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 3, 2009
    Shortly after I joined the USDA five years ago, my husband, Bruce, suffered a massive stroke at the age of 42. It was touch and go for five days before I learned that he would survive. But there was no telling how bad his deficits would be since the stroke hit his midbrain; the center where sight, sound, temperature control, reason and mobility intertwine.
  • Posted on Aug 3, 2009
    On July 23, I volunteered with more than 150 other ARAMARK employees at the East Baltimore Development Inc (EBDI) Community Center as part of a company-wide service day, ARAMARK Building Community.
  • Posted on Aug 3, 2009
    Disasters have become too commonplace in the world. I couldn’t just stand around and let people suffer because they are unprepared so I started a youth-run volunteer organization, Always Ready Kids, and won a Do Something Disaster Grant to help fund my efforts.
  • Posted on Aug 3, 2009
    I teach Calculus to middle school students during the summer. I cover the conceptual entirety of a College Calculus I course adapted for Algebra I backgrounds. Calculus is something most people (never mind middle school students!), regardless of socioeconomic background, are typically intimidated by. serve my community by teaching calculus and showing young people they can thrive.
  • Posted on Jul 31, 2009
    Like most immigrants, my parents bought the idea of the American Dream, the popular but misguided belief that hard work would yield benefits that far outweigh the cost. But the hardships they faced were never expected—no access to healthcare, language barriers, racism, social isolation, and poverty.
  • Posted on Jul 31, 2009
    I started Birthday Wish with five of my friends in the winter of our freshman year of high school(2006). We started it after Youth Venture, an organization that helps teenagers make a difference in the community by granting seed-money to start non-profits, came to our school looking for motivated teens.
  • Posted on Jul 31, 2009
    We have a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) at Cedarhill Estates Mobile Home Park at Fullerton, CA. About 30 people took the CERT training course and received a certificate of completion in 2006. We have taken various additional classes such as defibrillator training, CPR and basic first aid. Our community is a limited access community with just one way in and out. We do have an emergency gate separating our community with a community to the north of us that remains locked. In the event of an emergency this gate will be unlocked.
  • Posted on Jul 31, 2009
    My name is Robby Riess, Assistant Cubmaster of Pack 353 Brooklyn, NY & Brooklyn District Committee Camping Chairman. This project was brought to my attention by Jack Walsh, Brooklyn Council Vice President, and Brooklyn’s only Distinguished Eagle Scout.
  • Posted on Jul 31, 2009
    Hindu Americans are responding to President Obama’s call to the United We Serve initiative through various seva (service) projects. The Hindu American Seva Charities (HASC) has been established as a community space to bring together seva projects across the country and showcase them accordingly. The ultimate goal is to reach 1,001 seva projects by September 11. Numerous temples and individuals have joined forces in the name of seva.
  • Posted on Jul 30, 2009
    When school children are surrounded by dingy walls marred by dirty hand prints, countless scuff marks, and traces of pencils and markers, what does it say? At Balboa Elementary in San Diego, it says more than just that 700 elementary age students go to school here, year round. It also speaks to the many ways that budget cuts have taken their toll on the school environment.

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