Governor's Volunteer Awards

Governor's Volunteer Award logo with a collage of pictures from Governor's Volunteer Award ceremonies

Submissions are accepted each year from March 1 to mid-April; join our e-mail subscription list to receive announcements about this award program and other Volunteer Iowa news.


The Governor's Volunteer Award (GVA) program provides an easy way to honor the dedicated people who volunteer their time and talent to help an agency or organization deliver on its mission. There is no competitive selection process at the state level to decide who does or does not get an award; however, nominations are reviewed and approved by the participating state agency or Volunteer Iowa. By submitting the information, the person completing the form is verifying that the individual or group listed is deserving of this honor.

Nonprofits, charitable organizations, and government entities (city, county, state, and federal) may recommend an individual volunteer or group of volunteers who directly assisted the organization with a project, event, or activity, for a Governor's Volunteer Award. A small handling fee per award helps to cover the cost of printing certificates, postage for the invitations, mementos, ceremony materials and the online nomination system.

Guidelines (GVA Nomination Guidelines)

  • Recommendations for awards must be submitted by someone representing the organization that received the service of the volunteer(s) and may be submitted in one of two categories:
    • Individual (one person providing outstanding volunteer service)
    • Group (two or more individuals who volunteer together as a team)
  • Award Types Available:
    • Governor's Volunteer Award
    • Disaster Volunteer Award
    • Length of Service Award (volunteers who have served the organization multiple years. These awards are available in increments of five years, e.g., 5, 10, 15, etc.)
  • People who have been previously honored with an Individual Governor's Volunteer Award should not receive another, but can be recognized once every five years with a Length of Service Award.
  • Recipients are not required to live in Iowa, but their service must have helped an Iowa organization and/or the people it serves

Types of Service

Starting in 2021, Volunteer Iowa began collecting information to be able to recognize different types of service across the state. While not required as part of a nomination, nominators may select the following types of service for the GVAs:

  • Mentoring/Education: outstanding service as a mentor, tutor, or related support in education
  • Diversity and Inclusion: outstanding service to support and grow diversity, equity, and/or inclusion in a community
  • State Employees who volunteer
  • STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and/or Mathematics): outstanding service in alignment with the Governor's STEM Advisory Council -
  • Future Ready Iowa: outstanding service that supports the Future Ready Iowa initiative -
  • Disaster Response/Recovery: outstanding service in response to recent and ongoing disasters
  • Youth who volunteer

Nominations are accepted from: City governments, community colleges, county governments, federal government units operating in Iowa, Iowa MENTOR certified programs, K-12 schools (public and parochial), national service programs operating in Iowa (AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps Seniors), nonprofit and charitable organizations, private colleges and universities, non-state government organizations.

Questions? Contact the Governor's Volunteer Award program coordinator via email at or by phone: 515.348.6225 (800.308.5987).

Printed from the website on January 29, 2023 at 12:44am.