Anthem Blog

The Anthem Awards 101

Since 2021, the Anthem Awards has celebrated purpose and mission-driven work. Learn more about what and who we honor.

Social impact work, when uplifted, has the ability to inspire lasting change. Launched by the team behind the Webby Awards, the Anthem Awards celebrates purpose & mission-driven work from people, companies and organizations worldwide. Today, it is the largest and most comprehensive award for social impact work. By amplifying the best-in-class examples of this work, the Anthem Awards will inspire others to take action. 

This year, the 3rd Annual Anthem Awards will honor the potential for social impact work to catalyze change throughout society with the theme Change is a Chain Reaction. Enter by the Extended Entry Deadline by Friday, October 13, 2023.


What is the Anthem Awards?

Presented by the Webby Awards and its judging body, the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences (IADAS), the Anthem Awards was launched with a mission to set a new benchmark for social impact work by amplifying the individuals and companies engaging in this work. It was inspired by a cultural shift that sees people considering the impact of their choices—the food they eat, clothing they wear, media they consume, and the companies or public figures they support.


What Type of Work Does It Honor?

The Anthem Awards accepts work across five areas including: Awareness & Media, Fundraising, Community Engagement, Production, Innovation & Service and Leadership & Team. These areas extend across seven causes celebrated: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Education, Art & Culture, Health, Human & Civil Rights, Humanitarian Action & Services, Responsible Technology, and Sustainability Climate & Environment.

It’s important to note that the Anthem Awards accepts social impact work, made online and off. Whether you have made a digital campaign, run an initiative for underrepresented youth or have launched a new employee engagement project, we want to see it this year.


Who Judges the Anthem Awards?

All work entered is reviewed by social impact experts in the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences (IADAS). Their deep experience and achievements across a range of issue areas exemplify the standard of excellence that The Anthem Awards honors. Anthem Judges include leaders like Nicholas Thompson, CEO, The Atlantic; Brittany Packnett, Vice President of Social Impact, BET; Emily Barfoot, Global Brand Director Dove, Unilever; Christina Swarns, Executive Director, Innocence Project; Trisha Shetty, Founder & CEO, SheSays; Zarna Surti, Global Creative Director, Nike Purpose, and more.

Here’s how judging works: Work is judged on its own merits, based on a standard of excellence for each category established by the academy. The top scoring entries are determined to be Gold, Silver and Bronze Winners. A category may have multiple Winners, or none at all, depending on relevant scoring.


Who Has Won an Anthem Award? 

Individuals, brands, nonprofits and companies making best-in-class impact work are selected as Anthem Winners, and are amplified in the Winners Gallery. In just two years, the Anthem Awards has honored a vast range of winners including; brands like ACLU, Bombas, DEPT®, Disability Justice Project, Dove, Havas, Human Rights Watch, Media.Monks, Nike, Sesame Workshop, The Innocence Project, The New York Times, and public figures like Gloria Steinham, Dr. Jane Goodall, Lil Nas X, Megan Rapinoe and Ryan Reynolds.


What Do You Need to Enter? 

To participate in the Anthem Awards, you’ll need to provide a summaries of the project and strategy, its goals or objective, and its results or impact. Additionally, you may include 5-6 digital assets for each project, including websites, case study pages, case study or demo videos, images, PDFs, podcasts or audio, and social media accounts.

For a full guideline, read our Entry Requirements and all Judging Criteria.


Who Partners with the Anthem Awards?

We launched the Anthem Awards in partnership with leading nonprofit organizations and foundations, to ensure that we honor the wide spectrum of projects making an impact on the world. Anthem Awards’ foundational partners include: Ad Council, Born this Way Foundation, GLAAD, Mozilla Foundation, National Resource Defense Council (NRDC), XQ Institute, and World Wildlife Fund (WWF).


What is New for the 3rd Annual Anthem Awards? 

The 3rd Annual Anthem Awards will recognize that no one seeking to improve the world starts from square one. Positive social change is built on the progress of individuals and organizations that came before — it creates a ripple effect that builds toward equality and equity. With the Anthem Awards, we launched a platform to recognize social impact from local grassroots organizations to large-scale corporate endeavors worldwide. The goal is to amplify your work so that it can inspire others to take action in their own communities, because change is a chain reaction.

This connection also shapes the seven causes we honor—refugee and migrant efforts require an understanding of the climate crisis. Health equity is linked to representation and cultural competence. Responsible technology solutions must consider the industry’s impact on civil rights, and so on. Throughout the season, the Anthem Awards will celebrate these interconnections through new categories, a new content series, and the introduction of new judges.  

New Categories

In consultation with entrants and the Anthem Academy, a suite of new categories have been introduced to honor impact work. New honors include:

  • Books, Stories and Features
  • Best Use of AI
  • Best Use of Technology
  • PR and Earned Media
  • Public Service


New Judges

The Anthem Awards has welcomed a new group of distinguished impact leaders who are driving change in their respective industries to join the Anthem Judging body including;

  • Brittany Packnett, Vice President of Social Impact, BET
  • Mona Chalabi, Data Journalist, The Guardian
  • Alexander Roque, President and Executive Director, Ali Forney Center
  • Jean Oelwang, Founding CEO and President, Virgin Unite
  • Victoria Vrana, CEO, GlobalGiving
  • Kwame Rose, Social Activist, Artist and Writer
  • Yaël Eisenstat, Vice President & Head of Center for Technology and Society, Anti-Defamation League


The 3rd Annual Anthem Awards is officially open! Dive deeper into this year’s new honors, new judges, and see a few reasons to participate before the Extended Entry Deadline on October 13, 2023!

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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