JCCs of North America Excellence Awards

Outstanding achievements help JCCs of North America build meaningful Jewish community. The JCCs of North America Excellence Awards honor exceptional institutional efforts, and hold them up as examples so that all JCCs may learn from them.

The creativity and resourcefulness embodied in these achievements serve as an inspiration to all of us, and embody the vitality of the JCC Movement.

We will bestow two levels of awards to winning entries:

Zahav Award (Gold Standard)
Truly outstanding, visionary initiatives with maximum impact or potential for change.


Kol Ha Kavod (Honor to You)
Exemplary initiatives that can be adapted by other JCCs.

Guidelines for Submission:

  1. Only affiliated JCCs, YM-YWHAs, and independent overnight camps in good standing may apply.
  2. Each JCC/Y/camp may submit one entry per lettered award category A – E and G – L, and up to three entries in category F (Programmatic Excellence and User Engagement). Following these guidelines, a JCC may submit up to 14 entries in total.
  3. The initiative must have been started or significantly improved since November 1, 2013.
  4. All entries should be submitted between August 1 and November 15, 2015, using the online application.You will be asked to submit the following information for each entry on the submission form:
    • Who was/is the lead staff person for this initiative?
    • Did this initiative have a lay chair?
    • In 75 words or less, describe the initiative in clear and compelling language. You can also include a 60 second video about your program (view video guidelines at: d.jcca.org/biennial2016/Video_Guidelines.pdf). PLEASE NOTE: If your submission wins an award, this is the text (and potentially the video) that will be used to share your initiative with the world.
    • WHY did you do it? (e.g., What was the motivation behind this initiative? What was the problem, the challenge, the opportunity, etc., and what did you hope to accomplish for your JCC?) (Maximum 400 words)
    • HOW did you do it? (e.g., What steps did you implement to solve the problem, meet the challenge, seize the opportunity?) Please be sure to indicate the financial and human resources required, as well as key dates (when planning began, when program was launched, etc.). (Maximum 400 words)
    • WHAT happened? (e.g., What were the outcomes? What has been the impact on your JCC, your staff, your community?) PLEASE PROVIDE METRICS – the specific quantitative and qualitative criteria you used in evaluating the success of this effort. (e.g., amount of dollars raised, number of members or participants joined/increased, impressions seen, etc.) (Maximum 400 words)
    • ADAPTABILITY: What resources would be needed to make this program work at another JCC? One of the key objectives for these awards is to help other JCCs to implement high quality programs
  5. All fields are mandatory.
  6. Submission instructions:
    • All materials must be submitted electronically, with option to attach supporting files.
    • All award submissions are encouraged to submit hard copy collateral and supporting material via snail mail as well, if it is important to the program/service, and/or strengthens the submission.
    • All marketing submissions MUST snail mail (2) copies of submitted material, wherever applicable (printed materials, swag, and the like.)
    • When submitting hard copies, entrants should print their e-mailed receipt from the electronic submission, and include it with hard copy to ensure easy identification.
      Please mail any applicable collateral, supporting materials, and/or marketing materials, along with a print of the e-mailed receipt from your electronic submission to:
      Robert Poleszak
      Marketing Administrator
      JCC Association
      520 Eighth Avenue, 4th Floor
      New York, NY 10018
      Must be postmarked by November 15, 2015
  7. All entries become property of JCC Association and may be used to promote JCCs of North America.

Criteria

  1. Clarity of objectives
  2. Strategic excellence
  3. Connection to Jewish Life—priority will be given to initiatives that further the JCC’s primary purpose, as detailed in the JCC Movement Vision & Statement of Principles for the 21st Century. Visit jcca.org/commentary for the complete text.
  4. Effectiveness–please include as many metrics as possible
  5. Adaptability for use by other JCCs
  6. Entries will be considered in terms of innovative qualities.
  7. Branding (where appropriate): the extent to which any collateral materials reflect the JCC Movement brand (if submission does not use the JCC Movement brand, demonstrate how materials reflect the JCC local brand).

FAQs

Who will be judging my entries?
JCC Association staff.

How many entries may I submit?
Each JCC, YM-YWHA, or independent overnight camp may submit up to 14 entries. You may submit one entry for each of the lettered categories A-E and G-L, and up to three entries for category F. How can I make sure you have received my entries? If you do not receive an email confirmation following your submission, please e-mail mktg@jcca.org.

When and how will the winners be announced?
Winners will be notified in February 2016 and honored in May at Biennial 2016 in Baltimore. Zahav award-winning entries will be featured at the Biennial and at the JCCs of North America Professional Conference in 2017. Zahav award and Kol Ha Kavod award-winning entries will be listed on the 2016 Biennial website and on JCCA.me. All award winners will receive certificates and your delegation can be photographed at the Biennial.

