’s Love Has No Labels Movement

Love Has No Labels is a movement by The Ad Council to promote diversity, equity and inclusion of all people across race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age and ability.

Read our Q&A with Heidi Arthur, the Ad Council’s Chief Campaign Development Officer on the team behind LHNL collaborates with partners to combat implicit bias—from crafting PSAs to driving viewers to take action, to how brands and companies should approach corporate social responsibility with authenticity.

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