Award Procedures and Criteria


AWARD CRITERIA

Committee Composition

  • Names of the members of the Awards Committee shall be made public.
  • Committee shall be comprised of an odd number of voting members not to exceed 9 persons.
  • The committee must be comprised of one member of the board. Only one paid staff member may serve as an Awards Committee member during each year. The staff member will serve in an administrative role and not have voting powers.
  • Gender balance of voting membership is required to the extent possible with an odd-numbered committee, e.g. 4/3 for a committee of seven voting members. Gender shall be defined by the self-identification of the proposed Awards Committee participant.
  • To the greatest extent possible, each sexual orientation or gender identity constituency of OutReach must be represented, i.e., bisexual, gay male, lesbian, transgender, and ally. Orientation and gender shall be self-defined by the proposed Awards Committee participant.
  • Committee must have at least one member who is a person of color. Significant effort will be made to comprise a racially and ethnically diverse Awards Committee. Racial or ethnic origin shall be defined by the self-identification of the proposed Awards Committee participant.
  • All Awards Committee members must agree to the Mission of OutReach, as established in the organizational bylaws.
  • If an Awards Committee member is an immediate family member, domestic partner or spouse of an Award nominee that person must resign or the nomination must be withdrawn.
  • A person who submits an Award Nomination may not serve as an Awards Committee member.

NOTE: A single individual may fulfill several of the required committee membership composition components.

Desired Qualifications and Qualities of potential Awards Committee members -

  • Receipt of an award from OutReach in prior years.
  • Enough experience with the LGBT communities to effectively evaluate a nominee’s impact, stature and appropriateness to receive an Award from OutReach.
  • Willingness to evaluate each nominee on the appropriateness of the nominee for the award without personal considerations or connections.

Procedures

Creating the Annual Awards Committee

The OutReach Executive Director and/or the assigned staff member shall solicit interest in participation on the Awards Committee starting two months in advance of the Annual Banquet. The assigned staff member will record names, contact phone numbers, email addresses and street addresses as well as participant characteristics pertinent to Committee composition.

Starting the month of July, staff of OutReach should begin to reach out to the community in order to identify potential members of the Awards Committee. Staff of OutReach will review the list and send the Awards Committee Procedures and Award Selection Criteria to the people from the list who would comprise a committee best meeting the compositional requirements and other desired qualities. Within two weeks of sending the information, the assigned staff person of OutReach will contact these people and confirm willingness to participate on the Awards Committee.

If the number of people who are willing to participate will not meet the compositional requirements, staff of OutReach will re-review the list of names and make additional contacts following the same notification process. If after a second attempt an Awards Committee cannot be comprised that conforms to all compositional requirements, the staff of OutReach will meet with the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors, to compose the Awards Committee for that year.

On the first business day following closure of nominations, the assigned staff will contact the Awards Committee to determine if ANY relationship (platonic or romantic) to a nominee or any other potential conflict of interest will disqualify any Committee member. If so, that person will be excused with thanks.

Actions of the Awards Committee

  1. The Chair of the Special Events Committee will convene the meeting of the Awards Committee.
  2. The Chair of the Special Events Committee will review the Awards Criteria with the Committee members and provide clarification, if needed.
  3. The Awards Committee’s first activity will be to select a Chairperson.
  4. The Chairperson will call any subsequent meetings with the assistance of OutReach staff.
  5. Nominations will be reviewed at the convening meeting but no vote may be taken until votes are sent via e-mail to the assigned OutReach staff member on the committee.
  6. Two-thirds of the Awards Committee must be present for a vote to be taken.
  7. A member may participate through electronic media. There will be no proxy ballots.
  8. No person may appear before the Awards Committee to advocate for a nominee. If the Committee requires additional information, the Chair will contact one or more of the nominators.
  9. Each member on the Awards Committee will email their selections to the staff person on the committee. They will tally the votes and email the selections to the Awards Committee. The committee can reconvene a second meeting to discuss any tie-breaking decision that is needed or if more discussion is required in order for a vote to be reached.
  10. The assigned staff member of OutReach will present the numeric winner and second highest vote getter for each award, as recommended by the Awards Committee, to the President of the Board of Directors. If the Awards Committee has no second nominee meeting the Award selection criteria, this shall be indicated on the voting results.
  11. The President will meet with the full Board of Directors for review of the recommended Award recipients. If the person with the greatest number of votes declines the Award, the Board may make the award to the runner-up, or, the Board may forgo the relevant Award.
  12. The Board will then adopt the slate of award winners.
  13. The President will report the actions of the Board to all members of the Awards Committee and thank them for their service to OutReach.
  14. The Chair of the Awards Committee, with the assistance of staff, will call all recipients within five days of the Board notification to the Awards Committee Chair.

