Awards for Excellence FAQ

What Are the Awards for Excellence? 

The GFOA Awards for Excellence recognize outstanding and innovative contributions in the field of government finance. Within this program are two special recognition awards:

  • Small Government Awards are given to organizations with fewer than 200 full-time employees.
  • The Louisville Award for Innovation in Government Finance recognizes an exceptional accomplishment that introduces a new concept or technique with enduring value to the government finance profession.

Why Should I Enter?

Winning GFOA's Award for Excellence is an honor. Winners also can be proud that their creativity and innovation will provide examples for other jurisdictions to follow, promoting best practices in government finance.

Who Can Enter?

All GFOA members are eligible to participate. Non-members may also submit entries, but their applications must be sponsored by an active GFOA member.

How Much Does It Cost? 

There are no fees or charges associated with the program; however, winners must be present at the GFOA’s annual conference to accept the award in person.

What Projects and Programs Are Eligible?

Any project or program that takes the practice of government finance to a higher level of excellence is appropriate for submission. Each application must specify the category in which it will be judged from the choices on the application. GFOA will review all applications to make sure they are categorized appropriately. GFOA reserves the right to reassign submissions to a more appropriate category.

Previously submitted entries cannot be re-submitted.

How Do I Submit an Application?

Complete the official Awards for Excellence application form (available on the Awards for Excellence home page). Please respond to all of the application questions, adding additional pages as needed.

When Is the Deadline?

Your application form and any supporting documentation must be submitted by December 15, 2016.

How Are Entries Judged?

Applications are reviewed by a panel of experienced government finance professionals. Panel members are assigned to review applications in categories in which they have expertise.

What Criteria Are Used to Evaluate the Entries?

Applications are reviewed using standard evaluation criteria that include technical significance, transferability, documentation, originality, cost effectiveness, and finance officer involvement. An Award for Excellence will not necessarily be awarded every year in each category and subcategory.

How Can I Improve My Chances of Winning?

Awards for Excellence winners showcase true innovations, as opposed to well-executed versions of established practices. Clearly document all the benefits the innovation provides to the jurisdiction and its citizens, explaining the local need being addressed and how the idea can be translated to help others in similar situations. Benefits should be quantified in real terms such as budget savings or operational efficiencies. In addition, the materials submitted by the most recent winners are available on the Awards for Excellence home page. Reviewing these documents can provide a good understanding of how to present an innovative project or program.

 What Do I Do If I Win?

Award winners will be notified by April 15, 2017. Winners must accept the award in person at GFOA's annual conference. Winners also will be asked to write an article for GFOA'’s member magazine, Government Finance Review.