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3 Reasons Why Your Reviewers are Always Late

3 Reasons Why Your Reviewers are Always Late


The reviewing deadline is tomorrow but the reviewers are nowhere near complete. What’s going on?


While it may sometimes feel like you have to herd cats, the truth is that reviewers are often volunteers and busy people. In this article we share some tips to help make reviewing less burdensome for both you and your volunteers.

We’ve all been there – having an important task to do at hand but somehow always finding ourselves at a loss of time to complete them. Let’s find out why your reviewers are finding themselves in the same position every time application season rolls around, and what we can do to fix it.


Reason 1: Your reviewers are having trouble accessing their assignments.

Never rule out the possibility that your reviewers may be struggling to get into the system itself. Are they having trouble understanding what assignments they’ve been assigned, and how to score/rank them? It doesn’t matter how advanced and robust the system is if the entrypoint isn’t intuitive.


The “Judges” tab on the dashboard allows administrators to view when reviewers last signed into the platform.


SOLUTION: Make sure your instructions to reviewers are as clear as possible. Did you know that OpenWater also allows you to check if reviewers are actually logging in? By keeping tabs on whether or not your reviewers are actually logging into the system, you can ensure success by anticipating if your reviewers may be experiencing any technical difficulties.


Reason 2: Reviewers aren’t paying close enough attention to deadlines…because they don’t know when it is.

If reviewers are waiting until the last minute to get their assignments completed, it could be a sign that they’re not getting enough reminders throughout the course of the review period. After all, reviewers are reviewers for a reason; they’re experts and leaders in their respective fields. They’re going to be busy people.


An example using the OpenWater Email Wizard to send reviewers with incomplete assignments a reminder using an email blast.


SOLUTION: Schedule custom email reminders to go to reviewers in the lead-up to the deadlines. With enough snoozes, reviewers tend to eventually get the job done.


Reason 3: You aren’t picking the right reviewers.

Sometimes people just aren’t the right fit. Instead of wasting time with people who might not be giving you a 100%, the quicker you can get to searching for the best people to serve your program, the easier it becomes to alleviate administrative stress on your end.

On top of that, there’s no reason that reviewers need to be marketed any differently from your program winners; just as your program seeks to find and reward the best people, the same kind of qualities are what you would be looking for in a reviewer. An added benefit – a high profile group of reviewers adds a tremendous amount of value to the respect and demand for a program.

SOLUTION: Audit who your reviewers are. Think about who might be a right fit and who should be cycled out. Then use a custom gallery to promote your reviewers on your website.



These are the 3 A’s of setting your reviewers up for success. Making sure that they have access to the program, bringing deadlines to their attention more effectively, and auditing to ensure a constant level of commitment to the program out of your core group of reviewers. By setting your reviewers up for success, you’re setting your applicants up for the same as well.


Annika is a Content Marketing Associate at OpenWater, where she helps our clients better navigate the challenges they may encounter in the associations world. She has a passion in helping organizations and nonprofits share their stories with the growing technology sector. When she's not typing away on her keyboard in our Arlington HQ, she's steering boats on the Potomac River or running the streets of DC.

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