Eligibility Requirements

Certifying Organizations

Certifying Organizations are PVSA’s partners in identifying and recognizing honorees for the President’s Volunteer Service Award. Only approved Certifying Organizations can certify honorees’ eligibility for PVSA and order awards, and they are thus charged with the responsibility to help uphold the program’s criteria and integrity of the Award.

Certifying Organizations must be established and operating in the United States, its territories (Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Northern Mariana Islands), or on overseas U.S. military and state installations. Additionally, Certifying Organizations must receive or facilitate volunteer service.

The following entity types are eligible to become Certifying Organizations if they meet the threshold requirements above:

  • Nonprofit or community-based organizations
  • Civic, fraternal or service groups
  • Faith-based institutions
  • Businesses
  • Schools or institutions of higher learning
  • National Service programs
  • Membership and trade organizations
  • Federal, state, and local government agencies
  • U.S. military and state entities abroad (i.e., U.S. military bases and U.S. embassies)

PVSA Honoree Eligibility

Honoree Eligibility

  • United States citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States (i.e., green card holder)
  • Must be at least five years old
  • Completes eligible service within a 12-month period (for annual bronze, silver, and gold awards); the hours for the Lifetime Award are cumulative across all years

Eligible Service

  • Acts of volunteer service benefitting others; charitable/financial support not a factor for PVSA
  • Most volunteer service activities are eligible, with the following exceptions: political lobbying, religious instruction, conducting worship service, proselytizing, and serving only family members
    • Non-partisan voter registration is an eligible activity
  • Not performed as part of court-ordered community service
  • Unpaid, voluntary service
    • National service (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) accompanied by a stipend may count towards the Lifetime Achievement Award, but not annual awards
    • Travel stipends, transit/parking passes, membership passes, expense reimbursements, and other nominal volunteer support do not impact service eligibility

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