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 Jul 29, 2013
    By Wendy Spencer

     

    A few years ago, a young teenager named Chris was living the street life in Austin, Texas, a high school dropout dealing drugs and facing bleak prospects for the future. While spending time at a juvenile detention center, two Senior Corps volunteers offered Chris love, support, and consistent finger-wagging, encouraging him to take his life in a new direction. Today, thanks to AmeriCorps, Chris has graduated from high school, gained valuable work skills, and found his passion in life - becoming a wildland firefighter.
  • Posted on Jul 26, 2013
    By Greg Tucker

     

    A flash flood on July 17 swept through Bannack State Park, a ghost town near Dillon, MT, unearthing many historic artifacts that were scattered throughout the flood zone. Shortly thereafter, a 14-member team from Montana State Parks AmeriCorps sprang into action to locate, tag, and recover items from the site.
  • Posted on Jul 26, 2013
    By Greg Tucker

     

    Last week, members of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) family joined Volunteer West Virginia and the Citizens Conservation Corps of West Virginia as more than 40,000 volunteers descended on the Mountain State to perform 350 service projects across nine counties. By the time all was said and done, volunteers performed more than 300,000 hours of service during a five-day period.
  • Posted on Jul 25, 2013
    By CNCS Staff

     

    In the spirit of Let’s Read. Let’s Move., Atlanta is tackling  the challenge to keep kids’ brains and bodies active through the new Mayor’s Summer Reading Club, which will host  a series of events across the city that cater to the community’s young readers.
  • Posted on Jul 19, 2013
    By CNCS Staff

     

    What an amazing week for national service!  From the White House to West Virginia, service was in the spotlight.
  • Posted on Jul 16, 2013
    By Valerie Jarrett, Neil Bush, and Michelle Nunn

     

    The first immigrants to America came seeking freedom, but they survived -- and, in time, came to thrive -- because of their determination and because of each other. They valued self-reliance, but in times of strife they also knew could rely on neighbors, friends, sometimes even strangers to offer a helping hand.That neighbor-helping-neighbor spirit is woven into the DNA of the American spirit. It defines in a very real sense who we are as a people.It also unites us.
  • Posted on Jul 15, 2013
    By Cecilia Muñoz and Wendy Spencer

     

    In his 1989 Inaugural Address, when President George H.W. Bush uttered the words “a thousand points of light” he launched a movement. By signing the first National Service Act in 1990, President Bush ushered in the modern era of national service, setting the stage for the creation of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).
  • Posted on Jul 15, 2013
    By CNCS Staff

     

    National service makes a difference for millions of Americans, but few examples demonstrate this idea better than the story of AmeriCorps member Chris Guzman. His inspirational speech during last week’s National Conference on Volunteering and Service in Washington, DC, drew a standing ovation, and we believe his journey is a prime example of how Corporation for National and Community Service programs change lives.
  • Posted on Jul 13, 2013
    By Greg Tucker

     

    The suicide of 11-year-old Ty Smalley three years ago shined a spotlight on the bullying he had endured for years at his school in a small Oklahoma town. A father’s grief led Kurt Smalley to begin a personal crusade to end bullying by taking a leadership role in the Stand for the Silent initiative that sprang from his son’s death.
  • Posted on Jul 12, 2013
    By Greg Tucker

     

    Birthdays are big events for most people, but that’s not a given for those who are homeless and have few, if any, resources for life’s luxuries. Knowing that some kids won’t be able to celebrate this special day led three friends to create Birthday Wishes to spread a little joy to young children in homeless shelters.

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