Innovation Award

In 2000, Amy Showalter and Peter Kennderdell created the original Showalter Innovation Award. Companies like Pfizer, Southwest Airlines, Nationwide Insurance, Genworth Financial, International Paper, and associations and non-profits like The American Heart Association, NFIB, and the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, among many others, have  received honors for grassroots or PAC innovations that have won the hearts and minds of our Innovation Award judges.


2014 Showalter Innovation Award winners l to r: Brett Weisel – Feeding America, Emily Gonce – New York Life, Amy Showalter

First Place, Grassroots

Feeding America — Advocacy Index


Runner Up, Grassroots

New York Life — Political Involvement Leader (PILs) Network

Feeding America One of the lasting challenges many advocacy professionals face is how to effectively measure a program’s impact and success, particularly in an era of legislative deadlock where policy wins are fewer and further between.  As a nonprofit, Feeding America must be particularly responsive to developing strong, outcomes-based metrics to get funding, secure budget, and demonstrate the value of our grassroots program amongst the various organizational priorities.  As a result, Feeding America developed a measurement tool called the Advocacy Index to set a baseline and track the long-term progress of our network of food banks’ capacity for advocacy, and in turn, Feeding America’s capacity. The results have been clear:  by implementing the Advocacy Index and tracking results, it has made our food banks more actively engaged in our public policy work and has challenged them to think about advocacy more comprehensively—beyond simply meeting with elected officials.  It has helped educate our food banks about what advocacy is, what food banks need to do to build organizational capacity for advocacy, and provided them with a goal.  [Read the entire submission]

New York Life

New York Life established a “Political Involvement Leader” (PILs) network– where we have 1 person appointed in every one of our offices across the nation as a point person for the Office of Governmental Affairs (OGA). OGA trains that group of about 130 people on the company’s political agenda, how to lobby, and how to build relationships with elected officials. Going forward, we are going to do more to empower our PILs and build the program. We’ve learned that well trained constituents are our best advocates.  Empowering people and building networks is key. We’ve found that many of our PILs and their colleagues have personal relationships with members of Congress. [Read the entire submission] NO-innovation-Button2

Recognition for Your Creative Work!

The Original!

The Showalter Group’s Annual

Political Involvement Program Innovation Award©

For Accomplishments in PAC, Grassroots and Technology

Nomination Information

What are you doing that’s new, innovative, unique or simply successful? Now in its fourteenth year, this awards program remains the nation’s longest-running and most comprehensive assessment of political involvement program innovations. The Showalter Group’s Political Involvement Program Innovation Award considers innovations in grassroots and PAC programs, including the application of new technologies to reach program goals. The Showalter Group’s Political Involvement Program Innovation Award© recognizes corporations, associations, service providers and not-for-profits that seek to move the profession forward. The Showalter Award acknowledges that the habit of innovation comes from a desire to provide new results and experiences to PAC and grassroots program participants. A committee of experienced political involvement professionals will select the top innovators. The awards will be presented at the 2014 Innovate to Motivate® Conference. The nomination submission below should be emailed to no later than November 22, 2014. Important: If your organization is one of the award winners, you will receive a complimentary registration to the conference where you will present your innovation in a workshop. Our conference attendees look forward to learning about the winner’s innovations. If you cannot travel to the conference to present your innovation, please re-consider submitting a nomination. If you have questions regarding the nomination process, contact Amy Showalter at 513.762.7668 or For questions regarding the 2014 Innovate to Motivate® National Conference for Political Involvement Professionals, contact Amy Showalter or Nora Rubinoff, 513.762.7668 or send an e-mail inquiry to or

Nomination Submissions

To enter a nomination for the 14th annual Political Involvement Program Innovation Award©, please provide the following in an email to

  1.      Nominated Organization
  2.      Name of Person Submitting the Nomination
  3.      Submitter’s Phone Number and Email Address
  4.      Name of Program Manager/Senior Administrator
  5.      Is the nomination for grassroots, PAC or technology?
  6.      What is the innovation?
  7.      What prompted this innovation?
  8.      How is this innovation likely to change the way political involvement programs are conducted?
  9.      What can public affairs professionals learn from your innovation?

Feel free to expand your response to the questions above by providing supporting materials by email only. Send your nomination to Questions? Contact Amy Showalter at or 513.762.7668.