Volunteer Generation Fund 2013
Volunteer Florida proposes to build on the successes of the Build-Engage-Sustain-and Transform (BEST) Neighborhoods program, funded by the CNCS Volunteer Generation Fund from 2010-2013, by strengthening the capacity of volunteer connector organizations to recruit, manage, support and retain skill-based volunteers to serve in high quality volunteer assignments. This statewide effort, called BEST Volunteers, will use evidence-based principles of service as a strategy and volunteering-as-a-pathway-to-work research to help meet escalating needs and affect change in the lives of those who serve, as well as those being served. BEST Volunteers program will target skill-based volunteers, including veterans and military families, unemployed and under-employed individuals and boomers. The benefits to this approach are three-fold: service organizations, which are especially stretched in this recovering economy, will have increased capacity; skill-based volunteers will utilize existing skills and garner new skills, which can also be a pathway to employment; and critical community needs will be met. The BEST Volunteers program will provide subgrants and conduct relevant, comprehensive training, with emphasis on increasing the number of skill-based volunteers, service hours, and types of activities. The target number of skill-based volunteers recruited is 2,100, serving 16,800 hours, and maintaining the level of retained volunteers at 30%. Volunteer Florida will strengthen the capacity of volunteer connector organizations receiving subgrants by providing a strength-based assessment to identify resources, challenges and areas of need. Subgrantees will receive a comprehensive, multi-phased training curriculum, subgrants of $10,000 and ongoing technical assistance. Subgrantees will be measured by pre- and post-evaluations, the number of skill-based volunteers recruited, hours of service and retained volunteers, monthly reporting, and site visits.