Skip to Main Content

Governor’s Service Awards

The Governor’s Service Awards are presented by the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism annually. The 2020 Governor’s Service Awards recognizes Marylanders for their significant volunteer contributions to the state and its citizens between June 2019 and August 2020* (*exceptions apply for specific award categories).

This has been (and continues to be) an extraordinary and unprecedented year. People have stepped up like never before, and our mission to capture and uplift compassionate and innovative contributions continues. Please submit a nomination if there is someone in your life that you believe should be recognized for their exceptional volunteerism.

If you’d like to encourage your community to nominate someone for the Governor’s Service Awards, find a printable flyer here or share this Facebook and/or Twitter post.

Recipients of the Governor’s Service Awards must exemplify the following characteristics:

  • Demonstrate sustained volunteer commitment to meeting Maryland’s most pressing human and/or environmental community needs;
  • Engage in meaningful volunteer service that makes a measurable difference in the community;
  • Represent extraordinary acts of generosity and kindness; and
  • Through volunteerism, have an impact on the greater community.

Important Note: The Youth Service Awards has been moved to Spring 2021 to better coincide with the school year, and the 2020 Governor’s Service Awards will include a youth category to ensure no lapse in youth recognition. Learn more:

The nomination period for the 2020 Governor’s Service Awards has CLOSED. The next nomination period is Fall 2021.

The Nomination Process

Nominators are expected to assist in notifying selected individual(s) or group.

Each nomination will include:

  • the contact information for the nominee and nominator,
  • location of volunteerism,
  • duration of volunteerism,
  • selected award category,
  • and nomination narrative.

Answers to the nomination narrative should be written in paragraph form (i.e. not as a bulleted list) and contain under 1,000 characters. Late or incomplete submissions will not be reviewed. The deadline for submission is Monday, September 14, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

Nomination Narrative:

  1. Please provide a brief bio for the nominated individual(s).
    • If you are nominating an organization, please provide a brief bio of the organization.
  2. Quantitative Data: What were outcomes of the nominee’s volunteerism between June 2019 and August 2020* (*except for the Lifetime Achievement, AmeriCorps Alum, and National Service award)? Provide quantitative data citing number of volunteer hours provided, number of people served, etc., that shows results of the volunteer service activities.
  3. Qualitative Data: What made this nominee’s volunteer service extraordinary? Provide anecdotal information, such as stories and quotes to demonstrate the non-measurable impact of the nominee’s volunteerism.

Options to Submit Nomination:

  • Submit a virtual written nomination, here.
  • Print this file and mail your physical nomination response, here:
    • ATTN: The Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism – 2020 GSA
      100 Community Place
      Crownsville, MD 21032
  • Alternative Submission Options – Verbal & ASL
    Any nominator may choose to submit the nomination narrative verbally or with American Sign Language. To submit:

    • email a .mp3 file (maximum 3 minutes per answer) to
    • email a .mp4 or .MOV file (maximum 3 minutes per answer) of your ASL submission to

The form submission will be the only information used to select the recipients of the 2020 Governor’s Service Awards. Learn more about previous recipients: 201920182017, and 2016.

In addition to the nomination review, the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism will use the narrative in parts or its entirety on social media, on the website, and in awards event materials.

Award Categories

Nominations will be accepted in these categories:

  • Pandemic Response Champion: An individual or organization that made an extraordinary contribution to Maryland communities in response to the pandemic.  
  • Emerging Leader: An individual, family or group who took initiative to meet a community need through local organizing and volunteering.
  • First Responder: Any individual employed in an emergency service occupation whose service has gone above and beyond the call of duty in a capacity outside of paid employment.
  • Faith-Based: An individual, family, group/team, or youth that volunteers through a faith-based community organization.
  • Youth: An individual (age 18 or younger) who volunteers.
  • AmeriCorps Alum: A Maryland AmeriCorps Alum whose commitment to embody service beyond their term of AmeriCorps service continues to bring about positive community change. Alums must have served in the 2018-2019 service year or before.
  • National Service: An individual member of a National Service program (AmeriCorps or Senior Corps) who has demonstrated outstanding volunteer service during the 2019-2020 service term. The service must be above and beyond the requirements of the designated program.
  • Lifetime Achievement: An individual who has exhibited 20 years or more of commitment to volunteerism and community service. Nominees must have made a substantial and long-term sustained impact in the community as a result of their service efforts.
  • Veteran: An individual who has served or is serving in the armed forces and volunteers in a Maryland community in a capacity outside of paid employment.
  • Corporate Business: A corporation or business investing in exceptional, transformative employee volunteering that fuels employee fulfillment and fosters increased civic engagement in the community.
  • Small Business: A corporation or business (of 50 employees or less) investing in exceptional, transformative employee volunteering that fuels employee fulfillment and fosters increased civic engagement in the community.
  • Group/Team: A group or team of two or more people that volunteer together on the same project(s) under a group or team name.
  • Individual: An individual (age 18  or older) who volunteers.
  • Nonprofit Volunteer Program: A nonprofit whose volunteers have shown exemplary service in carrying out the mission of the organization through direct service to the community.
  • Government Employee/Agency: A government employee or agency at the local, state, or federal level that has provided outstanding volunteer service to the state outside of regular work operations.

Review, Selection, and Notification

Each nomination received by the posted deadline will be reviewed by a panel of community leaders, volunteers, and staff of the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism. Nominations will be scored and ranked, based on eligibility. Following a fact-checking process, the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism will notify each recipient of his/her selection by early October. Each recipient and guests will be invited to an awards ceremony in late October.

Please note: All selected recipients must provide digital photographs for promotional use on social media, website, and in awards event materials upon notification of award selection.


Contact Joanna Chen, Outreach & Communications Coordinator, Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism by email at

Looking for other recognition opportunities?

Consider submitting a request for a Governor’s Volunteer Service Certificate to recognize significant volunteer contributions. Learn more, here: