National Service Blog

  • Posted on May 20, 2015

    As one of the first wave of federal Pay for Success (PFS) grantees, Third Sector Capital Partners prides itself on going the extra mile to support programs that help at-risk youth and young adults secure a living wage and the employment skills to gain self-sufficiency.

    With a $1.9 million grant from the Social Innovation Fund (SIF) in 2014, the Boston-based advisory firm is strengthening the ability of local governments and service providers to implement PFS, a new way of focusing on outcomes. Under a PFS-financed project, the government leverages philanthropic and private dollars so that government pays only after service providers generate tangible results.

    Through its federal award Third Sector is offering technical assistance to seven subrecipients across workforce development, education and social services, working with these agencies to develop their own capacity to implement PFS.

    But in addition to technical assistance, Third Sector is taking innovative steps to promote success of these efforts. Unique among the 2014 SIF PFS grantees, Third Sector is requiring subrecipients to provide matching funds so that these agencies also have a stake in developing effective pay-for-performance models.

    “It’s important for these agencies to have skin in the game,” said Tim Pennell, Third Sector associate director. The cash match may be small – a minimum of $25,000 – but it provides ample evidence of the organization’s commitment to the PFS concept.

    “It means they are putting...

  • Posted on Aug 21, 2009
    Once a month several men from my church and I come to cook the dinner for 35-40 men, women, and children at the 8th Street Mission in West Memphis, Arkansas. We try to serve the same meal every month (spaghetti, meat sauce, French bread, green beans and bacon, salad, dessert, and lemonade). Once a week, I try to serve desert (fresh chocolate chip cookies and oranges) to the men and help with dishes.
  • Posted on Aug 21, 2009
    As a communications instructor at Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, Tenn., I am always looking for new ways to reinvent my communication courses for first and second-year students. In September 2008, I took 10 students to National Public Lands Day at our local state park, Bledsoe Creek State Park.
  • Posted on Aug 21, 2009
    Good nutrition is important for everyone, but incorporating high-quality food, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, can be challenging for people as they age and their appetites diminish. Local food—nutritious, delicious and increasingly available at Farmers Markets around the country—may be one answer to the problem.
  • Posted on Aug 21, 2009
    This summer we took the Collegiate United Methodist Church Middle School Youth Group on a mission trip to assist with tornado and flood damage clean-up and reconstruction in northeastern Iowa. The Hazelton area was hit by the same tornado that destroyed Parkersburg, Iowa, in May 2008. Shortly afterwards, the area received roughly 20 inches of rain in the span of one weekthat resulted in widespread flooding.
  • Posted on Aug 20, 2009
    At Intel, we strive to be an asset to our communities around the world. Under the Intel Involved Skills Based Volunteer program, employees are encouraged to use their professional skills to make a sustainable impact in their communities. One example is a team of volunteers from Intel IT in Massachusetts, who are assisting Massachusetts Audubon’s Drumlin Farm to identify, support, and implement a robust technology solution for use in a nature center setting.
  • Posted on Aug 20, 2009
    It was our second day on the Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity site in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and already the house that my Thrivent Financial for Lutherans colleagues and I were constructing was taking shape. What was simply a foundation when we arrived the day beforenow had a floor and walls.
  • Posted on Aug 20, 2009
    The Wood County 4-H program in Ohio is a key leader in the area of service learning through the art of quilting. For the past five years 4-H members and volunteers have created more than 110 quilts for cancer patients, domestic violence victims, teenage mothers, and individuals in need identified by 4-H members.
  • Posted on Aug 20, 2009
    “STATE YOUR NAME!” was barked at Dakota, who was sitting on a hay mattress in the jail at Fort Clinch. The Sergeant, as we were instructed to call him, was using a feather pen to write the thirteen names of my group on a pass to notify the gate keeper that we had permission to leave the fort. By this point Dakota did not question him and simply stated his name. We had just spent the day with the Sergeant, learning about life in 1864, from someone who was “living” in 1864.
  • Posted on Aug 20, 2009
    McKenna, Long & Aldridge Washington Partner Cass Christenson and Associate Michael Alexander recently won a social security disability appeal forMs. Thomas, a pro-bono client who was unable to navigate through the paperwork and legalities involved in such an appeal. In 2006, Ms. Thomas filed her own disability claim, but she was denied benefits. She then filed a request for reconsideration, which was also denied. Due to lack of procedural understanding, Ms. Thomas failed to assert a timely request for appeal and was left with only food stamps to sustain her.
  • Posted on Aug 19, 2009
    The key to a good story web is to give the yarn plenty of slack when you toss it across the circle. Holding on to your end, unspool it a bit before you throw it to Quincy, or Josanna, or Angel, or any of the 5th graders at Adams Middle School with hands stretched above their heads, anxious to share their insights on the book we’ve been discussing, Joyce Hansen’s “The Gift Giver.”

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