Organizational Excellence

Trustees’ Award for Organizational Excellence

The Trustees' Award for Organizational Excellence recognizes a nonprofit organization, large or small, that has demonstrated sustained and superlative achievement in historic preservation. Award winners will be honored at the 2020 PastForward Conference in Miami, Florida. 

The nomination period for the 2020 National Preservation Awards has closed.


  • Nominees must be a non-profit organization that has historic preservation as its primary mission. Staffed and all-volunteer organizations are eligible.
  • Nominations submitted in previous years that were not selected to receive an award may be updated and resubmitted.
  • Nominations may be made without the knowledge of the nominee, but nominees must be present at the award ceremony to receive recognition.
  • Self-nominations will be accepted.
  • Properties owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation will not be considered, nor will individuals or groups of individuals for their work relative to National Trust properties.

Award Criteria

To be considered for the Trustees' Award for Organizational Excellence, nominated organizations must:

  • Have achieved outstanding success in historic preservation over a sustained period of time
  • Have broadly and effectively communicated the value of historic preservation to its constituents
  • Have exhibited leadership in issues of importance to historic preservation
  • Have demonstrated integrity in its dealings, including financial management
  • Have made appropriate efforts to be inclusive in the composition of its board, staff, membership, and programs

Award Benefits and Expectations

Trustees’ Award for Organizational Excellence recipients will receive up to four complimentary registrations to the PastForward conference, as well as complimentary tickets to the award event at the PastForward conference. Award recipients will also receive a physical award for their achievement. The National Trust for Historic Preservation will provide press releases surrounding the award presentation and feature award recipients on the Preservation Leadership Forum website. Award recipients are responsible for their own travel and lodging and are required to have at least one representative appear at the award presentation. Award recipients may be asked to contribute to the National Trust’s Preservation Leadership Forum blog, the Forum Journal, or to present at PastForward. 

Award Timeline

  • December 16, 2019: Nomination period opens
  • February 21, 2020: Nomination forms due at 11:59 p.m. local time
  • By July 1, 2020: Nominators and award recipients notified
  • October 28-30, 2020: Award presented at PastForward 2020 in Miami, Florida

Nomination Process

Nominators must complete one nomination form (requirements listed below) and submit it before the February 3 deadline in order for the nominee to be considered for the Trustees’ Award for Organizational Excellence. Self-nominations are accepted.

Nomination Requirements

In order to be considered for the Trustees’ Award for Organizational Excellence, a nomination including the following must be submitted by February 3, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. local time:

  • A completed nomination form that includes:
    • A concise narrative (5,000 characters or less including spaces) that describes the individual’s preservation achievements and addresses the award’s specific criteria (listed above)
    • Up to 5 brochures or news clippings
    • Up to 3 letters of recommendation
    • Up to 5 photos

Nomination Procedures & Key Dates

Nominations must conform to the procedures outlined on this page to be considered for an award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. 

Award recipients and nominators will be notified no later than July 1, 2020. The nominator will be notified for those not selected. The 2020 National Preservation Awards will be presented during PastForward 2020 in Miami, Flordia October 28-30, 2020. Award recipients are required to be present at their award presentation.

Nomination Form

All nominations must be submitted online. Paper submissions will not be accepted. 

Click here to access our online awards and grants submission center. To begin your nomination, you will need to use your existing login or select "Create New Account". Once you have created an account and logged into the system, click "Apply" from the menu at the top of your screen. Select the 2020 National Preservation Awards (For Individual and Organization Nominees)Please note, this is different from the 2020 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation National Preservation Awards form nomination form. Once you begin your nomination, you will be able to save your progress and return to the site to continue working on the form.

If you have any questions, please contact Lizzy Barringer at (202) 588-6315 or