The Anna Garlin Spencer Volunteer Award honors dedicated members for their commitment to help their ethical congregation and the American Ethical Union thrive.

Definitions and Criteria

  • AEU-affiliated ethical congregation: an Ethical Society affiliated with the AEU, includes Future of Ethical Societies and National Ethical Service
  • Lay member: a pledging member of an ethical congregation who
    – Is not the Leader, Assistant Leader, Leader-intern, or Board Member
    – Is not in arrears in his or her monetary pledge to the ethical congregation
    – Has been a consistently active member of the nominating ethical congregation for at least three full, fiscal years
  • Significant, volunteer contributions: knowledge or skills provided by the member on a consistent basis over a significant period of time. The substantive and noteworthy contribution of which allows the ethical congregation to succeed without hiring outside experts to accomplish the same function. Examples include, but are not limited to, assisting communications, ethical education, ethical action, festivals, platforms, publicity, or Society management.
  • An ethical congregation may forward one nomination per fiscal year to the AEU Board.
  • A person may only receive the Anna Garlin Spencer Volunteer Award once every five years.
  • Nomination Procedures

    1. Complete all portions of the AGS Volunteer Award Nomination Form and present it to the ethical congregation’s board of trustees.
    2. The ethical congregation’s board of trustees reviews the nomination and can:
      a. Vote to endorse the nomination (and have the president sign the form).
      b. Reject the nomination (and return the nomination to the nominator with an explanation).
    3. The ethical congregation’s board of trustees forwards the endorsed nomination to the AEU office at least 14 days before the next AEU Board meeting for inclusion on the agenda for that meeting.
      Note: Any nomination received fewer than 14 days before the next AEU Board meeting will not be considered until the following meeting. The AEU office will inform the ethical congregation if review needs to be postponed.
    4. The AEU Board reviews all nominations received within the appropriate time frame and notes the selections in the meeting minutes.
    5. The AEU office will notify the ethical congregation who nominated the selectee and make arrangements for the presentation of the award certificate at the next AEU Assembly during a ceremony held in honor of the nominees. The AEU Board President will read the Justifications for the nominees submitted by the congregations and present them with this award.
    6. All nomination forms and requested material should be sent to the American Ethical Union, 2 West 64th Street, Suite 406, New York, NY 10023.