Community Volunteer Awards Nomination Form

Thank you for your interest in Community Volunteer Awards! Nominations for 2020 are closed.

Please see below for information on the awards and selection process.

Two ways to nominate a Difference Maker:

  • Write three short responses about the nominee in your primary language, telling the Community Volunteer Awards Committee all about the nominee’s transformational work.
  • Record a 3-minute video of the nominator quickly describing the transformational work of the nominee, responding to the three questions below. Click here for instructions and click here for an example of a video nomination.

Submit your written or video nomination by February 28, 2020. See below for the online nomination form or a printable PDF nomination form. Click here to watch a video about how to submit a nomination. Contact us at (608) 246-4380 or communityengagement@uwdc.org with questions.

Goodman Gemstone Youth Award: This award is presented to one youth who has shown outstanding volunteer leadership and hands-on work in our community. This youth (18 years and younger) receives $1,000 for the organization for which they volunteer and $1,000 for their own education. This award is sponsored by the Goodman fund in the United Way of Dane County Foundation.

Kathy Martinson Youth Award: This award is presented to one youth (18 years and younger) who has shown leadership and hands-on work in the community. This youth receives $500 for the organization for which they volunteer and $500 for their own education. This award is named in honor of Kathy Martinson who brought the Community Volunteer Awards to Dane County in 1990 and her 35 years of dedicated service to community volunteerism.

Lifetime Service Award: This award is presented to one individual who has shared their skills through volunteering and positively impacted the community throughout their lifetime. The recipient will receive $1,000 for the organization for which they volunteer(ed).

Outstanding Leadership Award: This award is presented to one individual who has shown outstanding volunteer leadership in the community. The recipient will receive $500 for the organization for which they volunteer(ed).

Distinguished Service Award: This award is presented to two individuals (or groups) who have shown outstanding leadership in the community. The recipients will each receive $500 for the organization for which they volunteer(ed).

Nonprofit Champion Award: This award is presented to one nonprofit organization for demonstrating leadership and innovation in transforming our community. The recipient will receive $1,000 for their organization. This award is sponsored by Dane County Administrators of Volunteer Services.

Business Champion Award: This award recognizes a business that strengthens our community through volunteerism! All companies that volunteer at Dane County nonprofit agencies or schools are eligible to be nominated. The recipient will receive $1,000 for the organization for which they volunteer(ed). This award is sponsored by the Business Volunteer Network.

Mike McKinney Award: This award is presented to one recipient who embodies the spirit and volunteerism of long-time local leader Mike McKinney. The recipient will receive $1,000 for the organization for which they volunteer(ed). Mike’s passion focused on access to food, youth development and HIV/AIDS awareness.

Who is Eligible for an Award?

  • Youth award recipients must be 18 years and younger.
  • The nominee’s activities must impact Dane County.
  • Activities can include, but are not limited to, serving nonprofits, neighborhood groups, schools and faith-based organizations.
  • Volunteering can include paid time off and reimbursement for expenses.
  • Previous nominees and recipients may be nominated again, but recipients of a 2019 award may not be nominated in 2020.
  • The nominee’s activities should have occurred in the previous 12 months, but do not necessarily need to be ongoing.

 Restrictions:

  • Employees of United Way of Dane County and their families may not participate as a nominator or nominee.
  • Community Volunteer Award judges must recuse themselves if they have an immediate family member who is nominated.
  • Event sponsors cannot self-nominate for the Business Champion Award, but table sponsors can self-nominate for this award.

Who chooses the award recipients?

Recipients are selected by a group of volunteer community members who comprise the Community Volunteer Awards (CVA) Selection Committee. If you are interested in volunteering in the future with the committee, please contact communityengagement@uwdc.org. We would love to hear from you!

The CVA Selection Committee uses scoring rubrics in order to ensure fairness and transparency. Nominators can read these in advance to know how the Selection Committee will score nominations. Click here for the scoring rubric for Individuals, and click here for the scoring rubric for Organizations. CVA is a community-driven award celebration and transparency in scoring nominations is important for equity and inclusion.

Should I tell the volunteers they’ve been nominated?

Yes! It is a great honor to be nominated for a Community Volunteer Award.

What happens after a volunteer is nominated?

After the nomination form is received, a congratulatory letter will be sent to the nominee. Then, the nominee will receive an invitation to the awards luncheon while judges review all nominations.

Can I submit more than one nomination?

Yes, you can nominate an individual for more than one award. For the Nonprofit Champion and Business Champion awards, submit only once per entity and include all volunteer activities you want to be considered for the nonprofit or business.

Are only volunteers at United Way partner agencies eligible?

Difference Makers throughout Dane County can be nominated as long as they meet eligibility requirements.