EXCEL Awards

The EXCEL Awards recognize excellence and leadership in nonprofit association media, publishing, marketing and communications. The competition is open to nonprofit organizations and for-profit industry service partners submitting on behalf of association clients, regardless of whether they are members of Association Media & Publishing to enter.

Winners are announced in June, featured in the August/September issue of Signature magazine, and honored during our Annual EXCEL Awards Gala, a dinner and celebration that kicks off the Association Media & Publishing Annual Meeting.

2018 Categories  |  2017 Winners

Eligibility and Rules

  • The Association Media & Publishing EXCEL Awards competition is open to all 501(c) nonprofit organizations and their service partners, regardless of membership status in AM&P.
  • Entries, paper or digital, must have been published between January 1, 2017, and December 31, 2017.
  • Entries may be submitted on behalf of a 501(c) nonprofit organization by a for-profit industry service partner. The submitting service partner will be recognized, but only the nonprofit will be designated the winner.
  • An entry may be entered in more than one category. However, it must be submitted as a separate entry for each category and separate entry fees must be paid for each submission.
  • Multiple entries from an organization may be submitted in the same category and separate entry fees must be paid for each submission.
  • To be eligible for the AM&P member rate, your organization’s dues must have been paid in full at the time of entry. Apply for membership.
  • Payment for your entries can be made by credit card.
  • Some of the entry materials required can be uploaded, but for other categories you’ll need to ship materials to us. Please make sure that required materials are sent by the entry deadline and that each item has its unique identification barcode attached.
  • All eligible entries must include a high-resolution PDF or jpeg image of the entry (e.g. magazine /journal cover, article opening spread, annual report, newsletter, marketing campaign, screenshot, etc.) These images will be used to represent the winners at the EXCEL Awards Gala presentation as well as in  Signature magazine’s EXCEL Awards Special Edition.
  • AM&P staff and EXCEL judges reserve the right to change categories of entries, if needed to adhere to submission criteria.

How to Enter

There are 113 award categories, each with its own customized entry form. To ensure a level playing field, most awards have four tiers based on circulation.


Every entry must be submitted and paid for online. Many categories also require materials to be mailed to AM&P.

To enter:

  • Create or log in to your account
  • Select the category for the entry you are submitting.
  • Fill in the requested details about your entry.
  • Upload the requested materials.
  • After you have submitted your first entry, you will be able to submit additional entries in any of the categories.
  • Pay the fee.

If you mail materials to AM&P:

Some categories require printed materials to be mailed to us. After you’ve completed the online portion of your entry, print a copy of the shipping bar code for each item you will be sending us by mail. Each item will have a unique bar code. For example, if a category requires two copies of three consecutive issues of a magazine, you will get 3 bar codes, one for each item. Attach one ticket to each item and then attach the two sets together with an elastic band.

Mail the entries to:

Attn: AM&P Excel Awards
1090 Vermont Ave, NW, Sixth Floor
Washington, DC 20005

Entries submitted incorrectly may not be accepted for the competition. Please read the instructions carefully for each category to avoid errors.


Note: All entry fees are non-refundable.

Early Bird – November 6, 2017 to January 19,2018

Member: $115
Nonmember: $280

Regular Deadline: January 20, 2018 to February 16, 2018

Member: $140
Nonmember: $295

Extended Deadline: February 17, 2018 to March 2, 2018

Member: $175
Nonmember: $350

How to Volunteer as a Judge

EXCEL judges play a critical in the success of the Awards.  The peer-review judging process ensures the high quality and caliber of the work selected to win an award. Judging can take place online (for all digital award entries) and onsite (for all physical print entries). In either case, you will play a valuable role in maintaining the integrity and authenticity of the EXCEL Awards.

Please submit the Judge Application Questionnaire by Friday, March 9, 2018. Selected candidates will be notified on a rolling basis, no later than March 16, 2018. Online judging is March 19-April 9 and onsite judging is April 9.

If you are an entrant: after logging in to your Acclaim account, you will see a "judging questionnaire" on the left sidebar. Fill out the questionnaire to sign up as a judge.

If you are not an entrant or haven't created your Acclaim account: follow this link to create an account, scroll all the way to the bottom of the welcome page, and under 'judging' click the questionnaire.

The onsite judging location is at the National Restaurant Association (2055 L St NW #700, Washington, DC 20036).


Contact Allison Bostrom at awards@associationmediaandpublishing.org.