Local, State, and National Volunteer Recognition

List of Volunteer Recognition Awards There are numerous ways to recognize a volunteer for their commitment to your organization or cause such as a thank you card, a gift, a meal in their honor, or by telling your volunteers just how much you appreciate them. Another way to show how much you appreciate them is by nominating them for a national, state, or local volunteer service award.


National Service Awards

President’s Volunteer Service Award  The President’s Volunteer Service Award is the highest volunteer award program. It encourages citizens to live a life of service through presidential gratitude and national recognition. The award encourages Americans to take a look around, be inspired, and take positive action.The Primary focus areas of the President’s Volunteer Service Award are education, economic opportunity, environmental stewardship, veterans and military families, healthy futures, and disaster response services. However, all other areas of volunteering can also be recognized. Award criteria: any individual, family, or group can receive presidential recognition for volunteer hours earned within a 12 month period or over the course of a lifetime at home or abroad. Also, the award offers three levels of achievement and the levels are bronze, sliver, and gold. In order to be eligible to receive a President’s Volunteer Service Award you must fit these criteria:
  • Recipient(s) must be a United States citizen or lawfully admitted permanent resident of the United States.
  • Awards are issued for service hours served within a 12 month time period or over the course of a lifetime.
  • Awards are issued for volunteer service only.
  • Court-ordered community service does not quality for the award.
  • Awards are issued by approved certifying organizations.
  • Service must be with an approved certifying organization.
There is no nomination form, but there is a volunteer registration with President’s Volunteer Service Award form . However, there is a fee associated with this award, please visit http://www.presidentialserviceawards.gov/award-package for more details.

Jefferson Award for Public Service
The Jefferson Award for Public Service strives to recognize, inspire, and activate volunteerism and public service in communities, workplace, and schools across America. Created in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassi, Senator Robert Taft Jr., and Sam Beard, the Jefferson Award believes that one person can make a difference.Over the past 42 years over 55,000 “unsung heroes” were awarded the Jefferson Award for Public Service including Paul Newman, Steve Jobs, Peyton Manning, Walter Cronkite, and Micheal Bloomberg. There are nine award categories for the national Jefferson Award for Public Service and they are:
  • U.S. Senator John Heinz Award Greatest Public Service by an Elected or Appointed Official
  • S. Rodger Horchow Award Greatest Public Service by a Private Citizen
  • Greatest Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged
  • Samuel S. Beard Award for the Greatest Public Service by an Individual 35 Years or Under
  • Greatest Public Service by an Athlete
  • Greatest Public Service by an Entrepreneur
  • Lifetime Achievement in Public Service
  • Outstanding National or Global Service by a Young American 25 Years or Under
  • Outstanding Service by a Corporation
The national Jefferson Award for Public Service winners are presented with their Jefferson Award for Public Service Coin at a ceremony in Washington D.C. and it usually held the third week of June. You can nominate someone for the national Jefferson Award for Public Service by filling out a nomination form.

Daily Point of Light Award Created during George H.W. Bush’s presidency, the Daily Point of Light Award celebrates the power of volunteers to spark change and improve the world through community service. Since 1989, more than 5,000 honorees have been recognized with the Daily Point of Light Award. The criteria for the Daily Point of Light Award:
  • Does the volunteer work meet a community need?
  • Does it demonstrate a specific impact?
  • Does it last for six uninterrupted months and is ongoing (except disaster relief work)?
  • Does it reflect innovative or unique approaches?
Daily Point of Light Award winners are formally recognized by Points of Light with a profile story on PointsOfLight.org, media support, and a certificate signed by Former President George H.W. Bush.

To nominate someone for a Daily Point of Light Award, fill out the nomination form.

