National Service Agency Announces Grants to Engage, Retain Volunteers to Tackle National Challenges (CHART)

National Service Agency Announces Grants to Engage, Retain Volunteers to Tackle National Challenges (CHART)
Aug 24, 2010

New Orleans, LA—The Corporation for National and Community Service awarded its Volunteer Generation Fund grants totaling $4 million to 19 U.S. state service commissions to better recruit, manage, and retain volunteers to address pressing social challenges. 

While volunteering is on the rise amid these tough times, volunteer retention remains a significant issue. More than 35 percent of America's volunteers dropped out between 2007 and 2008, representing a huge loss of valuable human capital – about $30 billion a year, according to the Corporation's Volunteering In America research. The Volunteer Generation Fund is designed to help plug this “leaky bucket” of volunteer attrition, grow the nation's volunteer pool, and create a sustainable infrastructure of volunteer connector organizations to increase the impact of volunteers.

FY 2010 Volunteer Generation Fund Grantees

Name of Grantee:  Alabama Governor’s Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives

Amount of Award:  $100,000

The Alabama's Governor's office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives will be part of a Gulf State Strategy to address the Deepwater Horizon BP Oil Spill, and to collaborate with Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi to develop a regional Gulf States strategy to respond more holistically to future disaster-related situations.  The program will also subgrant to Volunteer Centers to assist in coordinating volunteer efforts throughout the state of Alabama.

Name of Grantee:  California Volunteers

Amount of Award:  $400,000

California Volunteers, the California Commission, proposes a three-year program to deliver relevant comprehensive and transformative training and support to nonprofits aspiring to achieve the gold standards of volunteer engagement.  The initiative will strengthen the capacity of local volunteer centers as they pilot the Service Enterprise Curriculum and then use it as a replicable model to teach partner nonprofits.

Name of Grantee:  Volunteer Florida

Amount of Award:  $325,000

Volunteer Florida proposes to use the Neighboring concept to expand the capacity of volunteer connector organizations as strong neighborhoods produce strong families and connected communities.  The Build-Engage-Sustain-Transform (BEST) Neighborhood Program uses neighboring to transform neighborhoods by using volunteerism to grow the capacity of local organizations. 

Name of Grantee:  Iowa Commission on Volunteer and Service

Amount of Award:  $320,000

The Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service (ICVS) will provide subgrants and training and technical assistance to local organizations.  These local volunteer centers will in turn work with local nonprofits to expand their capacity to recruit, retain, manage and support volunteers serving in high-impact assignments.

Name of Grantee:  Kansas Volunteer Commission

Amount of Award:  $190,000

Volunteering Kansas will partner with the Kansas Leadership Center and other collaborators to host regional trainings, service fairs and statewide celebrations in conjunction with MLK Day and the 9-11 Day of Service and Remembrance to increase the number of Kansans interested in connecting with meaningful opportunities at the local level.

Name of Grantee:  Louisiana Serve Commission

Amount of Award:  $100,000

The Louisiana Serve Commission will be part of a Gulf State Strategy to address the Deepwater Horizon BP Oil Spill, and to collaborate with Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi to develop a regional Gulf States strategy to respond more holistically to future disaster-related situations. Focusing on the national days of service, they will provide training for volunteer leaders, and expand the capacity of volunteer centers while creating a statewide campaign to urge individuals and groups to volunteer.

Name of Grantee:  Maine Commission for Community Service

Amount of Award:  $300,000

The Maine Commission for Community Service conducted a statewide comprehensive survey to establish their VGF focus.  Using strong partnerships dedicated to building capacity and peer networks to foster collaboration and support among managers of volunteers, the Commission will not only increase volunteer opportunities but also increase training access for volunteer centers.  Senior leadership and board members of nonprofit organizations will be engaged in the strategic plan and assessment of current volunteer roles and development of new roles to build a consistent, reliable infrastructure for the volunteer sector in Maine.

Name of Grantee:  Maryland Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism

Amount of Award:  $165,000

The Maryland Governor's office on Service and Volunteerism VGF project will include, as a result of an extensive planning process, a combination of subgrants to volunteer centers and Commission-managed activities designed to increase the number of MD citizens who volunteer each year.  Training to nonprofit staff and web site development to promote a variety of volunteer opportunities to the widest possible audience are integral to the program design, which focuses on engaging youth and persons with disabilities as priorities.

Name of Grantee:  Massachusetts Service Alliance

Amount of Award:  $150,638

The Massachusetts Service Alliance (MSA) will undertake a four-part coordinated effort to increase the number of people engaged in meaningful volunteer opportunities in MA including: 1- a statewide awareness campaign and launch of with an expansion of Connect and Service, MSA's statewide online volunteer connector tool;  2- support for MLK Day of Service initiatives that will engage large numbers of volunteers; 3- continued support for higher impact, their Volunteer Impact Retention and Expansion (VIRE) initiative engaging Baby Boomers; and 4- technical assistance and support to launch new volunteer connectors in underserved areas of the state.  The web site will position the commission as a statewide volunteer coordination agency.

