The University of Iowa

Iowa Nonprofit Awards Criteria

Iowa Nonprofit Awards Criteria

Organizations and individuals may be nominated for the Iowa Nonprofit Awards in the categories listed below. The awardees are chosen by members of the Iowa Nonprofit Summit planning committee which, for 2017, included representatives from Volunteer Iowa, the Iowa Council of Foundations, United Ways of Iowa, Volunteer Centers of Iowa, the Larned A. Waterman Iowa Nonprofit Resource Center, Iowa Mentoring Partnership, Iowa Association of RSVP Directors, and the Iowa Association of Foster Grandparents and Senior Companion Programs.

For additional information, contact Jody Benz at Volunteer Iowa, or 515.348.6226 or see the Iowa Nonprofit Awards Instructions page.

*Indicates awards that government entities are not eligible to receive.


*The Nonprofit Spotlight Award

Given to a 501(c)(3) organization that demonstrates responsiveness to needs in Iowa's communities through advocacy or long-term strategies, investment of resources, community dialogue and partnership and which exhibits commitment to accountability and effective nonprofit and volunteer management.


*Nonprofit Board Leadership Award

Given to a current or former member of the nonprofit's board of directors who demonstrates commitment to prudent use of all assets, provides oversight for activities that advance effectiveness and sustainability, ensures compliance with applicable laws and ethical practices, and who serves on committees or task forces and offers to take on special assignments.


*Staff Leadership Award

Given to a current or former staff member of the nonprofit organization who creates a culture that balances innovation and day-to-day productivity to implement board-approved activities, who demonstrates proactive leadership and ensures that all staff and volunteers contribute to goal achievement, and who identifies and responds to needs addressed by the organization's mission.


*Philanthropic Impact Award

Given to a grant-making organization that demonstrates commitment and dedication to improving the quality of life in Iowa's communities through timely and innovative grant making, that identifies opportunities to invest in organizations that lead to long-term impact and sustainability, and that demonstrate responsible investment of resources and involvement in partnerships with the nonprofit sector.


Outstanding Volunteer or National Service (AmeriCorps or Senior Corps) Program Award

Awarded to recipients who have effectively used service as a strategy to address community needs, have records of activities that have made long-lasting and meaningful differences in the lives of people or communities, who have demonstrated excellence in volunteer management practices, and who has displayed leadership in engaging volunteers.


Outstanding Volunteer or National Service (AmeriCorps or Senior Corps) Manager Award

Awarded to a volunteer administrator or National Service program director who has served for a minimum of three years (may be salaried staff member or non-salaried volunteer). The individual should have demonstrated excellence in program and volunteer management and should have exhibited innovation in maximizing resources and should have demonstrated leadership in the volunteer or national service field and should have helped to promote volunteer and/or national service in the community, region, or state.


Outstanding Nonprofit Collaboration Award

Awarded to those who function as a collaborative partnership which may include nonprofits, government entities, for-profits, and others. The collaborative efforts should demonstrate increased effectiveness and efficiency of services provided, and/or such things as joint marketing or fundraising, reaching new clientele, or enhancing public advocacy.