Spirit of NH Awards

2023 FAQs

The Spirit of NH Awards

The Spirit of NH Awards are New Hampshire’s largest volunteer recognition ceremony. All eligible nominees will receive an award, but one nominee from each subcategory is selected to receive an Outstanding Volunteer Service/Champion Award. In addition, only one winner is selected to receive the top honor of the night, the Spirit of NH Award, and one winner will be selected to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award (new in 2023). One winner will be voted by the general public as the winner of our People’s Choice Award.

Volunteer Service awards recognize individual volunteers and groups of volunteers who provide volunteer services that strengthen communities and improve the lives of New Hampshire residents.

New this year to mark the 20th anniversary of Spirit, the Lifetime Achievement Award will recognize one individual volunteer who has dedicated multiple years of service to an organization/cause that serves New Hampshire residents. If you wish for your nominee to be considered for their lifetime of service, check the box provided in the nomination form.

Volunteer Champion awards recognize outstanding nonprofit/public service organizations and businesses with volunteer programs that provide the infrastructure for volunteers to be successful in service. Awards in the Volunteer Champion category recognize things such as excellent program management, fund development efforts that sustain volunteer programs, and commitment of time/resources to engage employees in community volunteer roles.

The People’s Choice Award is decided by the general public: voting will be open after awardees are selected, and will remain open until the night of the awards. Check back for more info later!

Volunteer Service Award Subcategories:

  • Youth/Young Adult (age 22 and younger)
  • Adult (age 23-64)
  • Senior (age 65+)
  • Group (pair, family, club, or any other group of people who volunteer regularly)
  • AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers


Volunteer Champion Award Subcategories:

  • Business
  • Nonprofit/Public Service Organization (including government or military groups)



The Spirit of NH Award

From the Volunteer Service Award category, an individual or a group is selected to be surprised with the Spirit of NH Award. This special award highlights the tremendous impact that volunteers can have. While all award recipients are recognized for their critical role in fostering the tradition of volunteerism, the Spirit of NH Award sets an inspiring tone for future service contributions. The awardee is selected with an anonymous vote by a review committee made up of Volunteer NH’s partners, past recipients/nominators, and community members from across New Hampshire. The recipient first receives a standard (non-”Outstanding”) award in their category, and is then surprised with the Spirit of NH Award at the end of the night.

Read about all past Spirit winners here



The People’s Choice Award

Since 2020, Volunteer NH has invited the public to participate in voting for their favorite Spirit nominee to receive the People’s Choice Award. Voting takes place during a set time period and closes during the evening of the event, before the winner is announced.

2023: Kari Karwedsky, FIRST Robotics

2022: Marie Hickey, Rockingham VNA and Hospice

2021: Clifton West, Black Lives Matter Seacoast

2020: Ishwori Bhatta, NH Nepali Community

Other Award Winners at Spirit

Do you want to know who’s won the Outstanding Category in past years? Are you looking to nominate an individual or organization, but don’t know if they’ve received an award before?

Check out this searchable document with everything who has ever been recognized at the event since its beginning in 2003!

Search Recipients Here