heart of the city logo

Heart of the City Award

This Award celebrates businesses that have only recently begun to have a social impact in Greater London (within the last three years). It is therefore especially SME friendly, but open to businesses of all sizes. The Award recognises businesses that demonstrate a strategic commitment to tackling a social issue(s), and looks for organisations that have put the foundations in place to deliver sustainable impact into the future, even if the evidence isn’t quite there yet.

For this Award, 'strategic' is characterised as a deliberate and structured plan for social impact, with aims and objectives set at an organisational level.

Businesses do not need to be members of Heart of the City to apply.


  • This award is open to applications from private sector businesses and public bodies having an impact in Greater London. Businesses and public bodies may use this form to make an application for their own organisation or to nominate a third party business or public body. Charities, schools, community groups and social enterprises are not eligible to apply in this category but may nominate a business or public body.
  • The Lord Mayor's Dragon Awards recognise and celebrate organisations going beyond their core business product or service to have a social impact.   Applications will be disqualified if the initiative described is judged to form part or an extension of the organisation’s core commercial and/or delivery activities, e.g. a local authority providing a statutory service to the community or a business whose purpose is to broker employee volunteering.
  • Prior involvement in ad hoc fundraising or volunteering will not make a business ineligible for the Award e.g. your company organised a fun run in 2013, provided a more strategic, organisational approach has only been initiated within the last three years (2015).
  • Businesses that have previously implemented a strategic approach as defined above are not eligible for this award, even where this may have diminished over time and then been restructured again within the last three years. This is to ensure that this award is reserved for new entrants to the responsible business arena.
  • Businesses that have NOT previously won in any of the categories can apply to the Heart of the City Award as many times as they wish within the three year time frame. Businesses that have won a Lord Mayor’s Dragon Award in any category previously, may not apply for this award.
  • If your initiative was shortlisted in 2017 you can apply with the same initiative, however the judges will be looking for ways in which your programme has developed over the past year.
  • Your business does not need to be a member of Heart of the City to apply, any eligible (as explained above) business within Greater London is welcome to apply. We warmly welcome applications from SMEs.
  • The same initiative cannot be submitted in more than one category. All partners involved in the same initiative must decide which category it best fits into and submit one application to that category only.  
  • If your initiative was shortlisted in 2017 you can apply again with the same initiative (or another) in any category, however the judges will be looking for ways in which your initiative has developed over the past year.
  • If your initiative won an Award in (2017), it should not be entered in any category for three years following receiving the Award. For example, any initiative that won in 2017 should not be entered again until 2021.  When submitting in following years the initiative should have had substantial changes made to it since winning the Award. You may apply with a different initiative to this year's Dragon Awards. 

Depending on your programme, not all of the below may apply but a majority of these indicators should be in place:

  • Support from senior management and/or progress reported to senior manager(s).
  • The social impact activities have relevance to your core business activities and stakeholders.
  • A strategy exists to demonstrate your purpose and how you will achieve it.
  • A policy for volunteering and/or fundraising exists (including, for example, guidance around volunteering time off or matched fundraising).
  • Qualitative and/or quantitative measurements to track progress are in place and demonstrate impact.
  • A strong, long-term commitment to social impact and, if relevant, one or more community organisations.
  • The activity is linked to staff learning and development.
  • The impact is communicated internally and externally.
  • Evidence that the initiative has had a positive impact on your business, e.g. improving company culture or making organisational practices more inclusive.

About Heart of the City

Heart of the City supports businesses to set up responsible business activities and take them to the next level. They draw on the expertise of their unique network of corporate social responsibility experts to support, train and mentor companies new to this field. They run regular training events, networking sessions and mentoring and provide online resources covering all areas of responsible business. 

For more information about Heart of the City please visit: www.theheartofthecity.com

When making an application please follow the Heart of the City Award - Guidance and scoring card document where you will find further information about the Award and a guide on how to answer each question on the application form.

Apply Now