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Award of Excellence
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The Iowa Funeral Directors Association has established the Iowa Award of Funeral Service Excellence as a method of promoting the funeral service profession and a means of establishing an excellent relationship with the community and the people within it whom funeral directors serve. The Iowa Award of Funeral Service Excellence brings annual recognition to the best public relations efforts being achieved by Iowa’s funeral homes.

The Iowa Award of Funeral Service Excellence is IFDA’s way of paying tribute to the work funeral directors do as public relations ambassadors - offering public recognition from professional peers.

Documented efforts will be displayed at the annual convention and are tangible proof funeral directors and funeral home staff are masters at developing innovative programs to reach their communities and the people they serve. All completed entries will serve as an inspiration for other funeral homes striving for excellence within their community.

The Iowa Award of Funeral Service Excellence program consists of four categories of activity and accomplishment by IFDA member firms. Certification of achievement in four of these areas will qualify the individual funeral home for the Iowa Award of Funeral Service Excellence.

The period of participation is on a yearly basis from January 1 to December 31. Certification is on a yearly basis with awards presented at the annual IFDA Convention.

2020 Award of Excellence Application

Iowa Award of Funeral Service Excellence Criteria

  1. Basic Requirements. The firm must be a member of the Iowa Funeral Directors Association and must be represented at least once annually at an Association function (i.e. IFDA Convention, Board of Governors meetings, Committee meetings, District meetings).

  2. Community Outreach (must complete 4 separate items of the 7 to qualify).
    1. Speak, present or sponsor a program on the value of funeral service at least three times annually to an organized community group such as a local school, church, civic or community club or organization or a nursing, hospice, medical or healthcare group (This includes tours).
    2. Donate library media materials (books, films, etc.) on funeral related topics to school or public library.
    3. Write and submit for broadcast or publication, an original article concerning some aspect of funeral service (this excludes IFDA press releases or other articles that are not written by funeral home staff).
    4. Sponsor a program, open to the public, featuring qualified outside speakers to address funeral service issues, including you as a funeral professional.
    5. Develop or update a section on your funeral home’s website featuring death, dying and bereavement information for consumers.
    6. Participate in local government, service clubs or fraternal organizations in an elected office or through volunteer activities.
    7. Describe one or more different innovative programs fitting this category.

  3. Family Outreach (must initiate or maintain 3 separate items of the 6 to qualify).
    1. Host a special event memorial service (i.e. Memorial Day, Christmas program, Easter, Labor Day, city festival, etc.).
    2. Provide aftercare programs.
    3. Host a support group.
    4. Support or participate in programming with local hospice or palliative care organization.
    5. Encourage utilization of the funeral home’s library and materials.
    6. Describe one or more different innovative programs fitting this category.

  4. Professional Development (must complete 3 separate items of the 10 to qualify).
    1. Attend at least one IFDA Continuing Education program.
    2. Participate in a funeral supplier or professionally sponsored institute or seminar. (i.e. DMACC, NFDA, Dodge, Batesville, Aurora).
    3. Participate in preceptor training.
    4. Assist a donor family (i.e. Eye Bank or Organ Procurement Organization).
    5. Hold office or committee in a professional organization (i.e. IFDA, NFDA, OGR, CANA).
    6. Attend a state or national funeral service convention (i.e. NFDA, OGR, CANA, etc.).
    7. Earn or maintain designation as a Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP) or Certified Preplanning Consultant (CPC)
    8. Serve as a preceptor or provide a practicum experience for a mortuary science student.
    9. Serve as a mentor to a new participant in the Iowa Award of Funeral Service Excellence program.
    10. Describe one or more different innovative programs fitting in this category.


Entry is made by documentation with supporting materials for the four criteria outlined and is due at the IFDA office by February 1st. Documentation may be done in a narrative form and with newspaper clippings, photographs or brochures. Be sure to include a brief description of the funeral home background, ways in which the funeral home staff may have assisted in the process along with letters or materials which demonstrate the firm’s efforts to complete the criteria. Please categorize each section. All entries will be displayed at the annual convention.


As a recipient of the honor, the firm will receive a handsome sculpture commemorating the honor at the IFDA convention. Award recipients will be notified by April 15th, and the award will be presented to the funeral home as a group or to a designated person. Recipients will be publicized in local newspapers and other publications. The IFDA will notify other professional press.


Funeral homes who were Iowa Award of Funeral Service Excellence recipients one year have the challenge of recertifying the next year through continued activities or initiation of new activities. To continue to receive recognition, funeral directors may enter and recertify each year and receive their award.