Anthem Blog

How to Find the Right Category in The Anthem Awards

Tips to best honor your social impact work in the 3rd Annual Anthem Awards.

Now in its third year, The Anthem Awards has become the most comprehensive award of its kind for the impact industry. With purpose-driven work becoming more critical, we honor the breadth of ways this work shows up. The 3rd Annual Anthem Awards features categories to honor by renowned businesses, nonprofit organizations, firms, agencies and tech companies that have answered the call to create impactful work.

Ready to set a new benchmark for social impact work? Dive into our guide on how to find the category that best suits your work, and enter before the Extended Entry Deadline on October 13.


Tip 1: Pick and Champion Your Cause(s)

We’ve designed the Anthem Awards to honor work that tackles seven important causes: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; Education, Art & Culture; Health; Human & Civil Rights;  Humanitarian Action & Services; Responsible Technology and Sustainability, Climate & Environment

Our advice is to select the causes that your work best represents, and achieve the greatest impact within. Your results and impact should clearly be focused on your selected cause. Please note, an entry can be entered in multiple causes and categories across, as you deem appropriate.


Tip 2. Choose Nonprofit vs For Profit

The Anthem Awards honors social impact work made by both Nonprofits and For Profit companies. Determine if you are a For Profit company entering your own work or on behalf of a nonprofit, or a Nonprofit, tax exempt organization entering your own work.


Tip 3: Consider the Impact Area That Best Suits Your Work

We accept work addressing each cause across five areas of impact work—each area with a subset of categories that speak to the unique characteristics that shape the work. Below are the areas of impact we honor, and the types of work that fall underneath them. 

Awareness & Media Categories 

These categories recognize projects that inform people about an issue, increase awareness and mobilize action at all levels. These categories are best suited for work like: impact campaigns, multimedia communications (e.g. online publications, social media, print media, audio and video), ad campaigns, research projects, as well as in-person events or activations. 

Community Engagement Categories 

Do you run a program for your local community, or maybe you’ve launched a corporate social responsibility campaign? Consider entering our Community Engagement categories, which include community fitness initiatives, networking opportunities for marginalized groups, public service efforts, the creation of communal spaces and more. Learn more about our Community Engagement categories.  

Fundraising Categories

If you have focused on raising funds for important causes or community organizations, our Fundraising categories are for you. These will honor best fundraising strategies, fundraising campaigns for brands or nonprofits, partnership efforts, virtual and in-person charity events, etc. Past winners have raised funds for the housing crisis, global hunger, COVID-19 relief, and more.

Product, Innovation or Service Categories 

If you are using technology to develop resources, tools or innovations to address social issues, enter your work in our Product, Innovation or Service categories. These honors cover foundations for diverse tech entrepreneurs, accessible technology products, social impact-focused apps, and more.

Team & Leadership 

If your company or organization is taking steps to foster better internal cultures and empower its members, consider entering our Team & Leadership categories. Honors for this work cover internal programs like Employee Retention Initiatives, ERG Initiatives or Hiring Initiatives. You can also choose to nominate an individual member of your team for Business Leader of the Year, Young Leader of the Year, and Nonprofit Leader of the Year.


Tip 4: Consider the Strengths of Your Work

Determine where your project’s strengths lie to decide which categories suit it best. For example, a joint podcast between a media company and institution would do well in both Podcast or Audio and Partnership or Collaboration categories.  Also, if your work focuses on creative skill or expertise, enter it in our craft categories. They include:

    • Best Strategy – Awareness & Media 
    • Best Use of Data – Awareness & Media 
    • Best PR or Earned Media Campaign – Awareness & Media 
    • Best Influencer Endorsement – Awareness & Media 
    • Best Use of AI – Product, Innovation or Service
    • Best Use of Technology – Product, Innovation or Service
    • Innovation – Product, Innovation or Service


Tip 5: Ask Us for Category Suggestions 

Still wondering where to enter? Our Customer Service Manager Kara Cleary is here to help answer all of your questions about the new season, categories, and our judging process! Feel free to tell her about your project, as she can help recommend categories best suited to your work.


To honor all your social impact work, whether it’s a campaign, online resource, community event, or something else entirely, enter the 3rd Annual Anthem Awards before the Final Entry Deadline on September 15, 2023

The Anthem Awards hails work across Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Education, Arts & Culture, Health, Human & Civil Rights, Humanitarian Action & Services, Responsible Technology, and Sustainability, Climate & Environment.

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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