Awards for Excellence FAQ

What Are the Awards for Excellence? 

GFOA’s Awards for Excellence recognize innovative contributions in the field of government finance and leading examples of best practice implementation.

  • GFOA also offers The Louisville Award for Innovation in Government Finance that recognizes an exceptional accomplishment that introduces a new concept or technique with enduring value to the government finance profession.

Why Participate in the Award?

GFOA relies on governments to showcase successful demonstrations of best practice and innovative concepts to educate peer organizations. Winners and those nominating entities for consideration can be proud that creative and innovative projects will provide examples for other jurisdictions to follow, promoting best practices in government finance.

Who Can Enter?

Only governmental entities are eligible for award. Anyone is eligible to nominate a governmental entity for consideration. GFOA membership is a requirement to participate. Non-members may also submit entries, but their applications must be sponsored by an active GFOA member. Applicants can also join in conjunction with submitting an entry.

How Much Does It Cost? 

There are no fees or charges associated with the program. Winners can accept their award in person at the 2019 annual conference in Los Angeles, CA on May 19-22. GFOA will pay conference registration fees for up to two (2) individuals from the award recipient and the individual responsible for submitting the application.

What Projects and Programs Are Eligible?

Any innovative or well-implemented project or program that takes the practice of government finance to a higher level is appropriate for submission. Each application must specify the category in which it will be judged (Creative Solution or Best Practice) as identified on page 1 of this 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. Applications should be submitted for programs or projects that have been recently implemented or where program/project benefits have been recently achieved (within the past two (2) years).

Previously submitted entries cannot be re-submitted.

How Do I Submit an Application?

Complete the online Awards for Excellence application available here.

When Is the Deadline?

Applications are due on March 1, 2019.

How Are Entries Judged?

A panel of experienced government finance professionals and GFOA staff will review all applications. Panel members are selected based on their expertise on a broad range of topics related to government finance.

What Criteria Are Used to Evaluate the Entries?

Applications will be reviewed using standard evaluation criteria including local significance/value, originality, implementation, and overall contribution to the government finance profession.

How Can I Improve My Chances of Winning?

Awards for Excellence winners showcase work that goes above and beyond in terms of overcoming challenges, implementing best practices, and developing innovative solutions to improve the state of public financial management. Clearly document all the benefits the submission provides to the organization, its financial management outcomes, and overall long term-fiscal sustainability.

 What Do I Do If I Win?


Award winners will be notified by April 5, 2019. Winners can accept their award in person at the 2019 annual conference in Los Angeles, CA on May 19-22. GFOA will pay conference registration fees for up to two (2) individuals from the award recipient, if accepting in person.

Winners may be asked to participate in a case study about their project/program, provide documents and examples for sharing with other GFOA members, speak at one of GFOA’s conference sessions or write an article for GFOA’s member magazine, Government Finance Review.