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Governor’s Volunteer Awards Orientation Session. February 2014. Today’s Agenda. Background / Overview GVA Program’s Primary Goal Changes / What’s Unchanged Responsibilities Nomination Process Deadlines Website Online Document Access Database System. Jody Benz

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today s agenda
Today’s Agenda

Background / Overview

GVA Program’s Primary Goal

Changes / What’s Unchanged


Nomination Process



Online Document Access

Database System

Jody Benz

Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service

Promotion & Events Coordinator /


background overview
Background / Overview

Program started in 1982; first ceremony held in 1983

Originally only state government agencies could participate

Now all Iowa nonprofits as well as city, county, and federal government agencies can nominate their Super Star volunteers

Each year 600 to 1,500 Iowans are honored

background overview1
Background / Overview
  • Award categories:
    • Individual
    • Group
    • Disaster
    • Length of Service
  • Recipient’s service must have benefitted Iowans or an Iowa organization
  • A small handling fee is charged per award to help offset expenses


considered once-in-a-lifetime-time awards

background overview2
Background / Overview

Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service coordinates the program

Agency contacts coordinate nomination process for their staff and partners

Local committees plan and host each regional ceremony

Program Coordinator is responsible for all aspects of the program

primary goal of the program
Primary Goal of the Program

To provide an easy, low-cost and “non-competitive” * way for Iowa organizations to publicly thank their Super Star volunteers with a prestigious state-level recognition award

* Non-competitive means the person completing the nomination form is actually notifying the state that they have determined the individual or group listed is deserving of this honor. Other than the Awards Coordinator verifying that the nominee has not received a “regular” Governor’s Volunteer Award in the past, there is no further review process at the state level to decide who does or does not get an award. However, the Governor’s Office reserves the right to refuse to bestow an award if it is deemed inappropriate.

changes for 2014
Changes for 2014
  • New Volunteer Iowa / GVA website!
    • A new, unique link has been created for each agency’s online nomination form. DO NOT use your link from last year!
    • Paper forms will be made available to agencies upon request
  • Agency Coordinators will:
    • Cross-reference new nominations against nominations from past years prior to the approval process
    • Need a new password to the nomination system if their phone number has changed
remaining the same
Remaining the Same
  • Handling fee: $10 per award to coordinating agencies; nonprofits and “non-state” agencies pay $15 per award.
  • Agency Coordinators:
    • Provide billing information for ICVS
    • Approve each nomination entered into the system
    • Indicate if payment has been received from nominator
  • Award recipients will be notified by mail
  • Presentation ceremonies will be held in June; six locations are planned: Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Des Moines, Ottumwa, Storm Lake
  • Usernames for the online database
    • New users will be assigned IDs and passwords
icvs responsibilities
ICVS Responsibilities

Planning, development and improvement of the awards nomination process, guidelines, and procedures

Reviewing feedback from agency coordinators, nominators, and award recipients to improve future awards cycles

program coordinator responsibilities
Program Coordinator Responsibilities

Develop, improve, and distribute nomination materials

Provide training and technical assistance to Agency Coordinators; send invoices to them for their awards

Collect and compile approved nominations; send ceremony invitations to award recipients

Work with local committees to organize and execute each regional ceremony

Collect feedback from Agency Coordinators, Nominators, Local Committees and Award Recipients; share information with ICVS

awards coordinator responsibilities
Awards Coordinator Responsibilities

Serve as the single point of contact for the Program Coordinator

Be familiar with the nomination procedures and how to use the online database – the Program Coordinator is available for assistance when needed

Distribute online nomination link to YOUR agency’s staff as well as the staff of agency sub-divisions and branch offices; Program Coordinator will provide instructions you can share

awards coordinator responsibilities1
Awards Coordinator Responsibilities

Keep an Excel copy of nomination information for two years or as your agency may require

Coordinate the internal review and approval of nominations

Approve award information received; may need to add fund, agency, and org. numbers

Notify nominators if duplicate entries have been discovered and award will not be issued

awards coordinator responsibilities2
Awards Coordinator Responsibilities

Respect and meet deadlines

Assist with making address and spelling corrections

Process invoice for payment via IET or check

Provide feedback to GVA Program Coordinator to help improve the nomination process and/or awards ceremonies

nomination process
Nomination Process
    • Coordinators must send the agency’s customized nomination form link and instructions to their staff and appropriate contacts
    • Do NOT distribute your agency’s link to the general public (this goes for your staff too!)
    • Duplicate awards may be rejected
instructions to share
Instructions to Share

This document is available online


Include the instructions when you send out your link!

nomination form
Nomination Form

IMPORTANT: when someone finishes entering nomination information, they MUST click on Save This Record!

nomination form1
Nomination Form

They will then see a new nomination form, but with a confirmation message in red.

At this point, they may enter another nomination, or simply close their browser window.

deadlines activities who s responsible
Deadlines - Activities (Who’s Responsible)
  • Feb. 28 – Distribute electronic nomination form link to staff of agency, sub-divisions, branches, and partnering organizations (Agency Awards Coordinators)
  • April 4 – Submit online nomination form (Nominators)
  • April 18 – Approve submitted nomination data (Agency Awards Coordinators)
  • May 2 – Send invitation to attend award ceremony to recipients (Program Coordinator)
  • Two weeks prior to ceremony – RSVP with any ADA requests (Award Recipients)
public area of website
Public Area of Website
    • GVA program overview / guidelines
    • List of Agency Awards Coordinators
    • Information about ceremony dates and locations
    • Who to contact with questions
    • Link to coordinators’ section of the site
coordinators area of website
Coordinators’ Area of Website
  • From anywhere in awards website, click on “FOR COORDINATORS ONLY” link to:
    • View:
      • Responsibilities
      • Deadlines
      • Documents to download
      • Contact info for GVA Program Coordinator
    • Access online data system
coordinators area of website1
Coordinators’ Area of Website

Use the links here to download:

* Training slides/recording

* Sample documents

Use this link to access the online database.

database login
Database Login
  • Enter your User Name and password
  • Click on the Login button — don’t use your enter key!
viewing nominations
Viewing Nominations

To see your agency’s entire list of nominations:

Leave search box blank

Select 2014 for the year (records are available from 1999 to the present)

Click on search button

viewing nominations1
Viewing Nominations

Click on “Excel Results” button to download the entire list

  • Click on the name of a recipient to open their record
  • The last column shows whether a record has been approved
nomination approval
Nomination Approval

Enter billing information if it’s not already there

Check the approval box

Enter if payment has been received – the notes box is included so you can include the check number or other relevant information

VERY IMPORTANT! Click “Save this record”

Repeat steps 1 through 8 for every record.

database system
Database System

If you are done working in the database, or need to leave your desk for several minutes, make sure to log out. Otherwise, the system may time out and you won’t know it!


Program background and primary goal

What changed (or didn’t)

Who is responsible for what


Nomination process

Website (and online document access)

Database system

most important things to remember
Most Important Things to Remember!

DO CUSTOMIZE ALL the blue sections of the instructions before you send them out

DO NOT SHARE your agency’s link with the general public

MAKE SURE TO SAVE a record after making changes

where to get help
Where to Get Help
  • Web site:
    • Click on the “coordinators ONLY” button on the left side of the page to get to the coordinators’ section (no password needed).
    • Coordinators and assistants must use their own personal username and password to access the online database.
  • Questions? Suggestions? Forgot your password?
    • Contact Jody Benz, Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service: 515.725.3094,