Awards Nominations

Thank you for your interest in submitting a nomination for the SAVMA Volunteer Awards. Nominations are open for 2025. Expect the award selection announcement on September 10th. The SAVMA Volunteer Awards Nomination Guidelines can be downloaded here>>>>>


SAVMA Awards 2025 Event Details

  • January 23, 2024| 8-10 AM at the Tucson Convention Center
  • Expected attendance of 400
  • 6 – major awards presented
  • Dozens of Community Service Recognitions honored
  • One amazing nationally recognized volunteerism keynote!

General Guidelines, Terms, and Conditions

  • Service area: Service occurred within Pima, Santa Cruz, Graham, Greenlee, or Cochise County.

    SAVMA Award Honorees receive a special surprise, one of her books, from the keynote speaker, Nicole R Smith.

  • Age requirements: The nominee meets the age requirements of the respective category (at the time of service), if applicable.
  • Time of Service: Nominees’ significant and consistent commitment to volunteer work before June 30, 2024.
  • Submission Limits: Nominators may submit multiple individual or group nominations but are limited to one nomination per organization per category. Individual nominees may only be submitted in one category.
  • Public Service Requirement: Membership organizations are not eligible for awards. There is a public service requirement.
  • Multiple Nominations: If two organizations nominate the same individual, group, or organization, the first nomination will be the only one considered.
  • Former Award Recipients: Previous awardees are not eligible for nomination in the same category.
  • Permission to apply: Not all nominees want public recognition and permission to submit can help.
  • SelfPromotion: Strongly recommended! Support your supervisor by providing them with the information needed for your nomination.
  • Conflicts of Interest: SAVMA Awards Committee Members and their immediate families are ineligible.

General Terms and Conditions of Note

  • Definition of Volunteer: A volunteer is “an individual who performs hours of service for a public agency for civic, charitable, or humanitarian reasons, without promise, expectation or receipt of compensation for services rendered, is considered to be a volunteer during such hours.” (Wage and Hour Division, Department of Labor, 2024)
  • Volunteer Engaging-For-Profits (Medicaid Mandated Volunteer Programs): For-profit hospice and hospital volunteer programs are eligible for nomination in several categories; look for category-specific information.
  • Service Work and Credit Seeking Service: Include service workers (Federal Work Study, AmeriCorps, AmeriCorpsSeniors, NCCC, etc.) and credit-seeking service workers in the Headcount for Exceptional Volunteer Program Award and exclude them from individual awards.
  • Additional criteria by award: some awards have additional criteria.

Awards Nominations Guidelines

  • Nominations are open from July 1– July 31 at 5:00 PM (Deadline is absolute)
  • Nominations accepted only at:
  • Responses limited to 1600 characters (approximately 250 words)
  • For questions about the nomination process or content, contact the Nomination Chair at
  • Sponsors can submit a Community Service Recognition (CSR) separately. Details are available at the time of payment or receipt of the commitment form. The CSR deadline for submission is November 30th.

Awards Categories

  • Exceptional Volunteer Program Award: This award recognizes an exceptional volunteer program that strategically engages and recognizes volunteers, prioritizes time and talent investments, and advances the organization’s mission, programs, and operations in measurable ways.
  • Corporate or Group Volunteerism Award: This award recognizes a corporation or group with a demonstrated record of outstanding commitment through volunteerism and creates a corporate volunteerism culture that encourages and motivates employees/participants to take leadership roles, make an impact through service, and be involved in the community.
  • Volunteer of the Year Award: Recognizes an individual whose direct line of service volunteerism to one or more charitable causes improved the quality of life in Southern Arizona, demonstrated leadership in service, and whose exceptional volunteerism encouraged others to take volunteer leadership roles in the community.
  • Youth Volunteer Award (Individual or Group): Recognizes service by an individual or group under 18 years old (at the time of service) who demonstrated outstanding commitment to the community through volunteerism, development of charitable programs, and leadership in the advancement of the nonprofit sector.
  • Exceptional Governance Volunteerism Award: Recognizes an individual whose service as a governance or advisory council volunteer to one or various charitable causes improved the quality of life in Southern Arizona, demonstrated leadership in service, and whose exceptional volunteerism encouraged others to take volunteer leadership roles in the community.
  • Exceptional Volunteer Engagement Professional Award: Recognizes a Volunteer Engagement Professional (VEP)* whose work exemplifies leadership, competence, achievement, ethical standards, and commitment to the volunteer engagement profession. Requires active membership in SAVMA to nominate in this category.

*Titles may vary, but SAVMA defines a VEP as an individual who spends at least 50% of their time and/or resources on volunteer engagement duties.

Selection Process

Event Committee Members nominate an Independent Panel of Judges to comprise the Selection Committee. The Selection Committee Members are Community Leaders with personal and professional experience and commitment to volunteerism. They represent a diverse cross-section of the community. Judges use a rubric to evaluate and score nominations independently over two weeks.  Judges provide feedback, vote, and select the awardees at a joint meeting using the combined scores as a guide. Selection Chair(s) coordinate and oversee the process and do not vote for awardees. September 10th is the scheduled public announcement of the Awardees. The Selection Committee Co-Chairs will inform Nominators of the selections.

Selected awardees must submit a short biography and high-resolution photos, including one headshot and images depicting the nominee in service.  The media and elected officials receive nomination information for publicity purposes.