Each year, this multifaceted program celebrates the human spirit and showcases the best work by nonprofit organizations in West Central Florida and the individuals that support them.
WEDU PBS invites you to join us for the 13th Annual WEDU Be More Awards as we highlight the best works from area nonprofits as part of an award-winning, nationally-recognized, and multi-media supported event.
2018 WEDU Be More Inspiring, Rising Star Award
Savannah Billet, Beat Nb
Since she was 11 years old, Savannah Billett has been an effective and powerful advocate for kids fighting cancer. The founders of Beat Nb first met Savannah when their son Ezra was diagnosed with neuroblastoma cancer in 2009. She took it on herself to organize a fundraiser at a local restaurant, raising over $500 that evening. Now, as a USF St Pete student, she has raised over $10,000 toward funding clinical trials through Beat Nb, this year organizing a fishing tournament which itself raised over $5,000. She even presented the event to St Pete’s mayor, Rick Kriseman, as a part of her leadership program at USF St Pete. Currently, Savannah is working on the second annual Fishing for the Fight tournament, with a goal of tripling this year’s success. Savannah has presented multiple talks on childhood cancer in the Tampa Bay community, and can often be found at one of Tampa Bay’s local children’s hospitals, spending time with her friend Bella who has been battling neuroblastoma for 8 years. Kids fighting cancer have a strong ally in Savannah.
The Be More Inspiring, Star Award is presented to an individual under the age of 21 who has distinguished him or herself through inspiration, motivation and business acumen and entrepreneurial skills to support an organization or cause.
The WEDU Be More Inspiring, Rising Star Award, recognizes an individual, under the age of 21, who has distinguished himself or herself in the community.
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Recognizes initiatives, projects, and/or services that are unique, creative, or innovative and will be presented to the organization responsible for the development, coordination, delivery, and results of the project.
ACTS (Agency for Community Treatment Services) and Gracepoint
Small Nonprofit Award
Recognizes an organization with a budget under $500,000 and despite its modest size, has a major positive impact on our community.
Judges’ Choice Award
Recognizes an organization demonstrating an overall appeal due to its original and extraordinary approach to its respective project.
Project Prosper, Inc.
Greenberg Traurig Arts & Culture Award
Recognizes culturally-based organizations that contribute to the spirit of adventure and exploration through education in the arts and culture.
duPont Registry Tampa Bay Special Events Award
Recognizes the uniqueness and effectiveness of a special event and the success in achieving outlined objectives.
Engaged Philanthropist Award
Recognizes an individual who has distinguished himself or herself in the nonprofit community by engaging entrepreneurial skills and expertise.
Keli Mondello and Kim Kuruzovich, LiFT (Learning Independence for Tomorrow)
People’s Choice Award
Exhibits the connection and relationship the organization has with the community and the people it serves.
Early Learning Coalition of Pasco and Hernando Counties, Inc.
Nielsen Marketing Campaign Award
Recognizes the execution of creative and results-driven original marketing campaigns using multimedia platforms.
Girl Scouts of West Central Florida
Rising Star Award
Recognizes an individual, under the age of 21, who has distinguished himself or herself in the community.
Savannah Billet, Beat Nb
Mason Dixon Award for Volunteerism
Bestowed upon the individual, family or group that has lent a unique voice to bring awareness, credence, support, or action to an issue or cause.
Kari Bahour, Water Smart Tots
The Bank of Tampa Educational Outreach Award
Recognizes an organization that through a specific project offered guidance, knowledge, emotional or physical support, and/or a mentorship program.
Gulf Coast Jewish & Family Services, Inc.
ABC Action News Award
Bestowed upon an individual or group of people whose simple act of kindness made a tremendous impact on someone’s life.
Bill and Lisa Gray
Best Use of Video Award
Recognizes an organization with the best short video that has the power to compel someone to seek services, volunteer time, or support the organization financially.
Great Explorations Children’s Museum
Nonprofit Organization of the Year
Awarded to one organization that, through a superior level of service, helps their constituency be more.
Starting Right, Now!
The WEDU Be More Awards are open to all nonprofit organizations located in the WEDU PBS viewing area.