SELECTION CRITERIA

General Criteria:

  • Paid staff members, current Board of Directors, and their family members are ineligible to receive an Award in any category.
  • The Awards Committee shall consider the ways in which each nominee has assisted OutReach in accomplishing its mission in Madison and south central Wisconsin.
  • The Awards Committee shall not make ad hoc special awards.
  • The Awards Committee shall not consider a nominee in one category for an award in another category. An exception to this restriction may be the Courage and Special Recognition awards as a nominee in another category may be recommended for those specific awards. They are exceptional awards and do not have to be awarded every year.
  • The Awards Committee must consider the racial, gender and orientation balance of the slate of nominees as it is important to recognize the diversity of our community.
  • If special circumstances arise, the Awards Committee may make recommendations to the OutReach Board of Directors, which must vote to approve all awards recipients.


“OutReach LGBTQ Advocate of the Year” shall be awarded to any person who has not previously received this award or the Woman or Man of the Year award. Chief considerations in making an Award recommendation this category shall be:

  • Accomplishments within the prior year that advance the equality and quality of life for LGBT people.
  • Accomplishments over the individual’s life that have advanced the equality and quality of life for LGBT people.
  • Diversity of nominees must be considered. Care must be taken when selecting the winner to ensure ethnic, racial, gender, and orientation.
  • If two nominees are perceived as essentially tied, tiebreaker considerations may include:
    • Receipt of OutReach award in another category (prior receipt should sway in favor of the other nominees)
    • The diversity of gender in previous award winners
    • Number of people submitting nominations for the nominee
    • Positive service to or connection with OutReach
    • Nominee’s willingness to attend the Banquet to receive the award; attendance shall be valued in making the award


“Harry Straetz Memorial OutReach Volunteer of the Year” shall be awarded to any person who has volunteered for OutReach, during the past year, is not a member of the Board of Directors and has not received this award in the past. Chief considerations in making this award shall be:

  • Total of volunteer hours during the past 12 month period.
  • Personal effort required performing the volunteer hours, e.g. distance traveled, in-kind costs absorbed by volunteer, physical impediments overcome, etc. Number of people submitting nominations for the nominee.
  • Tiebreaking considerations may include:
    • Receipt of OutReach, award in another category (prior receipt should sway in favor of the other nominee)
    • Number of people submitting nominations for the nominee
    • Nominee’s willingness to attend the Banquet to receive the award; Attendance shall be valued in making the award.


“OutReach Ally of the Year” may not be awarded in all years. When awarded it is expected the award will go to a person who does not identify as lesbian, gay male, bisexual or transgender. It may not be awarded to a person who has received this award in the past. Chief considerations in making this award shall be:

  • Documented public efforts to advance the equality and quality of life for LGBT people in the prior year.
  • Recognized support for LGBT people and causes, privately and publicly, over the life of the nominee.
  • Tiebreaking considerations may include:
    • Number of people submitting nominations for the nominee
    • Nominee’s willingness to attend the Banquet to receive the award; attendance shall be valued in making the award.


“OutReach Organization of the Year” may not be awarded in all years and may not be awarded to an organization that has received this Award in the past five years. For purposes of this Award, “organization” includes: a sole proprietor business, a business partnership, incorporated businesses, LLC’s, incorporated non-profit groups, religious organizations, trusts, and unincorporated groups consisting of three or more people working toward a common purpose. Chief considerations in making this award shall be:

  • Notable effort toward the advancement of LGBT equality and quality of life in the prior year.
  • Generally recognized commitment of resources and history of effort toward LGBT equality and quality of life during existence of the organization.
  • Synergy created by partnering between nominated organization and OutReach
  • Number of people submitting nominations for the nominee
  • Willingness by a member of this organization to attend and accept shall be valued in making the award.


“OutReach Courage Award” an exceptional award and may not be made in all years. It may be awarded to any person or organization. This award may be made posthumously. Chief considerations in making this award shall be:

  • Deep and life long commitment to advancing equality and quality of life for LGBT people
  • Recognized effort toward social justice for all people.
  • Unique or profound accomplishment advancing equality for LGBT people.
  • Exceptional bravery and/or risk taking in service of equality for LGBT people.
  • Willingness of nominee, or in case of a posthumous award, willingness of a domestic partner, spouse, or immediate family member, to attend Banquet and accept the Award.


“OutReach’s Board of Director’s Special Recognition Award” an exceptional award and may not be made in all years. This award is not open public nominations. It may be awarded to an individual or organization. The board may use this award to recognize any person or organization for their work in promoting equality and quality of life for LGBT people. The Awards Committee may also use this award to recommend any current nominee not selected as the recipient in the other categories. As with the other awards, the board must approve any Special Recognition recommendation.