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FAQ

  1. Who can receive a President's Volunteer Service Award?
  2. What types of service are recognized?
  3. What is included with the Award?
  4. Can volunteers purchase their own Awards?
  5. What is a Certifying Organization/Leadership Organization?
  6. I have service hours completed.  How can I find a Certifying Organization to present me with the Award?
  7. Why do I have to take an E-Course to apply to be a Certifying/Leadership Organization?
  8. Why do you need our CEO/ED's name and Date of Birth on the application?
  9. I applied to become a Certifying Organization/Leadership Organization and have not received a response.  What should I do?
  10. My username and password is not allowing me to log in.  How can I have this corrected?
  11. Can a child under 14 register for an online volunteer profile?
  12. What is a Record of Service Key?
  13. How do I add an administrator to my Certifying/Leadership Organization account?
  14. Is there a deadline to purchase an award?
  15. What is the turnaround time for ordering awards?
  16. What are acceptable methods of payment?
  17. Why is an email address required for each award recipient?
  18. I have already submitted my order but have additional names to add.  What do I do?
  19. There was an error with my shipment.  How can I have this corrected?
  20. Who do I contact if someone is abusing the program?
  21. Will orders ship overseas?
  22. I have lost my Award. How can I receive a replacement? 
  23. How do I certify a volunteer's hours? What is the difference between available and certified hours? 
  24. How do you nominate an individual for the President's Volunteer Service Award?
  25. Can a volunteer receive additional pieces (e.g., pin, coin, medallion) in addition to their Award package? 
  26. I have questions that were not addressed here.  How do I contact the PVSA Customer Support Team?

PVSA FAQ Answers

1. Who can receive a President's Volunteer Service Award?

The President's Volunteer Service Award recognizes United States citizens and lawfully admitted permanent residents of the United States that have achieved the required number of hours of service over a 12-month time period, or, for the Lifetime Award, more than 4,000 cumulative service hours over a lifetime.

Click here to learn more

2. What types of service are recognized?

Volunteers select the service they wish to do. The only service requirements we maintain are that the volunteer is not paid for the service and that the service efforts are not court-ordered.  Additionally, the Award only recognizes volunteer service as service hours completed; monetary or other in-kind contributions are not grounds for recognizing an individual with a President's Volunteer Service Award.

All service hours counting towards a President's Volunteer Service Award must be verified by a Certifying Organization, and the Certifying Organization orders and pays for award merchandise to recognize volunteers satisfying Award requirements.  Ultimately it is up to your Certifying/Leadership Organization to decide what volunteer work they want to count towards your Award.

3. What is included with the Award?

Award packages may include up to three Award features. We offer four different packages that provide flexibility with price and combination of the three Award features.  Award features include:

  • Personalized Certificate of Achievement
  • Official President’s Volunteer Service Award pin, medallion or coin
  • Congratulatory letter from the President of United States (included with all Awards)

Click here to see and learn about the different packages

4. Can volunteers purchase their own awards?

No.  All Awards must be ordered and paid for by a Certifying/Leadership Organization on behalf of the volunteer. Requesting that an honoree give money to cover the cost of his or her award is a violation of the Terms and Conditions, and may result in an organization losing its Certifying Organization status. Additionally, the President's Volunteer Service Award only recognizes unpaid service hours, not financial or other in-kind contributions. 

5. What is a Certifying Organization/Leadership Organization?

Certifying Organizations (COs) and Leadership Organizations (LOs) are our partners in identifying and recognizing Americans making a difference through volunteer service.  COs/LOs are organizations that have been vetted by the President's Volunteer Service Award program staff, have agreed to follow program rules and uphold the program's integrity, and are authorized to issue Awards to recognize volunteers' verified service hours.

The organization must be legally established in the United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or one of the U.S. territories and fall into one of these categories:

  • Nonprofit
  • Community organization
  • Faith-based organization
  • Business
  • School, college, or university
  • National service program
  • Civic, fraternal or service organization
  • Membership or trade association
  • Federal, state, or local government agency

COs/LOs MUST adhere to the Terms and Conditions of the President’s Volunteer Service Award.

