Volunteer Recognition

Recognizing time and talents

Volunteers are an important foundation of many nonprofit agencies, and bring many skills and resources. Retention of well-trained volunteers increases efficiencies and organizational capacity. To retain volunteers, nonprofits must understand what motivates a volunteer, give them opportunities for personal growth and development, communicate how their work impacts the organization, and recognize their time and talents.

United Way provides local organizations an opportunity to recognize their volunteers through the annual Outstanding Volunteer Awards.

Volunteers are recognized in five categories:

  • Youth
  • Adult
  • Senior
  • Business
  • Group

Nominations take place November through February. The United Way William B. Quarton Society committee chooses three finalists in each category and the community votes for the winning volunteers. Winners in each category receive $500 to donate to a nonprofit of their choice and are announced at our annual Volunteer Recognition Breakfast held in April.

For more information or to submit nominations and vote for the United Way’s Outstanding Volunteer Awards, visit our Volunteer Awards page.

Other local volunteer awards to recognize volunteers:

Iowa Governor’s Volunteer Award

The Iowa Governor’s Volunteer Award annually recognizes volunteers for years of service (5, 10, and 15) or special recognition for their work on specific projects. The awards are submitted in March and all volunteers are recognized at the annual Iowa Governor’s Volunteer Award ceremony. More information is available at volunteeriowa.org.

Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame

The Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame is the most prestigious state-level honor volunteers can receive; the people selected are those who have forever changed their community, the state, the nation, or the world with their volunteer service and action. Nominations are accepted starting in October and an awards ceremony takes place in February. More information is available at volunteeriowa.org.

Daily Points of Light Award

The Daily Point of Light Award celebrates the power of volunteers to spark change and improve the world through community service. These awards are given to individuals who find innovative ways to meet community needs; efforts which often lead to long-term solutions and impact social problems in their local communities. Submit nominations online at pointsoflight.org/dailypointoflight.

The President’s Volunteer Service Award

This is a great way to thank and honor those who, by their demonstrated commitment and example, inspire others to engage in volunteer service. The President’s Volunteer Service Award recognizes individuals, families, and groups that have achieved a certain standard – measured by the number of hours of service during a 12-month period or cumulative hours earned over the course of a lifetime. For information, visit presidentialserviceawards.gov.