Ever wonder what the top awards management solutions in 2020 are? We compared dozens of platforms and selected the top 10 at the moment. Have a look!

What to look for in an awards management solution

Maybe you’ve seen your competitor use an awards management system and want to check what it can do for you. Or you just want to find one for your awards. Either way, you might not be fully aware WHAT and WHY you should be looking for.

Let’s start with the simplest explanation you’ll find online.

Awards management software is a cloud-based platform that helps you manage your awards in a simpler, faster and smoother way. You create and manage your program entirely online: collect and handle entries, invite judges, set and monitor the judging process and release results. 

Here’s the process visualized. 

awards management process

Basically, what such a solution does is:

  • Save you tons of time

Ok, that’s a no-brainer – it’s the purpose of any software. However, the amount of time that an awards management software saves you is truly impressive. You can save between 70% – 80% staff time on average. Now that’s what we’re talking about!

  • Organize and streamline it all

It’s like living in a smart home – you can automate all tedious tasks. Awards management software streamlines your workflow, automates repetitive tasks, and helps you manage everything with a click of the mouse.

  • Eliminate miscommunication and the element of human error

Endless exchange of emails leads to one thing – a mess. Now imagine an empty inbox instead. Every good awards management software has the function to automate your communication with judges and applicants.

The other important thing is that the system calculates the evaluation results for you, so it eliminates the element of human error. 

  • Help you grow

First and foremost, an awards management platform removes the lengthy and tiring administrative procedures, so you can focus on growth! Second, top solutions include analytic tools where you can measure results and act accordingly. They also have integrations with Google Analytics, Facebook or other tools where you can track conversions. Some even offer sales tools to boost the number of entries and payments you receive.

  • Make applicants and judges happy

If you are good at your job, you’ll know that happy applicants and judges are key to a successful awards competition. A good awards management solution makes their participation smooth as butter as well. It’s that simple.

Awards management software features

Here are the essential features you should be looking for.

  • Webpage builder / embeddable registration form

Most solutions provide the option to easily create a webpage for your awards. Other solutions go the extra mile and also offer the option to embed your awards registration form directly into your website. If you have a stellar website for your awards, an embeddable registration form is definitely the better option. 

  • Customization options

You need to be able to customize the style and colours of your webpage or registration form. The judging process should also be customizable the way you need it, as well as the wording, currency and anything else you deem important. 

  • Automated emails

An awards management system allows you to handle all applicant communication with ease: this should include confirmation emails, application status updates, deadline reminders, judge invitations and so on.

  • Personal portals for applicants and judges

It’s recommended that applicants and judges have their own online space to work in. Even better if that workspace has “resume” functionality so progress can be saved and resumed at any time.

  • Various voting options 

Obviously that’s a key feature for any awards management system. The most popular voting types are popularity voting, simple review option, points voting and score voting. Public voting is a must if you want to boost the awards visibility. 

  • Analytic tools

If you want to skyrocket your numbers, make sure the platform you choose has analytic tools and can integrate with Google Analytics or other solutions you use. That way you can make decisions based on the analysed data and grow both your awards and your business.

Now let’s have a look at our top 10 picks in 2020. Note that this is not a ranking and the software solutions are listed in no particular order.

The Top 10 Аwards Management Software in 2020

  1. Evalato

  2. SurveyMonkey Apply

  3. Judgify

  4. OpenWater

  5. Wizehive (Zengine)

  6. Submittable

  7. AwardForce

  8. AwardStage

  9. Reviewr

  10. Submit

1. Evalato

screenshot of Evalato dashborad

Evalato is one of the leading solutions on the market due to its unrivaled customizability, ease-of-use and flexibility. It is designed to make awards management a breeze and help program growth exponentially. While most solutions put certain features behind so-called “paywalls”, Evalato lets you use all features no matter the plan you’re on. It is also the only solution that offers an embeddable registration form for your website, which is the better option in terms of brand awareness, SEO, and an uninterrupted customer experience. Other features boost the number of award entries you receive, which few platforms have. Another unique advantage of the platform is that it offers unlimited free testing . 

