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Salute to Excellence

What is Salute to Excellence?

Salute to Excellence is the largest nonprofit awards ceremony in the country. Each fall, CNM hosts an awards presentation that honors area nonprofits for their commitment to management excellence.

Please check this page for ongoing updates about the 2021 virtual event.

When and where will the Salute to Excellence Awards be held?

Salute to Excellence will be held on October 21, 2021 as a virtual event. Stay tuned for more details about this year’s event.

Why should I apply?

Being a Salute winner and finalist is a great honor, and both winners and finalists receive community recognition and cash prizes to benefit the future of their organizations. Nonprofits are able to tell their story and be recognized for the great work that they are doing in the community.

How many awards can I apply for?

Each organization is eligible to apply for a maximum of two Salute to Excellence awards.

Can I save my work once I have started the application?

Applications cannot be saved once started, so it is recommended that you preview the application and gather the information in advance by clicking “Description” to access a PDF version of the application. You should allow plenty of time for completion. You will receive a confirmation once the application is complete and submitted.

What are some factors to consider when applying?

When applying, please consider if your organization meets the general requirements for applications. In addition, each award has specific requirements described in the application. Each application contains comprehensive questions; please use the preview link to review and map out your responses before beginning the process.

What are some tips to consider when applying?

  1. Consider what is going on day-to-day in your organization and what sets the individual or organization apart from anyone and anything else.
  2. It is important to effectively tell your organization’s story. Consider the questions as if you were having a conversation: be brief, heart-felt, and meaningful in your responses. Feel free to incorporate information about the specific challenges of 2020 and beyond.
  3. Select one person as the nominator for your organization or the individual to eliminate multiple entries.
  4. Have someone proofread and edit your responses before submitting your application.
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Who judges the Salute Applications and how do they make their decisions?

Each award will have a panel of 7-8 community volunteers that will read through the applications. They have discussions on if the application meets the award description and requirements, then make the recommendation of winners and finalists to CNM. In the case of The Frist Foundation, The United Way of Greater Nashville, and The Erie Chapman Foundation awards, panelists also make site visits to the finalist organizations, to be held virtually for the 2021 event.

When will I know if my organization was selected as a finalist?

All finalists will be announced by the end of June 2021. This ensures that all of our award review panels have time to thoughtfully deliberate once applications are submitted.

What to expect if you are chosen as a Salute Awards Finalist?

If you are selected as a finalist for any of the Salute to Excellence awards, please expect to submit photos, videos and other supplemental materials within the allotted time frame to CNM. Finalists will also need to select a representative to be interviewed on-camera to create a video segment that captures the essence of your organization’s story.