Awards Management Software

Plenty of software programs let you collect entries online. But only OpenWater Awards is a true all-in-one software platform designed to streamline and simplify your entire awards program.

Forget manila folders. Ditch the spreadsheets. OpenWater Awards does it all.

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Trusted by Industry Leaders

We use OpenWater not only for our awards programs, but also for grants, fellowships and generally anything that requires an application or judging process. All of this in one central system that integrates nicely with our association management system.

Reggie Henry, CAE

ASAE - Chief Information & Engagement Officer

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Awards Website

Wow applicants and raise the prestige of your award, through an OpenWater awards website.

Advanced Online Submission

Collect large files, set conditional logic, configure email reminders, connect to an API, and build forms with a drag and drop builder.

Judge Online or In-Person

Judges can access submissions online and save their work. Judge with in-person, online, or print core sheets. Make rollup awards programs efficient for regional and national judging.

Admin Tools & Reporting

Comprehensive dashboards to give admins the oversight they need. Export data on the application pipeline, judging progress, or submissions in order to analyze the program.

Awards Website Gallery

Use the gallery as a way to drive traffic to your site and generate buzz about your program and its entrants. Set the gallery to automatically update based on submissions.

Monitor Goals

Monitor the progress of your program throughout the application cycle with dashboard goals. Monitor incoming revenue from entrants to ensure a profitable award cycle.

AMS Integration

Integrate with the leading AMS systems including Fonteva, Personify and iMIS. Connect via an SQL database or Salesforce for information lookups, single sign on, and bidirectional synchronizations.

With Traditional Awards Management

  • Multiple systems are inevitable.

    Most online award management solutions begin and end with entry collection. Tracking, judging and logistics must be handled by hand, via email or on spreadsheets.

  • Look and feel is random.

    Many awards solutions force entrants to a seemingly unconnected site to upload their materials. This confuses users – and even costs associations revenue when submissions are abandoned.

  • Information is scattershot.

    Who’s started an entry? Who’s completed one? Which judges are finished? Which haven’t started? Without real-time reporting and analytics, it’s almost impossible to tell. And if you’re not informed, you can’t make informed decisions.

With OpenWater Awards Software

  • One system is all you need.

    With OpenWater Awards, all tasks – by entrants, judges, chairs and administrators – are handled in one unified, fully integrated solution. Juggling is for the circus – not your awards program.

  • Branding is consistent.

    When you use OpenWater Awards, our team creates a custom-branded upload portal that matches your existing website and visual identity. Users will know they’re in a place they can trust.

  • You’re always in the know.

    OpenWater Awards’ advanced analytics capabilities eliminate confusion and simplify internal and external communication. Key reminders are sent automatically, and it’s easy to tell the status of any action item

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We can guide you to calm waters

See our software in action. Schedule a one-on-one demonstration.

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Awards Software FAQ

  • What is awards software?

    Awards software helps organizations manage the intake of applications, and facilitates the review of awards applications by judges. Robust awards management software platforms integrate with CRM, Salesforce, or an AMS in order to pass back and forth critical information about membership participation.

  • What is an awards system vs. awards software?

    An awards management system is your organizations approach to application intake and judging nominees. An awards management system can involve a set of awards tools, and a set of communication protocols with judges, applicants and volunteers. The best awards managers annually review their system for improvement and efficiencies.

  • What does awards software cost?

    Some organizations will spend a few hundred dollars on a collection of tools to support an awards program. The best awards software platforms usually start at $3,500 for annual usage. Awards software costs can increase depending on the complexity of your program. For instance, some awards software companies will charge for configuration.

  • What features should I look for in awards management software?

    Awards managers should consider the annual cycle of their awards program before selecting the right software. Its common for awards software to include a website for application intake, flexible forms, review tools for in-person or remote judging, along with administrative reporting tools, email communication tools, and API integrations. An awards gallery is useful to promote the program by showing off entrants, or winners.

  • What are the benefits of an awards program?

    Revenue Generation: Through entry fees and other submission-based costs, awards programs can not only cover the cost of the program, but also add to your organization’s revenue. In fact, some organizations use their awards as their main source of revenue!

    Increased Engagement: Awards are an excellent way to maintain and increase engagement. An awards program gives recognition and praise that is important for those trying to succeed in their industry. By recognizing their hard work you are building loyalty and a relationship with your audience.

    Brand Reinforcement: Through careful marketing and branding you can align your program with your organization. This ensures that every aspect of your awards reflects back on your organization. As a result, you can increase publicity and awareness, which can help improve your organization’s standing within your industry.

  • How can I make my awards successful?

    Take time to plan an accurate and appropriate program calendar: Timing is critical for all awards programs. If your call for entry is too short, you may lose out on potential applicants. If you plan your gala near a holiday, no one will show up. Many programs make the mistake of approximating timelines for their awards instead of taking the time to plan things out carefully. What results is a lot of pushing back deadlines, rearranging tasks, and general craziness.

    Link your program to the core values of the organization: Whether you’re just getting started with your awards program, or are a seasoned veteran, take a step back and ask yourself: is your program aligning with the goals and values your organization is trying to promote? A successful awards program will be focused on what the organization is all about and create an opportunity for others in the industry to showcase their similar interests.

    Find well-respected judges: Finding the perfect judges for your awards program is essential, as they can be a huge source of publicity for your awards program. Having a judge who is well known for being an expert in her industry’s field, will greatly add to the value and prestige of your awards program. And on top of the prestige, it also lends legitimacy to your program.

    Analyze their program each year: When your program is over it’s tempting to sit back and relax, but it’s important not to just take a break from things until the next awards season rolls around. Every program should analyze their data in order to understand what worked and what didn’t and how they can use that information to make next years’ awards even better.

  • How can I find judges for my awards?

    Because your judge needs to be an expert in your industry, finding someone with industry-related expertise is a must. Of course, industries are large, so getting someone within your specific niche is even more important. Judges can come from multiple places, even after you narrow down your selection by industry-specific expertise. In fact, judges can come from your clients, employees, general industry experts, or even previous award winners. However, keep in mind that if your program is geared toward your employees, choosing employees as judges won’t be your best idea. There is no formula for finding your perfect judges (tragic, we know). However, keep your goal focused on finding judges that are relevant to your awards and your goals. By doing so, you can add to the prestige and legitimacy of your program.

Ready to start growing your program today?