Civic Excellence in Innovation Awards

In partnership with Civic Federal Credit Union, the NCACC offers the Excellence in Innovation Awards to recognize successful county programs that demonstrate innovative solutions and cost/resource savings for counties.

Cash awards of $1,000 each are given to ten winning programs each year, including services related to general government, health and human services, public information/participation and intergovernmental collaboration. The winning programs are recognized in conjunction with the NCACC Annual Conference held each August.

The 2023 Innovation Award application is now available! Click here to begin an application. The deadline to apply is June 12.

Pro tip: View the list of application questions before you fill out the online form.

Please contact NCACC Manager of Corporate Engagement Matt Bigelow for more information on the Excellence in Innovation Awards.

Awards Background & Application Process

County programs that fit the following descriptions may apply for the awards:

  • General Government — includes programs related to environmental protection, economic development, libraries, arts, parks and recreation, human/race relations, mentoring for employees or youth, and general county administrative services.
  • Human Services — includes programs related to social services, health, mental health and other programs to aid the elderly, disabled, low-income, youth, etc.
  • Public Information/Participation — includes any program that informs and/or seeks to involve citizens in county programs or services. Can be audience specific (news media, civic groups, youth, etc.) or the general citizenry. Can include such activities as Youth Advisory Councils or other citizens groups designed to involve constituents in the decision-making process.
  • Intergovernmental Collaboration — includes any program that involves more than one jurisdiction (i.e. another county, municipality or state or federal agency) in delivering services or information to county citizens.

The categories above are intended to group similar programs together for judging purposes. NCACC staff will organize the applications into the categories based on the description and characteristics of the program. Please note that all county programs are eligible, even if they are not an exact match for one of the categories. If a program doesn’t fit elsewhere, it will be entered as a General Government program.

Each entry must be approved by the county manager or department head. The application must be filled out in its entirety and be received by the NCACC by the posted deadline. The program must have been implemented or improved on between January 1st and December 31st of the preceding year. There is no limit to the number of entries a county may submit, but each county will be limited to a maximum of 2 awards.

Applications are judged by a group of county leaders, department heads, staff, and previous award winners. The judges rate each program on innovative solutions to the stated county need, measurable results, use of available resources, and the ability for the program to be replicated by other counties.

Award winners will be notified of their selection in July of each year. Winners are encouraged to attend the NCACC Annual Conference to be recognized for their achievement. Details will be provided when award winners are selected.