Submittable Spotlight: How Associations Use Submittable

An association can be defined as a group of individuals that join together for a common purpose. Though the focus of associations can vary widely across industries, these groups are inherently mission-driven. Many are membership-supported, dedicated to philanthropy, community-minded, and ambitious in their programming.

As it turns out, the submission needs of associations—from content, contests and awards, to giving, event organizing, and HR—can often be served by a single software. Look no further than the following outstanding organizations to see how associations of all types and sizes use Submittable to meet their goals.

American Association of Port Authorities

Founded in 1912, the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) represents more than 130 public seaport authorities in the US, Canada, the Caribbean, and Latin America. The AAPA aims to unify and support port leaders, professionals, and maritime executives to prosper within the global economy through a variety of programs, including annual conferences and seminars, advocacy work, industry recognition programs, and professional training programs.

A Submittable client since 2015, AAPA uses the software among 24 team members to administer its Communications Awards and Professional Port Manager Certification programs.

The AAPA Public Relations Committee has been offering Communications Awards since 1966, honoring excellence in public relations, advertising, and marketing in 15 classifications including community outreach, video, websites, and social media. In 2018, AAPA acknowledged 82 winning entries. The organization also offers a Professional Port Manager Certification, a four year interactive education program for maritime professionals for development of leadership and collaboration.

Association of Writers & Writing Programs

The Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) is a nonprofit established in 1967 that serves writers, academic creative writing programs, and writing

conferences and centers. AWP offers resources and support, as well as advocacy and community, to this large group through a variety of programs, prizes, and publications. The organization is well-regarded for its annual conference, drawing over 12,000 writers, teachers, publishers, editors, and students to a different city each year.

Since adopting Submittable in 2012, AWP has received over 15,750 submissions from more than 9,500 individuals in 22 distinct categories that encourage and honor literary excellence.

AWP uses Submittable to accept and review an exceptional range of literary content and application types. In 2018, AWP utilized the software to receive submissions via 18 forms for community service and small press publishing awards, writing prizes in multiple genres, magazine content, its Intro Journals Project, and two professional development programs (Writer to Agent and the Writer to Writer mentorship program).

International Facilities Management Association

The International Facilities Management Association (IFMA), founded in 1980, is the world’s largest international association serving facilities management, with 24,000 professional members in over 10 countries. IFMA provides annual professional education, facilitates an online Knowledge Library, offers conference and exposition programming, conducts and shares research, publishes high-level industry content, and more.

IFMA has utilized Submittable to process nearly 1,300 submissions to its Knowledge Library since 2014.

The IFMA Knowledge Library is an online portal to extensive facilities management resources, including thousands of articles, templates, and videos by industry experts. IFMA receives content for this library in a variety of formats including text, sound, and video files. A team of 18 expert reviewers use Submittable to assess the quality of 12 submission categories including case studies, articles, blog posts, podcasts, webinars, and research reports.

National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures

De La Torre Brothers, Exporting Democracy

De La Torre Brothers, Exporting Democracy

Established in 1989, the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) is a multidisciplinary arts service nonprofit dedicated to Latino arts and cultural communities in the US. NALAC offers grant funding, organizes leadership institutes and regional arts training workshops, and provides advocacy, resources and networking opportunities, serving thousands of artists and hundreds of organizations throughout the country.

Since 2012, NALAC has used Submittable to facilitate over 3,700 applications for arts funding, leadership institutes and regional workshops, travel support, and jobs and internships.

Over 45 NALAC team members and associates use Submittable help serve the organization’s mission. NALAC grants support Latino artist and ensembles, arts organizations, and artists and cultural workers in the US and Puerto Rico. To date, the NALAC Fund for the Arts has awarded over 500 grants, leveraging an investment of $2.5 million from across the U.S., Puerto Rico, and México. Annual programs, such as three leadership institutes (NALAC, Advocacy, and Intercultural) and regional training workshops, bring together Latino artists and arts organizations to strengthen and enrich the community.

Adventure Cycling Association

Adventure Cycling Association (ACA) is a national nonprofit dedicated to bicycle travel and touring, originally founded as Bikecentennial in 1976 when over 4,000 cyclists rode across the US. ACA offers memberships, routes and maps (including one of the largest cycling route networks in the world), guided tours, national events, online resources (including how-tos, community forums, and a store), an award-winning magazine, and bicycle tourism advocacy, among other cycling-focused endeavors.

ACA has used Submittable since 2012 to process over 4,100 cycling-focused submissions in a variety of categories, including HR, sponsorship, magazine and blog content, contests, awards, and resource sharing.

Submittable is shared by 20 team members and across departments at ACA. Since adopting the software, ACA has created over 85 unique forms to accept submissions and applications in a variety of areas. Submittable helps ACA review job applications, process event sponsorships requests, accept magazine content and requests, facilitate award processes, evaluate cycling photos and videos, and much more.


The people behind associations like these, and behind many others using Submittable, are wildly busy. They passionately serve organizations that are constantly raising the bar for success in their industry. We’re grateful they use Submittable software in so many different ways to increase efficiency and save valuable time. We’re proud of the great work they do.

Interested in finding out more about how Submittable can serve your association? Please reach out anytime.

Rachel Mindell

Rachel Mindell is a Special Projects Editor at Submittable. She also writes and teaches poetry. Connect with her on LinkedIn.