Puneet Varma (Editor)

Jefferson Awards for Public Service

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Wilmington, Delaware

Public Service, Non-Profit

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Robert Taft, Jr. Samuel Beard

The Jefferson Awards Foundation was created in 1972 by the American Institute for Public Service. The Jefferson Awards are given at both national and local levels. Local winners are ordinary people who do extraordinary things without expectation of recognition. Local winners come from national networks of "Media Partners" and "Corporate Champions", and from the associated "Students In Action", Lead360 and GlobeChangers programs. The Jefferson Awards Foundation is led by its Executive Director, Hillary Schafer, its President, Sam Beard, and its Chairman, Joseph N. Sanberg, in conjunction with the Foundation's Board of Governors.


National awards

The awards are presented each year during a ceremony in Washington, D.C., during the third week in June, where a broad array of honorees are recognized. Also recognized are organizations – companies that represent the pinnacle in corporate citizenship and schools that best reflect the Jeffersonian ideals of citizen involvement.


In 1972, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, U.S. Senator Robert Taft, Jr., and Samuel Beard founded the Jefferson Awards for Public Service to establish a Nobel Prize for public and community service. The Jefferson Awards is led by the Board of Selectors who choose the national winners and oversee the activities of the organization. Co-founder Sam Beard is currently the President & CEO.

Jefferson Awards Foundation

The Jefferson Awards Foundation is a non-profit organization that "recognizes, inspires and activates volunteerism and public service in communities, workplaces and schools across America." The Institute was founded in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, U.S. Senator Robert Taft, Jr. and Sam Beard.

Board of Selectors

Board of Selectors include:


The Jefferson Awards has over 125 partners in more than 70 communitie.

Some current media partners include: WGAL, The Star-Ledger, Times Union, The Columbus Dispatch, WBNS, The Toledo Blade, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, WJAR, and KPIX.

Corporations, colleges and universities

In 2006, the Jefferson Awards began inviting corporations, colleges and universities, local governments and non-profits to become Jefferson Awards Champions. Champions recognize outstanding employee volunteers and encourage other employees and retirees to volunteer.

These are cause-marketing partnerships based on bottom-line considerations. Champions join the Jefferson Awards to create a co-branded program that helps them recruit new employees, retain existing employees, and build teamwork and customer loyalty.

The list of "champions" includes: Eat'n Park Hospitality Group, Inc., Allstate Insurance, Verizon, Coca-Cola, Aramark, Deloitte, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, Eli Lilly, National Grid, Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Adobe, AstraZeneca, the University of Toledo, Conseco, the State of Delaware, ReedSmith, Exelon, RCI, Macy’s, Heinz, Highmark, and others.

Each champion presents a Jefferson Award to an outstanding employee volunteer every month. One outstanding volunteer and the program manager are honored at the National Jefferson Awards Ceremonies in Washington, DC in June.

National organizations

To help further the goal of reaching over 3 million students, the Jefferson Awards has formed partnerships with national organizations to help initiate service and pass volunteerism onto the next generation.

National partnerships include: All Stars Helping Kids, Communities in Schools, Health Corps, Girls on the Run, NFL Player Engagement, Rustic Pathways, and Build-a-Bear Workshop.

Youth Leadership Partners include: Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and Deloitte.

United States Senate

The Jefferson Awards has a formal partnership with the United States Senate as a result of U.S. Senate Resolution 461, passed June 2, 2006. Senate sponsors included Joseph Biden, Richard Durbin, Trent Lott, and Richard Lugar.

The Jefferson Awards created a National Report on Volunteerism and presented it to the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, June 22, 2010.

The Jefferson Awards used these assets and outreach to make a specific focused annual report to the U.S. Senate and the White House on volunteerism and community building.


Jefferson Awards for Public Service Wikipedia