Prudential Spirit of Community Awards for Youth Volunteerism

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program is the United States’ largest youth recognition program based exclusively on volunteer community service. The program was created in 1995 by Prudential in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) to honor middle school and high school students for outstanding service to others at the local, state, and national level. The criteria for the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards for Youth Volunteerism: Any young person who:
  • Is in grades 5-12 as of November 3,
  • Is a legal resident of any U.S. state or Washington, D.C.,
  • Has engaged in a volunteer activity that occurred at least partly during the 12 months prior to the date of application, and submits a completed application to a school principal or the head of an officially designated local organization by November 3.
The application must:
  • Describe an individual’s community service activity or an individual’s significant leadership in a group activity that has taken place during the previous year,
  • Be completed and submitted to a school principal or the head of an officially designated local organization by November 3, and
  • Be certified by the principal of a middle school or high school or the head of an officially designated local organization.
Students chosen as Local Honorees receive a Certificate of Achievement from their schools or organizations. Those who qualify (26 hours for age 10 and younger, 50 hours for ages 11-15 and 100 hours for ages 16 and older) also receive the President’s Volunteer Service Award. State Honorees receive an award of $1,000, an engraved silver medallion, and an all-expense-paid trip with a parent or guardian to Washington, D.C., for national recognition events. National Honorees receive an additional award of $5,000, an engraved gold medallion, a crystal trophy for their schools or organizations, and a $5,000 grant from The Prudential Foundation for a non-profit, charitable organization of their choice. The national recognition events held in Washington, D.C., for the 102 State Honorees include gala award ceremonies at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, tours of the capital’s historic monuments and landmarks, Congressional visits on Capitol Hill, a festive dinner cruise on the Potomac River, and plenty of opportunity for the State Honorees to share their experiences and ideas with one another. The honorees also hear from notable public figures. To apply for the Prudential Spirit of the Community Award for Youth Volunteerism, go to http://spirit.prudential.com/view/page/soc/301.

Statewide Service Award-Wisconsin

Wisconsin Heroes Award The Wisconsin Heroes Award was created in 2012 by Wisconsin’s First Lady, Tonette Walker, to recognize Wisconsin residents who voluntarily work to make Wisconsin an exceptional place.
Each month, one Wisconsin resident will be awarded the Wisconsin Heroes Award for their dedication and willingness to go the extra mile for a cause they believe in. Mrs. Walker will personally present the winner with the award in order to show her appreciation to those individuals.

Serve Wisconsin and the CNCS State Office host an annual Governor’s Service Recognition Event that honors outstanding national service participants, programs, and volunteers that have helped address serious social problems to meet their community’s needs.  Nominations are accepted throughout February – April of each year with the recognition event taking place in June. Criteria for nominations and forms can be found on Serve Wisconsin website starting in February. The recognition categories include:Governor’s AmeriCorps Member of the Year Honoree
  • Governor’s AmeriCorps Program of the Year Honoree
  • Governor’s AmeriCorps* VISTA Participant or Program of the Year Honoree
  • Governor’s Senior Corps Participant of the Year Honoree
  • Governor’s Senior Corps Program of the Year Honoree
  • Volunteer Engagement Honoree
  • Marty Stein Friend of National Service Exemplary Supporter
  • Veteran Volunteer of the Year Service Honoree
If you know someone whose commitment to a cause should be recognized, then nominate them for a Wisconsin Heroes Award by filling out a nomination form on the link below. http://firstlady.wi.gov/initiative/wisconsin-heroes/wisconsin-hero-nomination-form

Volunteer Rock Star Award
Volunteer Rock Star was created by Volunteer Wisconsin to recognize volunteers for their dedication to an organization and/or cause. Every two weeks, a Volunteer Rock Star will be chosen. Their profile (information provided on the nomination form) and picture will be displayed on both the Volunteer Wisconsin website and the Volunteer Wisconsin Facebook page. In order to be eligible to receive a Volunteer Rock Star you must fit these criteria:
  • Nominee must be volunteering in Wisconsin
  • Must be nominated by someone who has direct contact with the volunteer
  • A volunteer can be nominated multiple times, but only can be nominated by the same organization once a year
  • Nominating organization must be a nonprofit organization
Please send a picture of the volunteer for their profile picture as a .jpg or a .png to jensen.rachel@marshfieldclinic.org. A volunteer can only be nominated by the same organization once a year. To nominate a volunteer, please fill out the nomination form by clicking here.

Local Service Awards

Jefferson Award for Public Service-Central Wisconsin The Jefferson Award for Public Service aims to identify and celebrate local “unsung heroes” who serves in communities across central Wisconsin. The winner of the local Jefferson Award for Public Service will be feature in a new segment in one of the Jefferson Award Foundation local media partners along with their Jefferson Award for Public Service Coin. To nominate a volunteer for the local Jefferson Award for Public Service, complete a nomination form. Nominating a volunteer for any of these volunteer service awards is a great way to thank your volunteers for their commitment and dedication to your organization. Also, if you know of any national, Wisconsin statewide, and/or local service awards that were not listed above please email them to jensen.rachel@marshfieldclinic.org.