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Salute to Excellence

What is Salute to Excellence?

For 30 years, CNM’s ‘Salute to Excellence’ has been a cornerstone event in Middle Tennessee, celebrating nonprofit leadership, impact, and innovation. Over the years, the event has honored over 600 nonprofit organizations and awarded over $3.5 million to exemplary organizations and their leadership.

As the nation’s largest nonprofit award ceremony, last year’s event featured 34 finalists in 12 award categories of excellence. The finalist organizations comprise large and small nonprofits in diverse service areas supporting communities across Middle Tennessee. Winning organizations will receive cash prizes in amounts collectively totaling more than $250,000 and recognition for their accomplishments in serving the Middle Tennessee community.

How do I join as a Salute to Excellence event sponsor?

Local nonprofits bring exceptional grit and resolve to the table, making incredible strides toward social change. We celebrate with great pride and gratitude for their countless achievements throughout this past year. We invite you to join local nonprofit leaders and community influencers by partnering with CNM as a future ‘Salute to Excellence’ event sponsor.

As a CNM partner, your funding will support nonprofit strategic growth, capacity building, and sustain CNM’s strength as the social sector’s hub and thought leader. Connect with our Director of Development & Marketing, Kara Duke, to explore upcoming Salute Event Sponsor Opportunities.

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.

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

Each award will have a panel of 5-8 community volunteers reading through the applications. They discuss if the application meets the award description and requirements, then recommend winners and finalists to CNM.

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

Salute to Excellence will be held on October 24th at the Nashville Music City Center – Karl F. Dean Ballroom. The venue is located at 201 Rep. John Lewis Way South, Nashville, TN 37203 (see map below).

Music City Center is Nashville’s convention center located in the heart of downtown. The 2.1 million square foot facility opened in 2013 and was built so that Nashville could host large, city-wide conventions in the downtown area. The mission of Music City Center is to create significant economic benefit for the citizens of the greater Nashville region by attracting local and national events while focusing on community inclusion, sustainability and exceptional customer service delivered by our talented team members.

(Nashville Music City Center Maps & Parking)

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.

Finalists will be provided with (2) complimentary tickets. Information on these tickets will be emailed to you directly.

When is the deadline for applications?

The deadline for Salute to Excellence Applications is July 12!

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.