CO/LO’s MUST either receive the benefit of the volunteer service or facilitate the service activities.

Click here to learn more about COs and LOs.

6. I have service hours completed. How can I find a Certifying Organization to present me with the Award?

We strongly recommend volunteers connect with a participating Certifying Organization to ensure the service they are providing is eligible to receive the Award.  If the organization through which you volunteer is not yet a Certifying Organization, the process is simple and all instructions can be found here.  All types of groups are signing up to become certifying organizations—from small local groups to national organizations.  Ask your organization to join today!

We do not currently have a list of COs and LOs available to the public.  We are working to develop a digital directory for organizations that have opted into participating and are looking for new volunteers; please check back for updates.    

7. Why do I have to take an E-Course to apply to be a Certifying Organization/Leadership Organization?

The E-Course is a government requirement to insure applicants review the information required and understand their responsibility when issuing Awards on behalf of the President of the United States.  We have the highest expectations for our Certifying Organizations to uphold the honor and integrity of the President’s Volunteer Service Award.

8. Why do you need our CEO/ED's name and Date of Birth on the CO/LO application?

Certifying and Leadership Organizations are entrusted with significant responsibility for identifying individuals, groups, and families for Presidential recognition; accordingly, each prospective CO/LO is vetted to independently verify the organization's eligibility. At the same time, we understand organizations' interest in securing information about their employees and operations.  The CEO/ED's birthdate has been identified a useful tool for verifying application information that allows us to do necessary vetting without need for additional documentation.  We appreciate your understanding that vetting is important to prevent fraud and uphold the integrity of the President's Volunteer Service Award.

9. I applied to become a Certifying Organization/Leadership Organization and have not received a response.  What should I do?

Due to the high volume of applications we receive on a regular basis, please allow 10-15 business days to receive a response from the approvals team.  If that time window has passed, please check your email to make sure our correspondence did not go to your spam or junk mail.  If you did not receive anything, reach out to our Customer Support Team who will be happy to look into your application status.

10. My username and password is not allowing me to log in.  How can I have this corrected?

  • Make sure your cookies are enabled.
  • Passwords are case-sensitive.  Be certain you are entering it exactly as it appears in our system.
  • Enter your complete username.  This may be your full email address.
  • If you know your username, you can click here to secure a new password.
  • If you do not remember your username, please contact customer service.

11. Can a child under 14 register for an online volunteer profile?

Yes, with permission.  As a safety measure, we require a parent/guardian’s email address as part of the application process for youth under 14, and a link for acknowledging consent will be sent to this email address.  If you are a youth participant under 14, and you have been unable to access your new profile, please ensure that a parent/guardian has completed the steps to authorize your participation. 

12. What is a Record of Service Key?

Every Certifying Organization has a Record of Service (ROS) key that serves as a unique code which can be utilized by the organization’s volunteers on volunteer profiles.  When a volunteer enters the Certifying Organization ROS key on his/her profile, the Certifying Organization will then have access to that volunteer’s record on the CO account.

13. How do I add an administrator to my Certifying/Leadership Organization account?

If the contact person has changed on your CO/LO account, please log in to your account and click “Profile” followed by “Edit” and update the contact information records on your account.  If you wish to add an additional person, contact our Customer Support Team.

14. Is there a deadline to purchase an Award?

There is no deadline to order Awards; however, there is a set window of time hours can be tabulated for award consideration.  Once a volunteer has tracked his/her hours for a 12-month period, the Certifying Organization can total the hours for the year and order Awards.  The 12-month period is determined by the Certifying Organization in its initial application and does not have to be the calendar year.  

15. What is the turnaround time for ordering Awards?

With the launch of our new site, we have put the customer more in control with order deliveries.  We require 10 full business days for production of customized orders received.  Our new UPS feature allows you to select your delivery speed; please add the 10 business day production time to the delivery speed estimate to know when to anticipate order receipt. 

