2021 Volunteer Leadership Awards


  1. Nomination Period: July 12, 2021 – August 15, 2021
  • Who Can Nominate? Any staff member or volunteer may nominate one or more volunteers for any category. We ask that volunteers nominating other volunteer leaders alert their market staff.
  • Eligibility: All nominees must have been active volunteers over the past 18 months – January 2020 through June 2021.
  • Communication: All communication will take place through the staff and volunteers making the nomination.
  • Timeline for Announcing Winners: October 2021

Elaine Whitelaw Volunteer Service Award

The Elaine Whitelaw Volunteer Service Award is the most prestigious award March of Dimes presents to recognize a lifetime of distinguished volunteer service. This national award honors Miss Whitelaw’s outstanding volunteer leadership over more than five decades of unprecedented vision, energy and service to the March of Dimes.  Her personal commitment to volunteerism during the polio field trials gave momentum to the volunteer movement in the United States and serves as a model for grassroots volunteerism.  The winner will be selected from the Market Volunteer of the Year nominees and additional national nominees.

Financial Award – The award includes a $6,000 grant to recipient’s market through the Elaine Whitelaw Endowment. This grant is to be used for Professional Education opportunities for a local healthcare partner you work with to drive systems change and improve equitable outcomes for moms and babies.


  • Exemplifies distinguished volunteer service, above and beyond the call of duty
  • Exhibits creativity, originality and innovation
  • Demonstrates multi-dimensional leadership in one or more of these categories: movement, revenue growth and/or mission impact
  • Personifies commitment to volunteerism through demonstrated leadership and inspiring other volunteers to support March of Dimes mission
  • Volunteers at any level or combination of levels: market, state, regional or national

Click Here to nominate a volunteer for the 2021 Elaine Whitelaw Volunteer Service Award

Growth Generation Volunteer Leadership Award

This new award recognizes a market volunteer who enthusiastically embraces our pillar of Growth.  Be it through exceptional engagement in March For Babies, a special event in your market, or individual/corporate giving, this volunteer stepped up in a big way to help fund our mission.  They may have been crucial to raising fund for a mission investment opportunity, had especially creative ideas that paid off, or drove their peers to higher levels of giving and engagement.  This volunteer overcame obstacles, challenged assumptions, and made bold asks.  Nominees for this award could include campaign Chairs and Executive Leadership Team members, Board Members, Growth Committee Members, Team/Table Captains, Circle of Champions, or other revenue leaders.


  • Innovation:  Engaged in innovative and/or creative fundraising efforts
  • Leadership:  Took a leadership role and inspired others to step up for moms and babies
  • Impact:  Created a meaningful impact to March of Dimes through their fundraising efforts
  • Exceptional Dedication:  Went above and beyond the work and dedication of a typical volunteer leader to consistently raise fund for our mission.

Click here to nominate a volunteer for the 2021 Growth Generation Volunteer Leadership Award

Mission Impact Volunteer Leadership Award

This award recognizes a market volunteer whose leadership establishes March of Dimes as the maternal and infant health leader in the community or state. They have demonstrated leadership in driving tangible results and translating and sharing mission impact work in ways that invite donor investment and supporter engagement. This volunteer consistently leads with mission and empowers local volunteer/staff teams to align impact strategies and solutions to meet community needs.


  • Leadership: Candidate demonstrates outstanding and adaptive leadership in the maternal and child health field that has led to tangible impact and improved the health of mothers, infants and families in their community.
  • Advocacy and Government Affairs:  Candidate’s achievements and career contributions have made a significant difference in federal, state and/or local policies that improve the health of mothers, infants and families in their community.
  • Collaboration: Candidate successfully convenes cross-sector partners to identify programs, services, interventions and policies that will drive action. Candidate engages community members, public officials/elected leaders, philanthropists and funders around a shared action plan, leading to tangible impact and improved health outcomes of mothers, infants and families in their community.
  • Health Equity:  Candidate centers community voice and champions strategies and solutions that address the root causes of health inequities in their community.  The candidate’s efforts have resulted in significant improvement in access and quality of care and equitable health outcomes for mothers, infants and families in their community.

Click here to nominate a volunteer for the 2021 Mission Impact Volunteer Leadership Award.

Movement Maker Volunteer Leadership Award

This new award will be presented to a market and/or national volunteer who showed exceptional commitment to building our movement.  They were able to recruit new volunteers and supporters in key positions, represent and advocate for our mission, vision, and programs, and/or mobilize our supporters to take action on behalf of moms and babies.  They may have been a key connector to secure a leadership volunteer, or have spearheaded communications around one of our campaigns.  The Movement Maker is a crucial part of creating the momentum to build our movement to new heights. 


  • Relationship Building:  Motivated others, speaking with confidence and listening well; constantly cultivated new relationships in partnership with staff
  • Volunteer Engagement:  Worked tirelessly to engage volunteers and staff, and mobilize others to take action, see real results.  
  • Collaboration:  Collaborated with multiple stakeholder groups and to sell the March of Dimes larger vision to build a movement results and evaluate success 
  • Representation:  Utilized his/her strong networking skills and managed high-level stakeholder relationships to represent March of Dimes in any setting

Click here to nominate a volunteer for the 2021 Movement Maker Volunteer Leadership Award

For questions or more information, please contact our Chief Volunteer Officer, Megan Walker (mwalker@marchofdimes.org).