The Jefferson Awards

There are many ways to engage with our recognition platform. Corporations, schools, media partners and individuals all have a place in the Jefferson Awards, locally and nationally. Together, we bring attention to those who eagerly serve, and in doing so, generate ripples of good.  


Any one can nominate a notable changemaker for one of eight national categories

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Join us to celebrate the power of service to others during the 49th Annual Jefferson Awards


View all Jefferson Awards recipients since 1972.

Be Inspired


Multiply good with a donation that yields 100% impact. Every dollar you give fuels communities of change makers.

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  • Why should I nominate an individual for a Jefferson Award?

    We were founded in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Senator Robert Taft Jr., and Sam Beard as a national awards platform focused on extraordinary achievement in public service. For 50 years, we have consistently celebrated elevated and recognized individuals who build better communities and contribute to better a future for those around them. A Jefferson Awards puts the nominee among the most distinguished individuals in America and part of our national community of service.

  • If I sponsor an event, or buy a ticket, how is my money used?

    Thanks to our Board of Governors and a small group of dedicated philanthropists, JAF is 100% impact model. That means that your entire sponsorship and / or ticket price is solely dedicated to program delivery and impact.

  • Who is eligible for a Jefferson Award?

    National Awards are given to individuals and groups for excellence in service at a national or international scale. There are eight categories of national awards. Local grassroots unsung heroes, employees, and youth become eligible for national awards as well through participation in our programs. All award recipients must be American citizens, though their impact can have global reach. Click here for more information on the various awards categories.

  • How can I nominate an individual for a Jefferson Award?

    Nominations are open year round. We currently run a month long digital campaign in the summer to solicit nominations for all national categories. Our Board of Selectors is then tasked to vote for finalists in September. We work on confirming recipients throughout the Fall of each year. Everyone is invited to submit nominations.