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 26, 2009
    More than three months after floods tore through villages bordering the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers in Alaska, a unique collaborative effort combining the expertise and resources of faith-based disaster response organizations, the State of Alaska and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is providing aid to the survivors of the disaster. More than 600 people have filed for FEMA assistance following the May floods.
  • Posted on Aug 25, 2009
    In late 2007 we were privileged to meet Commander McCarthy, USN Retired, Director of the Jacksonville Area USO who described her immediate mission of providing two hot meals a month, directly prior to payday, to families of our lower ranked deployed service members.
  • Posted on Aug 25, 2009
    For almost 29 years I have volunteered at the Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, NJ. I got started when I returned from Florida after two years of "retirement." I felt restless, and had nothing to do. Before raising six boys, I worked as a dietitian in hospitals and knew I loved the hospital atmosphere.
  • Posted on Aug 25, 2009
    This was the first I’d even heard of a Duck Drop Race, so I was intrigued and wanted to participate. It was a chance to bring together community youth, families, the Chamber of Commerce who started the event, and the community watershed organization with which I work: the Shamokin Creek Restoration Alliance (SCRA).
  • Posted on Aug 25, 2009
    Two years ago, I enrolled in a mediation certificate program with University of California Extension Service called Common Ground. I will receive my certificate next month. To enrich what I learned in the courses, I also decided to volunteer for the City of Davis, California Community Mediation Services or CMS. CMS has one full time staff member and 40 volunteer mediators who work on a rotating basis serving as members of a three person panel for each mediation.
  • Posted on Aug 24, 2009
    On August 4, a group of 15 Housing and Urban Development (HUD) employees volunteered at Walter Reed – a hospital for wounded soldiers. HUD participants held a cookout and served dinner to patients, family members, veterans, and hospital employees.
  • Posted on Aug 24, 2009
    “Christmas has come in July for PS 28!” said Principal Nunez of Public School 28 after a group of volunteers spend a day revitalizing his school facility and installing new equipment. And this was a truly collaborative effort.
  • Posted on Aug 24, 2009
    Foresters in Southern California have been long time supporters of Ronald McDonald House Charities. We have spent countless hours preparing meals and cleaning and refurbishing the houses. In 2008, we looked todeepen further our relationship with the organization by lending our support to Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times®!
  • Posted on Aug 24, 2009
    This summer, Sierra Club’s Cool Cities program launched its Home Energy Ambassador Training program in partnership with United We Serve. Volunteers in more than 35 states have been trained to take common sense and low cost energy efficiency ideas into their community to spread the word about lowering energy bills and carbon footprints.
  • Posted on Aug 24, 2009

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