Questions about submitting entries should be addressed to mktg@jcca.org.

Lay Leadership Excellence Awards

You may submit one entry per lettered category, A-D.
Submit entries online.

A – Philanthropic Leadership:

How have your JCC’s board members, as a whole,  taken responsibility for leading the fundraising efforts of the JCC in all or any of the following areas?

  • Planned Giving and bequests
  • Major donors
  • Fundraising Events

B – Lay/Professional Partnerships:

How has your board, as a whole, collaborated with the executive director/CEO and staff team to create an excellent JCC in all or any of the following areas?

  • Hire, supervise and support the executive director/CEO
  • Develop strong collaborative relationships with the staff team

C – Strategic Oversight

How has your JCC ensured the financial well-being of the JCC and positioned it for success in all or any of the following areas?

  • Strategic planning, business planning
  • Financial oversight/fiduciary duty
  • Advocacy beyond the JCC walls

D – Board Cultivation

How has the JCC recruited, trained and developed a strong and effective board in all or any of the following areas?

  • Orientation and training, ensuring that board members understand their roles and responsibilities
  • Mentorships
  • Representation from the full spectrum of stakeholders, including young leaders
  • Nurturing a strong connection to the Jewish mission/values of the JCC, to Israel, and to the Jewish people

Program & Operations

You may submit one entry per lettered categories E, G, and H, and up to three entries for category F, Programmatic Excellence and User Engagement.
Submit entries online.

E – Jewish Impact

How has your JCC impacted your members, the Jewish community and the general community in any or all of the following areas?

  • Programs, activities and experiences that foster Jewish identity
  • Programs, activities and experiences that enhance Jewish life in your community
  • Initiatives that foster intra- and inter-agency collaborations, support and development to strengthen Jewish life in your community
  • Programs, activities and experiences that enhance the Jewish ambiance and environment of the JCC
  • Programs, activities and experiences that build bridges with Israel

F – Programmatic Excellence and User Engagement

What programs has your JCC developed that are succeeding in a competitive marketplace in terms of quality and value? In what ways do these programs project a sense of connection to the community? (You may submit up to three entries in this category.)

  • Adults, Arts & Culture, Day & Overnight Camp, Early Childhood Education & Family Engagement, Israel, Social Action, Sports & Wellness, Teens, etc.

G – Attracting and Retaining the Best Staff

How has your JCC recruited, trained, and developed a strong and effective staff team in any or all of the following areas?

  • Recruitment
  • Orientation and training, ensuring that staff members understand their roles and responsibilities, building a sense of team
  • Mentorships, staff development
  • Compelling opportunities for professional growth
  • Nurturing a strong connection to the Jewish mission/values of the JCC, to Israel, and to the Jewish people
  • Employee recognition

H – Maintaining Financial Sustainability and Growth

How has your JCC developed and/or implemented a plan for financial sustainability and growth, using strategies in all of the following areas?

  • Development of strategic or business plan (including impact on operating results)
  • Membership models/other revenue plans
  • Investment plans and/or endowment plans
  • Capital planning, funding depreciation

Marketing & Communications

You may submit one entry per lettered category, I-L.
Submit entries online.

I – Planning

What strategies have you used to plan the marketing of your JCC to ensure its success?

  • Developed marketing plan (strategy, budget, SWOT, etc.)
  • Used marketing lay committee
  • Media plan – coordinated approach to promoting a program or event(s)

J – J Brand Implementation and Execution

How has your JCC implemented the new J brand to ensure consistent and appropriate messaging to members, the Jewish community and the general community in any or all of the following areas?

  • Staff/board buy-in and training
  • Consistent messaging/language
  • Positioning the JCC in the community and the marketplace
  • Look and feel
  • Brand voice
  • Signage/facility
  • Implementation at every touch-point

K – Inbound Marketing

(Inbound marketing refers to marketing activities that bring visitors in. Inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people tgoward your company and product.) How has your JCC used inbound marketing to ensure the success of your JCC and its initiatives through any of the following areas?

  • Blog
  • Cross-selling JCC programs & services campaign
  • E-commerce/merchandising campaign
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) strategy
  • Twitter
  • Video/YouTube channel/Vine
  • Word of mouth

L – Outbound Marketing

(The traditional form of marketing where a company initiates the conversation and sends its message out to an audience.)

  • Broadcast (TV/radio)
  • Cross-selling JCC programs & services campaign
  • Direct marketing campaign
  • E-newsletter
  • PR campaign
  • Print
  • Web advertising
  • Website

Submit Your Entries

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