16 .What are acceptable methods of payment?

Credit card is the preferred method of payment, allowing for seamless receipt of your order at our production and fulfilment center. We recognize some organizations must pay by check, so we continue to accept checks sent via U.S. Mail.  If paying by check, please complete the online order and send a copy of the order confirmation along with your check as directed during the order process. Your order will not be released to our production and fulfilment center until your check is received, so please allow for additional time in ordering. 

If you are using a Purchase Order, please proceed with the steps of confirming payment as if paying by check. Once you have confirmed your order, please contact the Customer Support Team for additional assistance. 

17. Why is an email address required for each Award recipient?

Providing the email address of each President's Volunteer Service Award recipient creates an ID unique to the volunteer that can be used to locate records and respond to customer inquiries. 

18. I have already submitted my order but have additional names to add.  What do I do?

Once orders are submitted on the website, they are electronically delivered to our production facility and are considered complete.  If you need to add additional volunteer names, you will need to place an additional order to secure Awards for those volunteers.

19. There was an error with my shipment.  How can I have this corrected?

  • Review your order confirmation email to ensure all content was correct.
  • Review the contents of your order received to confirm it matches your confirmation email.
  • If the two documents match, we cannot replace the Awards; you will need to place a new order to replace merchandise ordered in error or names misspelled on your order form. 
  • If the documents do not match, or if you have concerns about missing or damaged Awards, please contact our Customer Support Team for further assistance. 

20. Who do I contact if someone is abusing the program?

First, thank you for looking out for the PVSA program. If you suspect program abuse or fraud please let us know. You can fill out a simple form by clicking here.  We will protect your privacy in our investigations. 

21. Will orders ship overseas?

We currently cannot ship to APO AE/FPO overseas addresses because of our use of UPS in automated order fulfilment. We recommend you provide a domestic U.S. address (not a P.O. Box) for shipment and have the package forwarded to you via USPS overseas. If you cannot provide a domestic address, please reach out to our Customer Support Team for further assistance. 

22. I have lost my Award. How can I receive a replacement? 

Unfortunately, we cannot replace items that have been lost without order details such as an order number and the name of the organization that presented you with the Award. Please reach out to the Certifying or Leadership Organization that gave you the Award to ask if they can order replacement pieces. 

23. How do I certify a volunteer's hours? What is the difference between available and certified hours? 

A volunteer’s hours transfer from the "Available Hours" column to "Certified Hours" when an order is placed on behalf of the volunteer.

Available hours are hours that are available to apply toward an Award for a volunteer.  Certified hours are hours that have already been used toward an order for Awards.  These hours cannot be counted for an additional annual Award, but will be included in the cumulative 4,000 hours for the Lifetime Achievement Award.

24. How do you nominate an individual for the President's Volunteer Service Award?

The President's Volunteer Service Award does not have a nomination process; all individuals who complete the requisite service hours for an award, either in a 12-month period (or over a lifetime for the Lifetime Achievement Award), may be recognized by an approved Certifying or Leadership Organization. A volunteer will need to partner with a Certifying or Leadership Organization for their service hours to be recognized with an Award.

25. Can a volunteer receive additional pieces (e.g., pin, coin, medallion) in addition to their Award package?

A Certifying or Leadership Organization may order either one of any Award feature (certificate, pin, coin, or medallion) or one Complete Award Package (certificate with choice of pin, coin, or medallion). COs/LOs may recognize volunteers with either the highest Award earned (e.g., gold) or all Awards earned (e.g., gold, silver, bronze), but additional Award pieces are not available in addition to the package options at each Award level. Please note that for the Lifetime Award, the Award pieces include certificates, pins, and a new Lifetime coin; Lifetime medallions are not available. 

26. I have questions that were not addressed here. How do I contact the PVSA Customer Support Team?

Please click here to contact us.  Our Customer Support Team is available Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern time.

 
 
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