Volunteers are an important foundation of many nonprofits and bring both skills and resources. Retention of well-trained volunteers increases organizational capacity and efficiency. To retain volunteers, nonprofits must understand what motivates a volunteer, create opportunities for personal growth and development, communicate how volunteers make a difference to the organization, and recognize their time and talents.

United Way Volunteer Awards

Each year, we accept nominations for our United Way Volunteer Awards in December–February and have the public to vote for the winners. We then recognize all finalists at an award ceremony in April. See more details and past winners.

United Way Annual Awards

During our Game Changers event in the spring, we announce winners of the Community Philanthropist Award, Northcott Award, and Young Leaders Award. We accept nominations in December. Learn more about our annual awards.

Other Local Volunteer Awards

  • Iowa Governor’s Volunteer Award
    • The Iowa Governor’s Volunteer Award recognizes volunteers in categories of individual, group, and length of service in increments of five years. Volunteer Iowa recognizes all volunteers at the Iowa Governor’s Volunteer Award ceremony.
  • 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.
  • Daily Points of Light Award
    • The Daily Point of Light Award celebrates the power of volunteers to spark change and improve the world. A Daily Point of Light embraces the challenge of tackling a community need through volunteer service.
  • The President’s Volunteer Service Award
    • The President’s Volunteer Service Award is the premier volunteer awards program, encouraging citizens to live a life of service through presidential gratitude and national recognition.