December Serve America Act Update

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
Dec 21, 2009

Dear Colleagues:

As we approach the holidays, I want to share some key updates on our implementation of the Serve America Act.

On December 16, the President signed into law the FY 2010 Consolidated Appropriations Act. At a time of growing social needs and renewed interest in national service, the measure includes $1.149 billion for the Corporation and its programs, the highest funding level in the Corporation's history. In addition to providing increases for the Corporation's existing programs, the budget funds new Serve America Act initiatives including the Social Innovation Fund, Volunteer Generation Fund, Nonprofit Capacity Building Program, and Summer of Service. More information is in our press release and budget page. The finalization of our 2010 budget is a key step in our implementation efforts. Below are other steps we've taken over the past month.

Social Innovation Fund

On December 18, the Corporation released a draft Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the Social Innovation Fund for public feedback. Authorized under the Serve America Act, and funded at $50 million, the Fund is a new public-private partnership designed to help promising nonprofit organizations scale and create new knowledge about how to solve persistent social challenges in the areas of economic opportunity, education, and health. The Fund will invest in innovative and effective organizations that are solving our nation's greatest challenges, and will support the spread of those solutions to help increase the economic and social mobility of individuals and communities in need. The NOFA will be open for public feedback through January 15, 2010. Click here to link to the notice and provide feedback at SIFinput@cns.gov.

Learn and Serve America Higher Education Grants

On December 10, we released a Notice of Funding Opportunity for the new Learn and Serve America Higher Education grants. The $6.8 million allocated will support institutions of higher education that use innovative service-learning programming to meet the needs of local communities, and programs that foster lifelong civic engagement among students. We anticipate that grants will be awarded to an estimated seven to nine individual institutions ranging from approximately $85,000 to $200,000 annually for a project period of up to three years, and an estimated seven to eleven consortia ranging from approximately $200,000 to $500,000 for a project period of up to three years. More information is in our press release and on the NOFO page.

AmeriCorps Performance Measures

On December 1, the Corporation supplemented the initial 2010 AmeriCorps NOFO to include new information on the National Performance Measures Pilot, designed to better aggregate the results of similar programs and demonstrate the impact of AmeriCorps in five priority areas: Education, Healthy Futures, Opportunity, Clean Energy and Veterans. Please visit the AmeriCorps State and National grants page for more information, including an FAQ and detailed background information on the performance measures.

Senior Corps RSVP Re-Competition

In December, 16 RSVP Project Directors joined staff from our state offices, Field Financial Management Center, and headquarters to work on the implementation of the RSVP re-competition requirements of the new legislation. RSVP projects will participate in a self assessment prior to re-competition in 2013 to help them examine and address any areas of potential improvement. The pre-assessment survey will also include community stakeholder input and will measure how effectively an RSVP project builds meaningful, interactive community partnerships, and identifies and addresses community needs. If you have questions or would like more information, contact RSVP@cns.gov.

Rulemaking

Finally, a second rule (in a series of rules) is in final stages of drafting. This rule focuses on the provisions that affect the National Service Trust and the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award, including the number of terms of service, and the transferability of the education award for those 55 and over. We anticipate issuing this rule for public comment early in the new year.

We will continue to keep you posted through these monthly updates, and encourage you to visit our Serve America Act homepage for more information. Thank you and have a happy holiday season.

Nicola Goren
Acting CEO
Corporation for National and Community Service

Media Contact

Samantha Jo Warfield
(202) 606-6775
sjwarfield@cns.gov

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