Unique features/advantages: embeddable registration form and flexible sales tools that go with it;exceptional UX; unlimited free testing; all features included no matter the plan; 

Ease-of-use: very easy

UI design: excellent

Customer Support: exceptional

Cons: it doesn’t provide discounts for non-profit organizations. 

Price: 

  • Pay-as-you-go plan: €900 + €3 per application (аll features included; unlimited users; unlimited judges; unlimited forms & fields; unlimited storage capacity; unlimited 5-star support; unlimited free testing)
  • Annual plan: €3950 unlimited programs, 3000 applications (all features included; unlimited users; unlimited judges; unlimited forms & fields; unlimited storage capacity; unlimited 5-star support; unlimited free testing)

2. SurveyMonkey Apply

A leading solution specifically created for grants, scholarships and similar awards programs. SurveyMonkey acquired Fluidreview (also an awards management platform) and are now one platform. It offers lots of features tailored to grant makers like budget allocation and financial management, initial eligibility check, report building etc. They also offer special discounts for nonprofits. To see how much the solution will cost you, you’ll need to ask for a quote. They don’t offer a free trial.

Unique features/advantages: grant specific features; special non-profit pricing is available

Ease of use: good

UI design: excellent

Customer Support: good

Cons: no free trial

Price: custom quote only, starting at $7000                                                                                                                                                                                                    

3. Judgify

Judgify has been around for quite a while and has all the basic features needed to run an awards program. It is the only software on the market that offers a free plan, but it is extremely limited in features and volumes, and can be used only for free-to-enter programs. Setting and managing the processes has a very high learning curve. The platform is also outdated in terms of UX. However, for freelancers and really small NGOs that don’t care about user-experience and robust functionalities, it could be a nice fit.

Unique features/advantages: free plan for a small number of unpaid entries

Ease of use: high learning curve

UI design: moderate

Customer Support: good

Cons: outdated user interface, poor options for submission form building, submission management and setting up the judging phase is counterintuitive. 

Price:

  • Free plan  (up to 100 free submission and no public voting). 3,5% fee is charged on each paid submission                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
  •  Pro plan (paid): 500 USD/per event (limitation of only one round of public voting) +3.5 % per submission  (for paid submissions; if free – no fee is charged)          

4. OpenWater

OpenWater is one of the oldest awards management solutions on the market. It is suitable mainly for big organizations since it doesn’t have small-budget pricing options. Customer support is usually friendly and quick to reply. Free trial is not available.

Unique features/advantages: mobile app for events

Ease of use: moderate

UI design: moderate

Customer Support: excellent

Cons: not suitable for small or middle-sized organizations as the price is high; it has relatively high learning curve

Price:  the pricing is based on the number of programs, the number of admins, and some additional benefits. Starts from $8300 (for 1 program and 1 admin)

5. Wizehive (Zengine)

Founded back in 2008 Wizehive (Zengine) is a solution designed specifically to run grants, scholarship, fellowship, internship, HR and similar awards programs. If you run a grant program, it’s one of the solutions to have a closer look at.

It provides robust functionalities and some grant-specific features like: tools to collect quarterly reports & surveys results; financial tracking & management etc. They however don’t disclose their pricing and you need a quote to see how much it’d cost. There’s no free trial. 

Unique features/advantages: grant specific features 

Ease of use: good

UI design: good

Customer Support: good

Cons:  features and configurations can often be buried deep within menus and take time to navigate to; 

Price: by quote only

6. Submittable

Submittable is one of the most popular solutions out there. It has 2 main platforms: software for submission program organizers and a discovery platform where applicants can create an account and apply for existing grant schemes or competitions. It offers a 14-day free trial, but it’s only for the basic plan. The basic plan has too many limitations and it’s only a good fit for small programs that don’t have paid entry.