This includes: Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Desoto, Highlands, Hardee, Polk, Osceola, Orange, Lake, Sumter, Citrus, Hernando, and Pasco Counties.
The submission of an application or nomination is free of charge to all nonprofit organizations.
- Organizations may apply in more than one category by submitting a separate and distinct application packet.
- All campaigns, events, projects, and programs must have occurred between September 1, 2016 and August 31, 2017.
- Application packets must be submitted in an organized and cohesive manner using the official 2018 WEDU Be More Awards application available for download. Submissions not meeting this condition will not be eligible for an award.
- All submissions become the property of WEDU PBS and will not be returned.
The winning organizations and individuals will be announced during the WEDU Be More Awards luncheon on Thursday, February 22, 2018 at Bryan Glazer Family Jewish Community Center. (Tickets are required to attend.)
The WEDU Be More Awards consist of a variety of categories. Please review the categories to determine the format of your submission. Some categories will require a completed, printed and signed application with supporting materials, while other categories require an online nomination.
If the category you are applying for requires a completed, printed and signed application, all requested information must be included or the applying organization will not be eligible for an award.
For application categories:
- Include 2-4 examples of materials supporting your application that demonstrates why your organization is the most deserving of a WEDU Be More Award.
- Applications must include a current copy of organization IRS determination letter indicating 501(c)(3) status.
- Submitting organizations must include six (6) identical submission packets including your 2-4 examples to be distributed for judging. Copies of your WEDU Be More Awards application must be included with each packet. Applications and supporting materials will not be returned.
Award applications must be postmarked by November 6, 2017. WEDU is located at 1300 N Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33607. Applications may be delivered to WEDU Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hand-delivered applications must arrive by 5 p.m. on November 6, 2017. Late submissions will not be accepted.
Final judging for the 13th Annual WEDU Be More Awards will take place from November 7, 2017 to December 11, 2017. The WEDU Be More Awards judges are impartial business, philanthropic and civic leaders from the WEDU viewing area. Judges will not review any organization’s application with which they have a personal or professional affiliation. All applications will be screened by WEDU staff members to ensure application criteria are met. Judges will not review incomplete applications. All judging is based on a point system. Top nominees in each category will be notified via telephone and a letter from WEDU no later than January 12, 2018. All decisions are final.
Best Practices & Tips for Applying
Over the years, we have collected a number of great ideas and suggestions from our WEDU Be More Awards judges. We hope you will take a few moments and review these helpful hints in order to make the most of your application submission. Good luck!
Tell us a great story:
“We want to not only hear about the overall success and outcomes, but we want to hear the stories of impact. Tell us how your project, event, outreach, or overall organization made a difference.”
Dot your i’s and cross your t’s:
“It’s heartbreaking for any organization to be disqualified because they overlooked including their IRS form or budget information for example. Double check to make sure everything that is required has been included before your application heads out the door.”
Keep it local:
“There are some great local chapters of National Organizations in our area going above and beyond. They need to share their local chapter story of how they are serving our local community.”
Thank the important people:
“Once you have taken the time to complete your application, take an extra minute or two to go online and nominate a volunteer or individual that helped you achieve the success you just described in your application. They’ll be honored you thought of them and they’ll keep coming back.”
Don’t lose focus:
“Focus each answer directly to the category in which you’re applying. So often, organizations will complete the application based on their organization as a whole instead of sharing the attributes of a great Special Event or Marketing Campaign.”
“Make sure if you are applying in multiple categories that your applications are unique and directly relate to the category.”
Play nicely with others:
“Especially in this day and age, nonprofits can’t exist without partners. Tell us about unique ways you collaborated with not only local companies but also with other nonprofit organizations. How did these partners support your outcome?”
“With budgets and staffs shrinking, we want to hear about how organizations have re-engaged, motivated, and mobilized volunteers and members in unique, fun, and effective ways.”
Toot your own horn:
“Just because you’ve been nominated in an online category, don’t stop there. Let your supporters know you need them to vote for you. Build a campaign around it. Shout it from the rooftops. It’s a great way to leverage awareness for your organization and even get lapsed supporters re-engaged. Don’t miss that opportunity.”
The 2018 WEDU Be More Awards are made possible by: