Helen Krieble announced at the 2015 State Policy Network conference that the Vernon K. Krieble Foundation will provide matching or “seed” funding of $1,000 to SPN state members or affiliate organizations that create their own “Unsung Hero Award.” In order to facilitate that process and offer guidance to interested organizations, these are the criteria the VKK Foundation will apply in making providing funds for these new, ancillary Unsung Hero award programs:
- The award should be referred to in all organization marketing materials and publications as the “[Organization name]/VKK Unsung Hero Award.”
- For national continuity and branding, your physical plaque or trophy award (if you choose to provide one…see below) and all marketing of the award program must use, exclusively, the VKK Unsung Hero Award eagle logo. Upon acceptance, VKK will modify the award logo in a version that includes your organization’s name, and then provide a high-resolution JPEG file for your use. No other award names, logos, renditions or substitutes may be used.
- It should be awarded in the State, at the organization’s annual convention or some similarly appropriate public event, in a manner that will maximize public awareness and draw attention to the excellent work done by volunteers working to defend freedom.
- The award may be given on any date convenient for the organization, but only one award per organization is eligible for the VKK grant per calendar year.
- The award does not have to be a cash prize, though it can be the entire $1,000 from VKK, some other amount matched by other donors, a dinner or event in the recipient’s honor, an appropriate plaque/trophy or other commemorative gesture.
- The $1,000 award from VKK can be used as the cash prize for the winner, or to offset the organization’s expenses in creating its annual Unsung Hero Award.
- Winners of such state awards may also be nominated for the VKK Unsung Hero Award at the annual SPN conference.
- Nominations and selections should be made in an objective process to be determined by the organization, defined and publicized in a way that will encourage nominations.
- To receive the $1,000 VKK grant, organizations should let the VKK know in advance that they are planning such an award, and briefly outline the process for selection of the winner. The funds can be dispersed once the VKK is notified of the time, place, and manner of the award.
Criteria for Selecting Your Unsung Hero Award Winner
The intent of these awards is to honor individuals whose work defines entrepreneurial public policy, the ongoing battle to defend America’s founding principles, and the duty to leave future generations a freer society. Winners should be:
- Unsung heroes who come from outside the mainstream of political groups, non-profit organizations, and trade associations – especially people for whom public policy is a passion, and not a paid position (paid staff of such organizations are ineligible);
- Entrepreneurs who look for creative new approaches to difficult issues that the traditional political process has failed to solve;
- Thinkers whose approach to public policy is based on America’s founding principles of individual responsibility, self-government, and free markets – and who use these principles to promote ideas that are practical, sensible, and Constitutional, or to oppose and defeat proposals that are contrary to these principles, at any level of government;
- People who address issues that help focus on those founding principles and/or oppose government over-reach – including at the state, local, community, or even neighborhood level;
- Individuals who have truly made a difference for their communities, states, or country, and whose efforts have advanced the cause of freedom.
- People who are seen as resources and spokespersons for that cause, willing to share their experiences and educate others about the American principles on which their activities are based.