The Triangle Nonprofit & Volunteer Leadership Center

Commissioners' Award Information



COVID-19 Update

Due to continuing public health concerns and the associated challenges students may have completing their volunteer hours, the requirement has been reduced from 50 to 40 hours. 

About the Award

About the Award

The Commissioners’ Award program recognizes the hard work of students who volunteer 40+ hours during the school year.

Many Commissioners’ Award and Mayor’s Award recipients are also eligible to receive the President’s Award at no extra cost. Use the application link below to apply for multiple awards.


Award Eligibility

Award Eligibility

  • Students age 12 – 18 (must be 12 by June 1)
  • 40+ hours of volunteer hours served between the first and last day of your school’s academic year. Dates will vary based on your school’s 2020-21 academic calendar-.
  • Hours MUST be completed at a Triangle nonprofit that is registered with the TNVLC. Visit to see if an organization is registered with us. If the nonprofit is not registered with us, please contact our office.
  • Awards are issued for volunteer service only. No paid or court-ordered community service counts toward your total hours volunteered for the award.
Application Process

Application Process

You will need the following information to complete the application. 

  • Payment must be made prior to completing the application. (Pay Here)
  • You will need your application fee payment receipt to complete the application
  • Information on all volunteer service hours before starting this application i.e. name of agency/agencies, hours completed, name of supervisor
  • The online application has multiple pages. The student has the option to complete a page at a time and click “save and complete later”. Students MUST complete all questions on a single page to use this option. If this option is selected, the system will send an email to the student with a link to continue and complete the remainder of the application. 


Other important things to keep in mind:

  • Once you submit your application, you will receive an email confirmation. This email will have the link to the supervisor evaluation form. Please send it to each of your supervisors so they can complete and submit in a timely manner.
  • Please be patient with us as we receive and process all application and evaluation forms. We will email you ONLY if we are missing any information or evaluation form.
  • Please DO NOT email us to ask if we have received your application. The email confirmation is an acknowledgement that we have received your application.
  • Once processing is compete for all students, we will email you with information about an award ceremony and/or award pick up.

Register by clicking on “Apply Now” below.

Be sure to always keep a copy of all your volunteer timesheet hours! If these are lost in the mail or are not received in email, you will need a copy to verify your hours. TNVLC does not retain volunteer time sheets from year-to year. If you need these for other purposes you will need to keep a copy for your own records.

  • $45 fee
  • If your student is registering for both the Mayor’s Award and the Commissioners’ Award, there is a special package pricing of $75 for both saving you over 15%
Additional Award Benefits

Award Benefits

  • Award Presentation by Elected officials at our Tomorrow’s Community Leaders Ceremony*
  • After-Ceremony Photo Shoot with Community Leaders
    (Senator/Mayor/Commissioner) *
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Preferred acceptance into the Student Action Board
  • Customized volunteer opportunity listing
  • Discount pricing for multiple awards
  • Early registration access for our Civic Engagement Leadership Institute ($50 value)
  • Many Mayor’s Award and Commissioners’ Award winners are eligible for the President’s Volunteer Service Award.
    * Subject to change due to COVID-19 health concerns
Award Fees


  • Payments can be made online or by check.
  • If paying by check, please make checks out to: The Triangle Nonprofit & Volunteer Leadership Center (TNVLC) with “Commissioners’ Award” In The Memo Line. Mail To PO Box 3374, Durham, NC 27702.
Financial Assistance

Financial Assistance

  • $45 fee
  • If your student is registering for both the Mayor’s Award and the Commissioners’ Award, there is a special package pricing of $75 for both saving you over 15%
  • TNVLC believes strongly in supporting student volunteers. Financial Aid is available. NO STUDENT WILL BE TURNED AWAY DUE TO INABILITY TO PAY.
Essay Contest

 Essay Contest
As you are finishing up with volunteering, consider entering the Commissioners’ Award essay contest. The theme is the benefits of volunteering, and/or why it is important to be active in your community. The essay should be 3-5 pages double spaced, with a font no larger than 12 point. Give your essay an original title. Use your summer experience, other volunteering, and your own ideas to talk about the importance of volunteering. The winning essay will be read at the Award Ceremony in the fall. The deadline for the essay is September 6, so you may turn it in with your application, or you may turn it in early. If you choose to e-mail your essay, send it to

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Commissioners' Award?

The Commissioners’ Award program recognizes the hard work of students who volunteer 40+ hours during the school year. If you earn enough hours, you will automatically receive the President’s Award at no extra cost. (You must submit a separate time sheet for the Presidential Award. Timesheets for all youth programs are in the Application packet below.) There is a $45 processing fee for the Commissioners’ Award.

Who is eligible?

Students who are 12 (or turn 12 by June 1) to 18 years of age. Please note that some nonprofits have age minimums and may require an adult to be present if this minimum is not met. Generally there are fewer opportunities for students under age 14.

How do I find volunteer opportunities?

Our online volunteer matching database, has hundreds of volunteer opportunities. You can also search “Mayor’s Award” on to search for those that have been specifically identified (though any opportunity listed is eligible). Students can also contact nonprofits and select opportunities that may not be listed in HandsON. There are thousands of nonprofits throughout the Triangle providing students with plenty of ways to find an opportunity to volunteer.

Can I complete my hours at more than one organization, or do I have to do all hours at the same site?

You can serve at several different organizations, as long as your hours add up to the required minimum. You must maintain a timesheet and your supervisor will need to approve your hours and complete an evaluation form. Those documents are included in the Service Packet above.

What if I can’t find an opportunity that is still open?

We encourage students to take leadership in locating a volunteer opportunity. If you have contacted several agencies and they are unable to find a placement for you, consider creating an opportunity with another agency. It is common to have to contact numerous groups before finding a match. If you have contacted more than 5 agencies and cannot find a match, e-mail the names of the agencies that you have contacted, your name and age, city, and volunteer interests to and we will assist you in locating an opportunity.

How do I know if the agency I want to volunteer with is registered?

Follow this link on to browse the list of registered organizations.

How will my hours be verified?
Based on the email address you provide in the application form to receive notifications, you will receive a thank you notification after completing the form. This notification will have the link to the supervisors evaluation form, please send it to each of your supervisors so they can complete and submit in a timely manner.
What is the deadline for completing my hours?

Your hours must be completed by the start of the first day of school. This varies between schools.




Are volunteers essential to your organization's success?

Nominate them for the 2023 Governor's Volunteer Service Award & the Key Volunteer of the Year Award!