Frequently Asked Questions

The Jefferson Award is a national volunteer recognition award established in 1972 by the American Institute for Public Service (now Multiplying Good) in cooperation with the U.S. Senate and the White House. In NJ the Jefferson Award is administered by The NJ Governor’s Office and NJ Advance Media and is the state’s highest recognition for community service and volunteerism.

Volunteers are the unsung heroes of our state. In addition to the substantial financial impact volunteerism provides to thousands of New Jersey’s non-profit organizations, volunteers foster a sense of greater community and well-being, often directly impacting the lives of children, the elderly and less fortunate among us.

Nominators fill out the form including contact information for the nominee, contact information for themselves as the nominator, the answer to three questions about the nominee’s volunteerism and its impact, and up to 3 applicable categories from the current list.  Multiple nominations for a single nominee do not affect the judges’ choice – each nomination is assessed on its own merit.

Once a nomination is received, the nominee is notified and asked to confirm their contact information and accept the nomination so that it may move to the next stage.  Once the deadline for that year has passed and all nominations are confirmed, candidates go through rounds of screening and sorting.  Qualified nominations are then read by the judging panel.  Scores from the judges are averaged and the highest scoring nomination in each category becomes the medalist for that year.  

Judges for the NJ State Governor’s Jefferson Awards are members of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Volunteerism as well as previous medalists, honorees, and nominators.

Medalists will be recognized in person at a local ceremony in the late Spring/early summer.  Certificate honorees are sent their certificates in the mail.

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