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Following are several tips for preparing an effective entry for the Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award program or the Louise Herring Philosophy-in-Action Member Service Award program.

Before entering:
Set aside a specific file for all your program documents. You'll need those photos, thank-you notes and newspaper clippings when you actually put your entry together!
Plan to track your program's progress from the beginning. Clearly state your goals and how you plan to accomplish them.
Document all project activities and events, funds raised and distributed or number of people served, and letters and media coverage received.
Keep in touch with any partnering agencies or groups to monitor the impact your program is having on those they serve.

When compiling your entry:
Follow the format of the entry form, and answer all questions when describing your project. Judges carefully consider the answers to questions on goals, implementation, results, coverage, etc.
Include the items you've been saving that will bring your entry to life for the judges. Photos, thank-you letters, articles, etc., all help the judges have a better understanding of your program.
Keep in mind that quality, not quantity, is the key. Choose the most representative items to include, rather than everything associated with your program.
Put yourself in the judge's shoes. What would you look for in an entry?
Content courtesy of Credit Union National Association.