Nominate an Innovative County Program for NACo’s 2019 Achievement Awards

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Harford County wins Best in Arts, Culture and History at the 2018 NACo Achievement Awards

The National Association of Counties is accepting nominations for the 2019 Achievement Awards Program until the March 25, 2019, deadline.

The Achievement Awards Program is a non-competitive awards program that seeks to recognize innovative county government programs. One outstanding program from each category will be selected as the “Best of Category.”


Submission Deadline: March 25, 2019 at 11:59 pm

Notification of Achievement Awards: Week of April 22, 2019
NACo Annual Conference and Exposition: July 11 – 15, 2019, Clark County

Requirements – For each program nominated, general information, program summaries, and payments must be must be submitted to the National Association of Counties (NACo) via the online application portal and payments processed via P.O. must be postmarked by the application deadline.  For more information, please see the HOW TO APPLY section. Judging and review will not take place for unpaid or incomplete applications.

Eligible Nominees – Only county governments and state associations of counties are eligible to submit applications. There is no limit to the number of applications that can be submitted by a single entity. Regional partners are welcome to submit applications for a collective project; however, submitters must identify a single county or state association to submit the application on the group’s behalf.

Program Criteria – 

  1. Programs must accomplish one or more of the following:
    • Offer new services to county residents, fill gaps in the availability of services, fill gaps in or tap new revenue sources
    • Improve the administration of an existing county government program
    • Upgrade the working conditions or level of training for county employees. Enhance the level of citizen participation in, or the understanding of, government programs
    • Provide information that facilitates effective public policy making
    • Promote intergovernmental cooperation and coordination in addressing shared problems
  2. In the case of a program that is in response to a federal or state law, regulation or order, the program must go beyond mere compliance with the statute, regulation or order and must display a creative approach to meeting those requirements.
  3. The program must have measurable results (e.g. cost savings, enhanced employee productivity, improved constituent services, created better intergovernmental cooperation).
  4. The program must be innovative and not rely on techniques or procedures that are common practice in most counties of similar population or size.
  5. All aspects of the program must be consistent with acceptable governmental and financial management practices and must promote general governmental accountability.

Ineligible Programs – 

  • Programs designed to influence laws or regulations
  • Certification or accreditation programs
  • Events that ONLY take place one time, such as conducting a conference, the formation of a task force or the establishment of a committee
  • Programs that are adopted, whole or in part, from other public or private entities
  • Programs, whole or in part, that have received a previous NACo Achievement Award
  • Programs that the purchase of new technology or equipment, the construction of a building or the privatization/contracting out of a function
  • A newsletter or a publication
  • Arts, Culture and Historic PReservation
  • Children and Youth
  • Civic Education and Public Information
  • Community and Economic Development
  • County Administration and Management
  • County Resiliency: Infrastructure, Energy and Sustainability
  • Criminal Justice and Public Safety
  • Financial Management
  • Health
  • Human Services
  • Information Technology
  • Libraries
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Personnel Management, Employment and Training
  • Planning
  • Risk and Emergency Management
  • Transportation
  • Volunteers
Step 1: Prepare the Nomination Summary

  • Abstract of the Program
  • The Problem or Need for the Program
  • Description of the Program
  • Responding to Economic Downturn (optional)
  • The Cost of the Program
  • The Results/Success of the Program
  • Worthiness of Award
  • Supplemental Materials (optional)

Step 2: Sumit Your Information

  • Contact Information
  • Program Information
  • Terms and Conditions