Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act
Overview of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act of 2009 (Serve America Act)
On April 21, 2009, President Barack Obama signed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act at an elementary school in Washington, DC (read more). The Serve America Act reauthorizes and expands national service programs administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) by amending the National and Community Service Act of 1990 and the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973.
Since the Act's signing, volunteering is up, momentum is strong, and a new vision for service is taking effect. At a time of great need, Americans are answering President Obama’s call to serve. This landmark law is making America stronger by focusing service on key national issues; by expanding opportunities to serve; by building the capacity of individuals, nonprofits, and communities; and by encouraging innovative approaches to solving problems.
- Fact Sheet - Serve America Act Implementation (PDF)
- Fact Sheet - Progress on Obama Administration's Service Agenda (PDF)
- Video: Corporation CEO Patrick Corvington Speaks On the One-Year Anniversary of the Serve America Act Signing
- Keynote Address: Corporation CEO Patrick Corvington Discusses Progress on Implementation of the Serve America Act
Serve America Act
- The National and Community Service Act of 1990 as amended by the Serve America Act (PDF - as of 12/1/2010)
- The Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973 as amended by the Serve America Act (PDF - as of 12/1/2010)
- Bill Language (3/26/2009)
- Detailed Summary (70 KB PDF - as of 4/21/2009)
- Highlights -- Press Release (3/26/2009)
- Overview Presentation (2.59 MB Microsoft PowerPoint)
- Frequently Asked Questions (16 KB PDF)
- Current Law vs. Serve America Act - Side by Side Comparison (102 KB PDF)
The Serve America Act is landmark legislation that charges CNCS and our partners to dramatically expand opportunities for Americans to serve, to focus on critical national issues, to be a catalyst for social innovation, and to support the nonprofit sector. The law both expands our existing programs and creates new initiatives to increase service opportunities and strengthen our civic infrastructure.
Following passage of the Act, CNCS embarked on lengthy public input process, receiving thousands of comments through listening sessions, conference calls, emails, and web postings. We thank all those who submitted comments, which we have reviewed as part of the implementation process.
On August 20, 2010, CNCS issued a final rule implementing changes in the National Service Trust and other provisions as directed by the Serve America Act. The final rule was developed after a thorough review of extensive public input. It makes a number of changes that will further our goal of expanding opportunities for Americans to serve by increasing incentives, expanding eligibility, and improving the benefits for those who answer the call to serve.
CNCS provides grants to national and local nonprofits, schools, government agencies, faith-based and other community organizations and groups committed to strengthening their communities through volunteering. The following notices of federal funding opportunity reflect programmatic changes resulting from the passage of the Serve America Act.
- FY 2010 AmeriCorps State and National Grants
- FY 2010 AmeriCorps National Planning Grants and Indian Tribes Planning Grants
- Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Fixed-amount Grants (10/6/09 - PDF)
Segal AmeriCorps Education Award
The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act expanded the authorities of the National Service Trust, including changing the basis for the amount of the award and expanding its available uses.
Social Innovation Fund
The Social Innovation Fund, a public-private collaboration created by the 2009 Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, is designed to create new knowledge about how to solve social challenges in the areas of economic opportunity, youth development and school support, and healthy futures, and to improve our nation’s problem-solving infrastructure in low-income communities.
Press Releases, Official Statements, and Updates
- May Update on Serve America Act (5/31/2010)
- March Update on Serve America Act (3/31/2010)
- February Update on Serve America Act (3/1/2010)
- January Update on Serve America Act (2/5/2010)
- December Update on Serve America Act (12/21/2009)
- November Update on Serve America Act Implementation (11/16/2009)
- Serve America Act Implementation Update (10/1/2009)
- Update on National Service Budget (10/1/2009)
- National Service Agency Seeks Peer Reviewers (9/25/2009)
- National Service Agency Announces 2010 AmeriCorps Grant Opportunity (9/22/2009)
- Senate Committee Action on FY 2010 National Service Budget (7/31/2009)
- Serve America Act Implementation Update (7/27/2009)
- Update on FY 2010 National Service Budget (7/21/2009)
- National Service Agency Board Hears Input on Serve America Act (5/20/2009)
- Update on How You Can Share Your Input on Serve America Act (5/18/2009)
- Seeking Your Input on Implementation of Serve America Act (4/30/2009)
- Press Release: President Obama Signs Landmark National Service Legislation (4/21/2009)
- Remarks by the President at Signing of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act | Video (YouTube - 4/21/2009)
- Transcript: Press Briefing on the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act (4/20/2009)
- Statement: Update on Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act (4/17/2009)
- Press Release: House Sends Landmark National Service Bill to President (3/31/2009)
- Statement by President Obama on the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act (The White House - 3/31/2009)
- Statement of Administration Policy on H.R. 1388, Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education (GIVE) Act (3/24/2009)
- Statement of Administration Policy on H.R. 1388, Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education (GIVE) Act (3/17/2009)
- Letter from the Office of Management and Budget on National Service Legislation (169 KB PDF - 3/6/2009)
The Serve America Act, S. 277, legislation to reauthorize and strengthen the national service laws, was introduced by Senators Kennedy and Hatch on January 16, 2009. On March 26, 2009, the Senate voted 79-19 to pass national service reauthorization legislation, naming the bill the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act.