Corporation for National and Community Service Fact Sheet
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. As the nation's largest grant maker in support of service and volunteering, CNCS engages more than five million Americans of all ages and backgrounds in service to their communities each year through the Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, VISTA, NCCC, and Learn and Serve America programs, and leads President Obama’s call to service initiative, United We Serve. Participants in CNCS programs and the community volunteers they help coordinate enable tens of thousands of national and local nonprofit organizations, faith-based groups, schools, and municipal agencies to solve tough problems and meet local needs in education, health, the environment, veterans, economic opportunity, and other critical areas.
AmeriCorps provides opportunities for more than 80,000 Americans each year to give intensive service to their communities and country through three programs: AmeriCorps State and National, AmeriCorps VISTA, and AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps). AmeriCorps members tutor and mentor youth, build affordable housing, assist veterans and military families, provide health services, run after-school programs, help communities respond to disasters, and build the capacity of nonprofit groups to become self-sustaining, among many other activities. AmeriCorps members in recent years have stepped up their role in recruiting, training, and managing volunteers of all ages and backgrounds, supporting 3.4 million community volunteers in 2011 alone. In exchange for a year of full-time service, members earn a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award that can be used to pay for college or graduate school, or to pay back qualified student loans. Since 1994, more than 775,000 Americans have given 1 billion hours of service through AmeriCorps.
Each year Senior Corps taps the skills, talents, and experience of more than 330,000 Americans age 55 and older to meet a wide range of community challenges through three programs: RSVP, the Foster Grandparent Program, and the Senior Companion Program. RSVP volunteers help local police departments conduct safety patrols, participate in environmental projects, provide intensive educational services to children and adults, and respond to natural disasters, among many other activities. Foster Grandparents serve one-on-one as tutors and mentors to young people with special needs. Senior Companions help homebound seniors and other adults maintain independence in their own homes.
Social Innovation Fund
The Social Innovation Fund represents a new approach by the federal government to address urgent national challenges. Its function is to mobilize public and private resources to grow the impact of promising, innovative community-based solutions that have evidence of compelling results in three areas of priority need: economic opportunity, healthy futures and youth development. In the past two years, the Social Innovation Fund has awarded $95 million to 16 intermediary grantmakers in 10 states, which have made subgrants to nearly 150 subgrantees in 32 states and the District of Columbia, leveraging $250 million in additional private and nonfederal dollars in matching funds.
Other Programs and Initiatives
■The Volunteer Generation Fund strengthens the nation’s civic infrastructure by helping nonprofits recruit, manage, and support more volunteers.
■ The Nonprofit Capacity Building Program increases the ability of nonprofits in resource-poor communities to implement performance management systems.
■ The King Day of Service supports community organizations in their efforts to engage local citizens in service on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday.
■ The President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll honors colleges and universities for the commitment of their students, faculty, and staff to community service.
■ The CNCS Resource Center provides training and resources to national service programs and nonprofits seeking to expand their capacity and impact.
■ The CNCS annual Volunteering in America report provides comprehensive data to state and local leaders to help them expand the impact of service.
Service as a Solution
President Barack Obama is deeply committed to advancing the role of service in addressing our national challenges and in making service part of the life of every American. With bipartisan Congressional support, the President has worked with CNCS to focus service on pressing social problems; expand opportunities for more Americans of all ages and backgrounds to serve; build the capacity of individuals, nonprofits, and communities; and embrace social innovation. The agency’s recently adopted 2011-2015 Strategic Plan builds on the strong foundation of national service that has developed over the past four decades and the vision set forth in the bipartisan Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act of 2009. The plan recognizes that national service will have its greatest impact if we target resources on a core set of critical problems and carefully measure our progress. It prioritizes six major challenges facing communities: disaster services, economic opportunity, education, environmental stewardship, healthy futures, and veterans and military families. It also provides strategies and performance measures which determine how we will evaluate our success over the next five years.
United We Serve
In June 2009, CNCS joined with the White House to launch United We Serve, a challenge to all Americans to engage in sustained, meaningful community service to help in our nation's renewal and recovery. Americans have responded enthusiastically to the President's call, joining with friends and neighbors to replenish food banks, support veterans and military families, restore public lands, and more. The Administration worked with technology leaders to develop a volunteer matching tool for the Serve.gov website featuring more than 250,000 volunteer opportunities, and teamed up with top sports stars and celebrities to promote volunteer service.