CEO Message on FY 2009 Budget Request

Feb 4, 2008

Dear National Service Colleagues:

Earlier today, the President released his budget request for fiscal year 2009, including $829.7 million for the Corporation and its programs.

In his State of the Union address, the President said: “We must trust the good heart of the American people and empower them to serve their neighbors in need.” This budget will help grow volunteering in the United States, strengthen how service meets local needs, and help nonprofits better engage the power of Americans to give back to their communities. It also supports progress on our five strategic initiatives: mobilizing more volunteers; ensuring a brighter future for America’s youth; engaging students in communities; harnessing Baby Boomers’ experience; and preparing for and responding to disasters.

The budget supports 75,000 AmeriCorps members, nearly 500,000 Senior Corps volunteers, 1.3 million Learn and Serve America students, and two million additional volunteers. In addition, the budget supports further steps toward excellence as a well-managed, fully-accountable organization that links strategic and operational goals, and continually improves its performance.

Here is an overview of the Corporation’s 2009 request:

  • The proposed AmeriCorps funding level of $507.1 million supports the President’s goal of 75,000 members.
    • AmeriCorps grants (State and National): $274.2 million will support 67,000 members. The $17.4 million increase over the FY 2008 enacted level allows us to transition from two-year to one-year funding while maintaining the current level of service to communities across the nation.
    • AmeriCorps VISTA: $91.6 million will support 6,900 members fighting poverty in communities large and small across America. VISTA will place greater emphasis on programs that recruit mentors for children of prisoners, assist youth aging out of foster care, and engage youth from disadvantaged circumstances in service.
    • AmeriCorps NCCC: $9.8 million, combined with $6.3 million in available FY08 appropriations and additional private sector funds, will support 1,120 members based at the current campuses in Colorado, California, and Maryland, and the two new campuses coming on line in Iowa and Mississippi. NCCC will continue its strong focus on disaster response, Gulf Coast rebuilding, and volunteer mobilization.
  • For Senior Corps, the budget requests $174 million to support 463,500 Americans age 55-plus who are meeting vital local needs, serving children and youth, and helping seniors live independently.
    • RSVP: $59.6 million will support 428,500 volunteers serving at more than 65,000 nonprofit and community organizations nationwide.
    • Senior Companions: $46.1 million will support 15,200 Senior Companions who will serve 60,000 clients and caregivers.
    • Foster Grandparents: $68.2 million will support 19,800 Foster Grandparents serving 167,000 children and youth. Despite the decrease in the Administration’s request due to an especially tight budget year, this program is valuable and effective and remains the largest investment in the Senior Corps portfolio.
  • For Learn and Serve America, the budget requests $32.1 million to support the engagement of 1.3 million students in service-learning. The program will continue its trend of engaging higher numbers of disadvantaged youth in service-learning.
  • The budget requests $20.4 million to support innovation, demonstration, and assistance, including $950,000 for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, $4.3 million for disability grants, $750,000 for the National Service-Learning Clearinghouse, and $14 million for volunteer infrastructure and youth programming. These investments will help strengthen volunteer management, spread service-learning, share best practices, and engage more Americans in service to meet local needs.

Further details about the President’s budget request are contained in the Fiscal Year 2009 Congressional Budget Justification, which is now live in the budget section of our website at Please note that in addition to the FY '09 budget proposals, the document contains a useful overview of the Corporation's FY '07 performance, which was outstanding, on pages 76-113.

Agencies across the government are tightening their belts to help control spending and reduce the federal deficit. The President and the Administration remain committed to national service and have proposed a budget to meet the needs of the Corporation and the communities we serve.

The release of the President’s budget is the first step in a long budget process. Later this spring we will have discussions with Congressional appropriators in the House and Senate, followed by committee mark-ups, floor consideration, conference committees and more. We will continue to provide you with updates as the budget moves through Congress. You can get the latest developments – and learn more about our Fiscal 2009 request – on the budget page on our website at

Thanks for your dedication to service. I look forward to our continued work to build a culture of service that will extend to all Americans.

In Service,

David Eisner
CEO, Corporation for National and Community Service

Media Contact

Samantha Jo Warfield
(202) 491-8250

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