We are very pleased to present the 2011-2015 Strategic Plan for the Corporation for National and Community Service, which was unanimously approved by our board of directors earlier today. The full plan and appendix are posted on our website.
This plan is the result of a nine-month collaborative effort between CNCS and our network of state commissions, grantees, project sponsors, participants, staff, and the public. Throughout its development, more than 1,900 individuals provided input on our strategic direction. Thanks to that honest and thoughtful input, the final plan is a much stronger document that provides a roadmap for using national service to address critical challenges facing our communities and our nation.
The plan builds on the strong foundation of national service that has developed over the past four decades. It was guided by the vision set forth in the bipartisan Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act of 2009, a landmark piece of legislation that ushered in a new era of service in our country, focused on engaging citizens in a lifetime of service and directed at finding community solutions to some of our nation’s most persistent challenges.
The plan recognizes the critical role that CNCS and the network it supports plays in engaging millions of Americans in sustained service to solve community problems, supporting our most vulnerable citizens, strengthening the voluntary sector, and transforming lives. It also calls on all those involved in national service to lead and operate at the highest level of accountability, integrity and transparency.
To focus our efforts, the plan lays out four strategic goals:
- Increase the impact of national service on community needs in communities served by CNCS-supported programs
- Strengthen national service so that participants engaged in CNCS-supported programs consistently find satisfaction, meaning and opportunity
- Maximize the value we add to grantees, partners and participants
- Fortify management operations and sustain a capable, responsive and accountable organization
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.
We see this plan as a living document. While setting national goals and performance measures, the plan recognizes that national service is flexible, evolutionary, and responsive to state and local needs.
Achieving the goals we’ve laid out in the plan will require a sustained effort with our national service network. This collaborative approach is how national service has always worked, and is especially important today given today’s budget environment. In a time of fiscal constraint, it is even more important to focus our efforts, provide clear direction, and make the best use of our resources.
We hope this plan will not sit on a shelf. Thank you for your leadership in tackling its ambitious but attainable goals. Working together, we can make service a solution for the tough issues facing our communities and nation.
Patrick A. Corvington Mark Gearan
Chief Executive Officer Chairman of the Board