As Washington begins to get buried under a blanket of snow, we wanted to update you on some of our key Serve America Act implementation steps taken last month.
Fiscal Year 2011 Budget Request
On Monday, President Obama sent his Fiscal Year 2011 budget request to Congress, including proposed funding for the Corporation and its programs. The budget request of $1.4 billion will allow the Corporation to expand opportunities for Americans to serve, strengthen America's volunteer sector, increase efficiency, effectiveness, and performance, and continue to carry out the new initiatives and program expansions called for by the Serve America Act. You can read the complete budget request now on our budget page.
Social Innovation Fund
The draft Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the Social Innovation Fund was released for public input in December and has generated more than 180 comments. The comments offered continued praise for the concept and support for the issue focus areas of economic opportunity, youth development and school support, and healthy futures. Given the fund's goal of supporting innovations across the country, many comments encouraged the Corporation to lower barriers to participation and increase opportunities, particularly in light of the economic recession.
The final notice of funding is scheduled to be released next week. In anticipation, a review protocol has been drafted and the recruitment of reviewers is expected to commence next week as well. Experts from the fields of social innovation, the nonprofit sector, philanthropy, and evaluation will be among those recruited.
On January 26, the Corporation issued a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) that will provide grant funding to launch new RSVP projects to engage volunteers ages 55 and over in communities not currently served by RSPV or to expand existing service programs. The RSVP NOFA totals $2.7 million in new funding that will be made available through a national competition.
An initial submission of a concept paper is required and applicants who have submitted successful concept papers will be invited to submit full applications. The concept paper deadline is February 22, 2010, and the deadline for full applications is April 6, 2010. Successful applicants will be notified by August 20. Click here to read the entire NOFA. For further information, email PNS@cns.gov or call 202.606.3225. Applications should be submitted to https://egrants.cns.gov/espan/main/login.jsp.
Learn and Serve America
On January 22, the Corporation announced the availability of $650,070 for new Learn and Serve America School-Based grants to Indian Tribes and U.S Territories that involve school-age youth in service-learning projects that simultaneously support student development and meet community needs. The Corporation anticipates that grants will be awarded to an estimated three to five Indian Tribes and U.S. Territories with awards ranging from approximately $45,000 to $120,000 annually for a project period of up to three years. Applications are due by March 9, 2010. For further information and instructions on how to apply, click here.
We will soon post for public comment a wide-ranging rule that addresses a number of provisions in the Serve America Act. Among other topics, the rule will address provisions relating to 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 look forward to getting your input once the rule is released this month.
Thank you for your interest, and please visit our Serve America Act homepage for more information.
Chief of Program Operations
Corporation for National and Community Service