Commissioners Scott Emerson (left) and Brian Brown (right) present volunteer Kathy Utiger (middle) with a Governor’s Volunteer Recognition Certificate.

The proper recognition of volunteers is an important component in any volunteer program, large or small. In an effort to provide recognition for exceptional volunteers that provide important services throughout the state, the Office of the Governor, working through Nevada Volunteers, will issue a Governor’s Volunteer Recognition Certificate, signed by the Governor.

Participation in this program will help bring attention to the powerful ways in which volunteers build our communities and make Nevada a better state for all of us. While the Governor’s Volunteer Recognition Certificate is designed to recognize exceptional volunteers, it is Nevada Volunteers’ hope to inspire new volunteers and encourage existing volunteers to greater engagement. We hope you will utilize this mechanism to reward and recognize your outstanding volunteers.

The Governor’s Points of Light Awards celebrate the extraordinary volunteer efforts of Nevadans all across the state in seven different categories:

  • Individual Volunteer
  • Individual Youth Volunteer
  • National Service Member of the Year
  • Nonprofit and Community Organization Volunteer Program
  • Corporate and Business Volunteer Program
  • Community Leadership Award
  • Lifetime Achievement Award

Registration and purchase of in-person tickets closed at 3pm on Friday, October 8, 2021. Registration for virtual attendance may still be purchased below!

Welcome to the 2021 Governor’s Points of Light Awards!

After a challenging year and a virtual only event in 2020, we are excited to announce that we are hosting an In-Person event this year which will also be available through Live Streaming for those unable to attend in person.  This year we are honoring 18 extraordinary finalists from across Nevada and hearing their inspiring stories of service.

  • Date:  Thursday, October 14, 2021
  • Time:  3-5 pm
  • Location:  The Mirage in Las Vegas, 3400 S. Las Vegas Blvd.


2-3:00pm   Check-In, appetizers and beverages
3:00pm     Welcome: Emcee Kendall Tenney,10e Media
           Entrance of the 2021 Finalists
           Presentation of the Colors: Nellis Honor Guard
           Singing of the National Anthem
3:15pm     Program Begins
           Governor Steve Sisolak
           Presentation of Awards
           Keynote speaker: Dr. Christina Madison,
             The Public Health Pharmacist, PLLC
5:00pm     Conclusion
*program subject to change

The Governor’s Points of Light Awards is possible because of the many corporations and nonprofits who believe in the power of volunteerism and partner to support this recognition effort. Thank you to all of our sponsors who join us in shining a light on Nevada’s brightest volunteers.

Thank you to the sponsors of the 2021 Governor’s Points of Light Awards

2020 Governor's Points of Light Awards

Service Award Pin


An optional lapel pin is available for a $5.00 charge. Click here to order. The pin will be sent with the Certificate.

Sample Certificate



The criteria for nominations for the Governor’s Volunteer Recognition Certificate include one or more of the following:

  • An individual has performed over 200 hours of service in a calendar year, representing exceptional service that surpassed expectations; and/or
  • An individual has provided a skilled or pro bono service that increased the capacity or stability of the organization by $10,000 or more; and/or
  • An individual has demonstrated reliability and commitment in continual direct volunteer service for a period of two or more years; and/or
  • An individual has taken on a significant leadership role resulting in a new or enhanced program, an innovative way of meeting organizational needs, or has addressed a need that was not previously met.
  • NEW- Youth Volunteer (18 years or younger) has performed over 100 hours of service in a one-year period, representing exceptional service that surpassed expectations.

If you have a volunteer or volunteers who meet this criteria submit your request for a certificate here .

*Note: This Certificate is not meant as recognition of normal board service but could be used for exceptional board service that exceeds expectations. Please contact Nevada Volunteers with questions.


Nomination Process

The nomination form may be submitted by any nonprofit, business, faith-based group, civic organization, or governmental entity. Nominations need to be submitted 4 weeks in advance of when the award will be presented. Nominations are submitted to the Governor’s Office on the 1st and 15th of each month. There is no charge for participating unless you wish to add a lapel pin to your presentation (see above).

The nomination requires the following information:

  • Name of Nominating Organization
  • EIN Number or other proof of legitimate status as a nonprofit or business
  • Phone/Mailing Address/Email
  • Name of Person Making the Nomination
  • Volunteer Name and contact information
  • Description of the way(s) in which the volunteer meets the criteria



No individual may receive the Certificate in two consecutive years for the same category. Recipients must be Nevada residents or have performed their volunteer service solely in Nevada. This recognition is not intended for National Service members.

The 2021 Governor’s Points of Light Awards FAQs

About Nevada Volunteers:

Nevada Volunteers, the Governor’s Commission on Service, is a nonprofit organization that promotes, inspires, and celebrates volunteerism and service statewide. Nevada Volunteers also provides AmeriCorps State grants to organizations across the state, strengthing Nevada’s volunteer infrastructure. As part of its focus on volunteer recognition, Nevada Volunteers hosts the annual Governor’s Points of Light Awards Ceremony.

What is the Governor’s Points of Light Award Ceremony?

The Governor’s Points of Light Awards Ceremony (GPOL) is Nevada’s most prestigious volunteer recognition event, celebrating Nevada’s brightest volunteers and volunteer organizations. It is the premier and sole statewide recognition event for volunteerism and service. Nominations are solicited from throughout the state and each nomination is reviewed by a judging panel with representatives from rural, northern and southern Nevada, nonprofit and corporate organizations, national service programs and the volunteer manager community.

What is NEW and EXCITING about this year’s event?

Details about the 2021 GPOL Event will be announced soon. Stay Tuned!

The nomination categories for 2021 are:

  • Individual Volunteer
  • Individual Youth Volunteer
  • National Service Member of the Year
  • Nonprofit/Community Organization Volunteer Program
  • Business/Corporate Volunteer Program
  • Community Leadership Award
  • Lifetime Achievement Award

Nominations will be open from May 1 – June 15, 2021.

All 3 finalists in each category will receive an award (gold, silver or bronze) at the Awards Reception on October 14, 2021 at the The Mirage in Las Vegas. The event will also be broadcast live.

Submit a 2021 GPOL nomination

We are excited to be working with Governor Steve Sisolak on this event and other volunteerism projects.

Registration and Tickets

Stay tuned for updated ticket information!

Sponsorship Opportunities

For businesses, sponsorship and brand association are great ways to demonstrate positive corporate social responsibility to employees, customers, investors and community leaders.

Our sponsorship opportunities look somewhat different this year as we navigate the issues surrounding our recovery from COVID-19. For example, at the 2021 reception, there are no tables of 10 and all seating will be arranged to comply with state mandated social distancing guidelines. We highlight our sponsors on the event platform, through social media, on printed materials and throughout the event.

For more information on sponsorship, please contact Terry Bell at (775) 825-1900 or tbell@nevadavolunteers.org

How can I become a GPOL Judge?

If you feel you have something to offer in reviewing and evaluating the Governor’s Points of Light Award nominations, please submit an application. Judging applications will be accepted from April 5 through May 31, 2021.

Apply to be a 2021 GPOL Judge

Additional ways to support the Governor’s Points of Light Awards

  • Honor someone’s service by nominating them for an award. Share their story to inspire others!
  • Purchase tickets and invite colleagues, guests, or volunteers to attend with you
  • Pay it forward by purchasing tickets for a nonprofit organization to attend the event and heighten their profile
  • Sponsor a Finalist to assist with travel and award expenses.