Name of Grantee:  Michigan Community Service Commission

Amount of Award:  $486,913

The Michigan Community Service Commission (MCSC) is focused on a three-year initiative to increase the number of volunteers addressing health care and public safety issues in local communities as well as statewide through collaborative models of using service as a solution.  The target number of new volunteers is 2,500, while also increasing the number of retained volunteers to 750.  The number of volunteers participating in National Days of Service will increase to 50,000.  250 highly-skilled volunteers will also be recruited and retained and the number of replicable community models for volunteer mobilization will increase by 10.

Name of Grantee:  Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service

Amount of Award:  $270,000

The Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service (MCVS) will build a strong foundation to ensure the viability and sustainability of MS's volunteer center network by subgranting dollars to build volunteer center function and by building capacity of volunteer centers by resource sharing, training and consulting.  This project will also expand technology and provide training and consultation to volunteer centers to increase the number of volunteers in MS by 21,400 by the end of three years.

Name of Grantee:  New York Office of National and Community Service

Amount of Award:  $400,000

The New York State Commission on National and Community Service will engage more than one million New Yorkers in service and match them with opportunities to meet the diverse, local needs of the state by developing a network of 10 regional volunteer centers that will build capacity among the nonprofit sector to leverage national and community volunteer resources.  The Commission is providing a 1:1 cash match with state funding.

Name of Grantee:  Serve Rhode Island

Amount of Award:  $74,999

Serve Rhode Island’s plan uses service as a solution to engage the 55 and older population, which is the fastest growing group in the economically-distressed state.  Serve Rhode Island will recruit 3,000 new volunteers in the first year, and renew 977 volunteers.  Combining these new volunteers into the Volunteer Solution software, SRI will have a database of over 15,000 registered volunteers.

Name of Grantee:  United Way Association of South Carolina

Amount of Award:  $75,000

Volunteer South Carolina (VSC) will build on existing resources and develop new partnerships to create a comprehensive, robust network of training, technical assistance and peer mentoring for professional volunteer administrators throughout the state of South Carolina.  The Commission being housed within the United Way will work within the network of 29 local South Carolina United Ways and hundreds of local grantees and increase the number of volunteers by 40% in three years.

Name of Grantee:  OneStar National Service Commission Inc.

Amount of Award:  $205,000

The Texas One Star National Service Commission will expand capacity of Volunteer Centers and initiate a statewide association.  This association would be built up from local level to support increased volunteer capacity.  The TX Commission identified a plethora of volunteer connector organizations to benefit from the funding under the Volunteer Generation Fund including RSVP and Executives in Action and will use an existing assessment tool to identify organizations’ capacity-building needs.  The program will train executives who offer services pro-bono to non-profits, thereby engaging boomers and others to multiply results across Texas.  Organizations’ board members are also identified as individuals to be trained to maximize systematic change efforts.  While Texas has not been impacted by the oil spill as deeply as some other states in the Southern region, they are willing to collaborate with Louisiana, Florida and Mississippi in developing a more seamless response strategy for the Gulf States as a whole.

Name of Grantee:  Utah Commission on Volunteers

Amount of Award:  $100,000

The Utah Commission on Volunteerism will improve Utah's volunteer infrastructure by strengthening existing networks of Volunteer Connector Centers, and improving the ability of nonprofits to effectively use volunteers in both short- and long-term roles.  The project will use national days of service, such as MLK Day and 9-11, to raise public awareness of volunteerism. In the first year 1,300 new volunteers will participate in such events, and in the next two years, they will be supported and retained while 500 additional volunteers are brought on and tracked in a web-based system.

Name of Grantee:  Washington Commission for National and Community Service

Amount of Award:  $178,950

The Washington Commission for National and Community Service Multifaceted will use five different program models focused on recruiting skill-based volunteers, volunteers from low-income and senior communities, and veterans as volunteers, a creative program model that is relevant to the Volunteer Generation Fund with a strong focus on expanding opportunities to serve.  The Commission will contract to Executive Service Corps and will engage volunteers in meaningful, high-impact activities.  The program model also demonstrates a commitment to building capacity for the long-term.  The applicant has secured 50% of the match from the Gates Foundation.

Name of Grantee:  Wisconsin National and Community Service Board

Amount of Award:  $75,000

The Wisconsin National and Community Service Commission Board Collaboration of partners to include WI Volunteers Organizations Active in Disasters will use Volunteer Connector Organization members as Advisory Council members to increase volunteerism across the state at the grassroots level.  The program aims to generate 132,400 volunteers to be supported and their volunteer activities will be tracked.  During the three year period, the foundation will be built for an association that fulfills the centralized statewide volunteer connector role for the state of Wisconsin.

Name of Grantee:  Serve Wyoming Inc.

Amount of Award:  $83,500

Serve Wyoming will launch the Professional Volunteer Network Initiative designed to lead, mobilize and engage Wyoming professionals to give their time, talent and money to work with organizations to provide pro bono services and build capacity of the nonprofit sector as a whole. These professionals will also invest in charitable giving and pool their resources to make a larger, long-term impact on the capacity of nonprofits in Wyoming. 

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