How to Measure the Success of Your Application Cycle


To ensure the success of your awards application cycle, it is vital to have specific metrics to measure its effectiveness. This article will discuss the key performance indicators (KPIs) your association should focus on to improve the overall application or nomination process.

Number of Submitted Applications

This key performance indicator is the most self-explanatory, but the number of applications your association is receiving for a specific award, grant, fellowship or scholarship program boosts the success of the application cycle. If a program is receiving a small number of applications, this can be an indicator of many underlying problems. The application process may be too complex for the average applicant, or it is quite possible there was not enough marketing for the award, and no one was aware of it. If your program had a high number of submitted applications, this indicates that your association is on the right track and should emphasize what works in future cycles.

Number of High Quality Applicants

A program may received hundreds of applications, but are they the right applicants? Ensuring your marketing efforts reach your target audience can be key, especially for very defined audiences for programs such as Fellowships.  Ensuring you reach those target audiences through various digital marketing channels such as online ads, social media, email newsletters and even job boards, can all assist in reaching those very specific targeted audiences.

Number of Draft Applications

The number of drafted applications at the deadline is also a key performance indicator of your application cycle’s success. If many applications were started but are not finished, this could imply that your application took too long to complete, required supporting documentation that was not easy to attain, and your applicants lost the desire to apply. A high number of draft applications may also indicate that applicants start their application, are distracted, or are not sent a reminder email to complete it before the deadline.

Number of Returning Applicants

The number of returning applicants is also incredibly vital to the application’s success in the long run. If applicants do not feel the desire to come back and apply in future years, that could be an indicator that there are underlying issues with your association’s application process. If there are many returning applicants, then the association is doing something right in their application cycle.


Overall, having vital KPIs will help effectively measure your application cycle’s success. These metrics help to establish which adjustments need to be made in the application process to maximize the success of your awards programs.


Since 2008, RQ Awards has helped organizations around the world simplify and streamline their Award Programs. Contact us to learn more about how RQ Awards can help your organization become more efficient.

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