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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the Gold Circle Awards program's most frequently asked questions. If you have additional questions or require further assitance, please contact  goldcircle@asaecenter.org.

  • Why should I consider entering the Gold Circle Awards competition?

The Gold Circle Awards represent the best of association marketing, membership and communications. Receiving the Gold Circle Awards in any category demonstrates the excellence of your work to your peers, fellow staff members and your association’s membership.

  • What organizations may enter the Gold Circle Awards competition?

The Gold Circle Awards competition is open to all 501(c) nonprofit organizations. The competition is open both members and non-members of ASAE. Entries may be submitted on behalf of a 501(c) nonprofit organization by a for-profit business partners; however only the 501(c) nonprofit organization will be recognized as the winner.

  • How do I submit an entry form or multiple entry forms?

All applicants must complete an electronic entry form, even if you are entering a category that requires hard copy submissions. Payment can be submitted via check or credit card. Please note, proof of payment should be sent in along with your entry submission materials by printing out a copy of your payment confirmation.

  • Can required printed materials for an entry submission and check payments be postmarked February 13, 2024.

All entries, materials, and payments must be RECEIVED (not postmarked) at ASAE headquarters by 5:00 p.m. EST on February 13, 2024.

  • Why does the entry submission period end February 13, 2024, when winners are not announced until May? 

Coordinating all of the elements of the awards, including the processing of entries and judging requires time and is managed by volunteers and one staff person at ASAE. In order to give all entries, the consideration they deserve, we need this time for processing and judging.

  • What should I put for the project overview; goals/objective; strategy/tactics and success metrics/results parts of the application?

You should include the following:
  -Project Overview: The Overview should provide an ‘elevator-pitch’ of your entry. Describe what is innovative or creative about your entry. Is there a best practice that you can share with other organizations? Please limit response up to 500 words.
  -Project Goals/Objectives: Goals should be broad and overarching while your objectives should be expressed in specific and measurable terms. When discussing goals, consider describing how the entry factored into your organization’s mission. Please limit response up to 500 words.
  -Strategy/Tactics: Strategy/tactics should outline the plan, strategy, or tactics you used to reach the goals and objectives set. Please limit your response up to 500 words.
  -Success Metrics/Results Achieved: For the measurement of your goals and objectives please indicate your metrics for success. This could include a number of hits to your website per year, how many people are opening and reading your newsletter, comments and data on your communication programs from your member satisfaction surveys, and visits to your online press room or coverage achieved. Please limit your response up to 500 words.

  • What is the difference between Printed/PDF format and Digital Interactive format?

First, remember that you must submit your entry samples in the original format presented to a targeted audience. If your magazine is transmitted to your members as a PDF or a mail hard copy, you can submit it to the contest as a PDF or mail hard copy (for categories that require printed materials, six sets of printed material is required). This format would be considered downloadable or already printed by/for your intended audience in its original intended format, not allowing audience customization or live interaction to the copy displayed. However, if your material uses an interactive web link for audience engagement in the website copy, and/or requires member login to access, this is considered a Digital Interactive format. Both formats are eligible materials for your award submission.

Digital/Interactive entries should include interactive elements, like hyperlinks or a table of contents that allows users to click to the section they are looking for. In other words, users should be able to interact with the entry in some active way other than just reading it.

  • What is the cost to enter the Gold Circle Awards competition? Can my colleague sponsor our entry, so we receive the member rate for the entry fee?

Yes. If anyone on your staff is a member of ASAE, the member entry fee is $150 per entry. The non-member entry fee is $300 for each entry.

  • Approximately how much time does ASAE estimate that it will take to prepare an entry?

It depends on your category and the project or program, but planning is the key to a good application. Part of the application asks you to specify project overview, goals, objectives, metrics, and outcomes so that the judges can evaluate your entry. These factors are critically important in the judging process, so be sure to plan your entry so that you can supply this essential information and remain within the word limit. We recommend that you use the word form version to ensure your application is concise and complete.

  • What forms of payment are accepted for Gold Circle Awards entries?

We accept credit card payments or checks. If you are paying by check you MUST list the check number on your electronic application and a copy of the entry form. Also, if you are submitting an entry that requires hard copies, you must send a copy of the check-in with the entry.

  • Can I submit multiple entries in the same category?

Yes, multiple entries may be submitted by an organization or association in one or more categories, provided each entry is submitted on a separate entry form and includes the additional entry fee and any required samples. A maximum of 2 entries per category for each organization is permitted. An organization may not submit the same entry to multiple categories.

  • Is there a discount for submitting multiple entries?


  • If I submit an entry for one category, but the judges decide that my entry should be in a different category, will it automatically be moved, or have I lost my chance?

Your entry will be checked for accuracy and to make sure it is in the appropriate category. If time allows, ASAE will contact you to correct any inaccuracies in your entry. However, as stated in the Gold Circle Awards Eligibility Requirements, ASAE reserves the right disqualify any entry that includes incomplete or incorrect information.

  • When must my entry have been completed to be eligible for the 2024 Gold Circle Awards program?

Entries in the 2024 Gold Circle Awards program must be completed and/or distributed between January 1 and December 31, 2023.

Judging, Recognition & Ceremony
  • How are entries judged?

The evaluation criteria for each category are listed within the category descriptions published on the Gold Circle Awards website. An independent panel of judges is selected to evaluate submissions within each category entries are scored on a five-point scale within each area of review.

  • Who are the judges?

The judges are volunteers recruited from ASAE membership and non-members with experience in specific categories. Anyone with marketing, membership, and communications expertise can volunteer to serve as a judge. The Gold Circle Awards Committee reviews and approves all requests to be a judge.

  • Can I participate as a judge if my association has entered the competition?

Yes, however, you will not be allowed to judge any category in which your organization or your clients have entered.

  • Do I receive CAE credit if I am a judge?

No, unfortunately, this volunteer opportunity is not eligible for CAE credit.

  • How are winners notified and recognized?

ASAE notifies every winner once winners are selected, via email from the Awards program manager, Khia Azeez. Applicants not selected will also be notified via email following the judging and selection process. Once winners are notified, they will be announced via press release and recognized on ASAE’s website, conference sessions, virtual lunches, and more. Winners will receive a beautiful, engraved crystal trophy that includes their organization name, the Gold Circle Awards logo for that year and the category won.

  • Will ASAE help me with promoting the news if my organization wins an award?

Yes. ASAE will provide a press release template that you can use to spread the word among your media contacts and members. ASAE also issues its own press release listing all the winners.

Additional FAQs
  • Will you return my entry materials following the application period?

No. Entries become the property of ASAE and are included in the Knowledge Center.

  • Will I receive feedback on my entry following the competition?

Your organization may receive feedback on your entry, based on the judge's election to provide feedback/ comments. If they elect to do so, we will provide them to you following the conclusion of the judging process in March.

  • Is there an appeals process if I don’t win?

There is no appeals process. This is an awards competition and decisions agreed to by the Gold Circle Awards judges are final. Entrants are not allowed to lobby for entry.

  • What is the Gold Circle Awards for Overall Excellence and how is it selected?

The Gold Circle Awards for Excellence is chosen from all Gold Circle Awards winners each year. The Gold Circle Awards Committee will review all the winners of Gold Circle Awards and then select one as the “best of the best.” The recipient of this awards is announced during the Marketing, Membership & Communications Conference.

  • Is there a permanent, ongoing roster of winners from previous competitions?

Yes. We have an online list of past Gold Circle Awards winners and honorable mentions available for review, along with the electronic samples of some of these award-winning entries.




Deadline: February 13, 2024 11:59pm EST