This year, the City of London Corporation is focused on the Corporate Community Engagement programmes of companies, and with four out of six of last year’s winners being SMEs, even the smallest firms should apply, with the closing date being the 18th May 2015.
With last year’s entrants alone contributing a total of 166,242 hours to London’s communities, corporate community engagement in the capital is clearly alive and kicking. And, despite the fact that future-proofing local charities is rewarding in and of itself, companies involved in the awards can also enjoy some long-term business benefits.
Winners and finalists will benefit from the profile-raising PR associated with the Awards, with all applicants invited to the Mansion House to find out who has won. The lucky few receive a ‘Dragon’ from the Lord Mayor Alan Yarrow. Aside from this, organisations from last year’s shortlist also reported winning new business, improving internal relationships and building client reputations long-term, as a result of being finalists.
Lord Mayor Alan Yarrow, said: “We are calling on companies, particularly SMEs, to enter this year’s Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards and share best practice examples of their own community involvement. It’s a priceless investment into their future workforce, and our society. During the 27 years we have held these Awards, we have seen that you don’t have to be a certain type of business to win.”
“The only criteria are community projects which make a real difference to both the businesses and communities. We particularly want to recognize this City’s army of volunteers – deploying their unique expertise and skills in order to safeguard and secure the future of charitable organisations.”
Award Categories are:
Lord Mayor’s Award for Long Standing Achievement
For businesses that have shown a long-term (at least 5 years), sustainable commitment to a wide-ranging programme of community engagement in London, characterised by outstanding levels of staff involvement and strong evidence of leadership from the top.
Heart of the City Award for Best New Community Programme
Recognising businesses that have set up a strategic Corporate Community Involvement programme for the first time in the last three years (i.e. since March 2012).
The Future Proofing Charities Award (previously named the Strengthening the Third Sector Award)
The Future Proofing Charities Award is for businesses that are working with community organisations to help them be more sustainable and therefore better prepared for the future. The category, renamed for this year’s awards, recognises companies that are either working with a community organisation to improve the sustainability of its balance sheet in the long term, giving enhanced financial stability; or helping a community organisation to continue to identify priorities based on client needs. This could be through pro bono or peer to peer mentoring schemes, training staff, improving back office functions, or helping a community organisation develop commercial services for income generation.
The Education and Lifelong Learning Award (previously the Education Award)
For companies working with educational community organisations or schools to raise aspirations, promote continuous learning and improve educational attainment amongst adults and young people.
Enterprise and Employment Award
For companies that are contributing to the economic regeneration of an area through employability initiatives or in support of small businesses.
Community Partners Award
For community organisations (charities, schools, community groups, social enterprises) in London that play a critical role in the delivery of corporate community engagement programmes.