Unique features/advantages: special platform for discovery of grants and other programs where applicants can apply; sending emails individually to applicants; 

Ease of use: good

UI design: excellent

Customer Support: excellent

Cons: the pricing is not transparent as there’s no info how the price is formed.

Price:

  • Basic plan: $84 per month billed annually or monthly billing options (for 1 program only and up to 300 submissions (free))
  • Enterprize plan: by quote only

7. AwardForce

AwardForce is one of the most well-known awards management solutions. It prides itself with its beautiful design. It has a robust set of functionalities and special features for sponsors and partners, but these are only available with the Pro plan. Their pricing seems somewhat misleading, with lots of conditions and policies that add up to the final cost for using the service. No free trial available, so if you want to see how the platform works, you need to request a pre-recorded demo (your email required) or a live demo.

Unique features/advantages: featuring of sponsors on application form; social sharing of awards webpage; 

Ease of use: good

UI design: excellent

Customer Support: excellent

Cons: pricing is not transparent enough and somewhat misleading. It includes a policy that allows AwardForce to increase the price. 

Price: tiered pricing: feature -based annual plans 

  • Starter: €1,090 EUR/per program (for free-to-enter program with low entry volumes)
  • Plus: €2,390 EUR/per program (for free-to-enter program with low entry volumes)
  • Pro: €3,990 EUR/per program + Obligatory onboarding service €1,390 + €290 / chapter for multi-chapters

8. AwardStage

AwardStage is designed mainly for awards competitions and abstracts, and has a ticketing functionality which is great if you have a large awards ceremony with lots of visitors and need a ticketing solution as well. AwardStage doesn’t have a free trial version so you’d need a demo to see how it works. 

Unique features/advantages: ticketing feature

Ease of use: good

UI design: good

Customer Support: not enough reviews available

Cons: no free trial

Price: featured-based annual plans 

  • Lite: $1250 (USD) per program/per annum; 
  • Standard: $2100 (USD)per program/per annum; 
  • Pro: $3250 USD per program/per annum; 

9. Reviewr

Reviewer is again a well-known solution for awards management. It offers all necessary features to run an awards program but some important ones are included only with the more expensive plans. The platform provides a free trial with an already set-up example. However, it’s still hard to get your bearings and the UI is a bit outdated. 

Unique features/advantages: free trial

Ease of use: high learning curve

UI design: moderate

Customer Support: not enough reviews from customers

Cons: key features are included only in the more pricey plans. The setting up process has a high learning curve. 

Price: Tiered pricing: feature-based annual plans. Pricing is custom quote only.

10. Submit

Submit.com is another awards management solution that has been around for a while. It is the only solution that offers a monthly subscription. Free testing is available if you want to see how everything works before you commit. 

Unique features/advantages:

Ease of use: excellent

UI design: good

Customer Support: excellent

Cons: lots of limitations in features and volumes in the standard plans 

Price: feature-based monthly plans                                                                                                                                                                   

  • Start: 145€/ EUR per mth (Unlimited submissions; 2 active forms; 2 users;0 external reviewers; In app support)
  • Create: 265€/EUR per mth (Unlimited submissions; 4 active forms; 4 users; 5 external reviewers; 1 onboarding session*)
  • Pro: 495€ /mnth (Unlimited submissions; 8 active forms; 8 users;10 external reviewers; 2 onboarding sessions*)    

Why is Evalato the best on the list 🏆

Yes, we’re kind of biased here, you are reading this on our website after all, but we feel that our reasons are quite sound. The platform is pretty much the easiest to use while still offering a robust set of features, and is super budget-friendly for organizations of any size. And if these reasons are not enough for you, you’re welcome to try Evalato for free – our Test mode allows you to see how everything works before making a decision.

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Launch your program in minutes

No credit card required. Unlimited free testing.