Honors a 501c(3) organization that demonstrates its effectiveness in impacting positive change in its community in an ethical and responsible way. BBB Accreditation is not a requirement.

Charity of the Year applicants do NOT have to be nominated to start an application. The nomination is only so that BBB can notify deserving charities that they have been nominated and encourage them to begin the application.

The application form does not include a “save and resume later” feature. To prevent losing data, we recommend you type your answers in the application form template prior to including them in the online form. Download the Charity of the Year Application Form Template

2019 Submissions Closed July 21, 2019

General Information

The Torch Awards is divided by the following regions based on BBB NW+P service states: Alaska, Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho, Hawaii, Montana, Oregon, Southern Idaho and Western Wyoming, and Western Washington.

BBB will do a preliminary evaluation of all submissions received and shortlist five (5) finalists per region. There will be thirty-five (35) finalists in total. A panel of independent judges will be asked to evaluate all the finalists and will determine one (1) recipient per region. There will be seven (7) recipients in total.

Application Criteria

Submissions should provide a robust and accurate description of the business’ intentions, practices, and culture. Use concise narrative and upload any supporting documents that address the award criteria. Assume the judges will not know your business. Guide questions are provided. Responses are not restricted to the given prompts.

The suggested minimum word count for each question is 600; maximum word count is 700.

• Describe a situation where your organization went the extra mile to help someone in need (beyond the scope of your normal services). Include a brief overview of the situation, actions taken, final-outcome and the impact on your charity.
• What sets your charity apart from others in the Northwest + Pacific?
• How has your organization shown a commitment to embodying integrity?

For BBB Non-Accredited Charities

This section will allow BBB Northwest + Pacific to establish your eligibility and develop your BBB Charity Review report. BBB Accreditation is not a requirement. If your organization does not have one of the items requested below, you may skip to the next document. BBB’s Charity Review Manager will assist you in implementing any of the documents or policies we request to help you earn our free accreditation and establish eligibility. Reach out to us for personalized assistance at charityreview@thebbb.org.

Mission Statement:

Description of Programs and Services:

Supporting Documents

• Board of Directors Roster
• Audited Financial Statements, CPA Review, or internally-produced financial statements
• IRS Form 990
• 3-5 Samples of fundraising appeals from the past year
• Annual Report
• Privacy Policy
• Bylaws
• Completed Eligibility Question Sheet (download form here)

If you need any assistance with uploading your supporting documents, please email them to kelsey.gardipee@thebbb.org.

General Category Eligibility

The Torch Awards is only open to eligible charities in the following states: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Western Wyoming. Only businesses located in Lincoln, Teton, and Uinta counties are eligible for Western Wyoming.

• Has been in operation as a 501c(3) for at least 1 year
• Is not affiliated with a government agency other than grant funding
• Charity must meet at least 15* of the 20 Standards for Charity Accountability and be willing to work towards meeting them all. *Must be in compliance with Standards 04, 08, 09, 11 and 15
• The applying entity must be headquartered in BBB Northwest + Pacific’s service area
• Charity must be local or regional in scope
• Must not have received a BBB Award in the past three (2018, 2017, or 2016) consecutive years
• For questions, please contact: Kelsey Gardipee, Charity Review Manager at kelsey.gardipee@thebbb.org

View 2019 Charity of the Year Terms and Conditions here.

2019 Recipients will be offered the following

2019 Torch Awards Recipient media kit
2019 Torch Awards Recipient glass plaque
2019 Torch Awards Recipient certificate
Inclusion on BBB NW+P online and printed magazine article
Social media photo feature
Press release
Inclusion on Competition website


Applications open Monday, May 6, 2019
Applications close Sunday, July 21, 2019
Finalist announcement in August 2019
Recipient announcement in October 2019

Application Fee

There is NO application fee for the 2019 Torch Awards.

2018 Charity of the year winner

Friends of the Children

2018 Charity of the Year
Learn More