The Small Town America Civic Volunteer Award Program

What is the STACVA program?

The 2021 Small Town America Civic Volunteer Award program will recognize and honor the Nation's top 100 public service and public safety volunteers from towns and counties of less than 25,000 in population. Nominees will be selected by an expert panel of judges.

CivicPlus will provide a cash award of $20,000 to the national Small Town America Civic Volunteer Award winner, $10,000 to the first runner-up and $5,000 to the second runner-up. Awards will be made directly to the local governments represented by the award winners, and are intended to support the retention and recruitment of local public service volunteers. In addition, each of the local governments represented by the top 100 honorees may qualify for a volunteer management module with 12 months of complimentary support services from CivicPlus.

How does this award program work?

Local government representatives from towns, cities and counties with populations less than 25,000 may nominate public service volunteers or public service volunteer organizations for STACVA recognition. Online applications require a short essay describing outstanding volunteer service or retention/recruitment initiatives carried out by nominated candidate(s). Judging metrics for evaluating nominations include: the degree to which a nominee’s service has made a significant impact on their locality; the extent to which their civic contributions would be recognized by their peers; and, why their service would be considered above and beyond the “call to duty”.

Who is the program's sponsor?

STACVA is being sponsored by CivicPlus, the largest provider of online services to the local government sector throughout the United States.

Why was the program created?

While there are many programs that honor volunteerism, few if any recognize public service and public safety volunteers who are so critical to smaller communities. “Over the past 20 years working with local governments, we have seen first-hand that the most successful cities, towns and counties are powered by passionate people who want to make a difference in the place they call home,” said CivicPlus CEO Brian Rempe. “We are hoping to accomplish two critical goals with this initiative: bring attention to the need for more civic volunteerism, and recognize those who have found solutions to declining participation and are building powerful community networks focused on civic engagement," Rempe added.

The National Association of Counties, National Volunteer Fire Council, National Association of Towns and TownshipsPoints of Light, and Main Street America are current co-sponsors of the Small Town America Civic Volunteer Award. These organizations represent tens of thousands of local governments and public service volunteers.

Who will administer the program?

The Barton Russell Group ( is managing the Small Town America Civic Volunteer Award. The Group has built and/or consulted on several national award programs including the 2020 STACVA program, the Best Small Towns in America contest, the American Hometown Leaders Award, and the America’s Best Communities competition. Nominations will be “judged” by BRG professionals, each of whom have been involved with designing, managing and/or evaluating leadership award applications in their capacities as a foundation president, senior performance consultant, examiner for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and administrator/judge for several small town America awards.

Here is a link to Frequently Asked Questions.

Here is a link to the Advisory Team.

2020 Small Town America Civic Volunteer Winners

Click here for the 2020 winners: