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MAVA Excellence in Volunteerism Awards

Each year MAVA recognizes outstanding individuals for significant contributions to their community and the field of volunteerism in the following areas:

MAVA Award for Excellence in Volunteer Program Development

This award recognizes an individual who has made a superior contribution to furthering the culture and climate for professional volunteerism in Minnesota by developing an outstanding volunteer program and incorporating the essential elements of leading volunteers. Outstanding programs ensure that volunteers support the organization’s mission and expand impact and outreach. The recipient, through his or her personal model, exemplifies the ideals of selfless contribution to community that professional volunteer administration nurtures.


The MAVA Mary Wiser Award for Leadership in the Field of Volunteer Resources
This award was established to honor Mary Wiser, past director of volunteer services at Courage Center. As author, consultant and trainer Sue Vineyard says, “Mary left a legacy that can be an inspiration to us all as she blazed the trail toward a higher level of professionalism.” Mary was recognized for her outstanding contribution in teaching and inspiring others in the field.

The award is recognition of excellence by the recipient’s peers. It honors a professional in the field of volunteer administration who demonstrates the vision, diligence, and commitment to service that are the hallmarks of professionalism in the field. The award recognizes contributions to the overall profession within and outside the recipient’s organization, including contributions over a period of time.

The MAVA Award for Excellence in Emerging Leadership
This award recognizes individuals new to the field of volunteer management making a significant impact on their sector and in the profession as a whole.


The MAVA Award for Excellence in Volunteerism
This award recognizes volunteers of all age groups serving throughout Minnesota who have distinguished accomplishments and have shown extraordinary interest in the area of volunteerism. These volunteers demonstrate the impact volunteers have on the improvement of communities through outstanding commitment to volunteerism.


The MAVA Award for Excellence in Executive Leadership
This award has been established to reinforce the importance of strong executive leader and volunteer program relationships. The award honors an Executive Leader who demonstrates a cooperative, supportive, enthusiastic and well-defined relationship with the volunteer program. Please use specific examples to demonstrate how your Executive Leader represents outstanding service and support to your volunteer program.



We welcome nominations from MAVA members as well as from anyone knowledgeable about volunteerism and its leadership. Nominees must reside in Minnesota.

Nominations for the 2021 Excellence Awards are open until Friday, February 26. Awards will be presented virtually at MAVA's Volunteer Engagement Leadership Conference on Friday, June 11, 2021. Award winners will receive additional details.


Stay tuned for nomination form!