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

Aug 24, 2010

Funds to Shore-Up Gulf States’ Disaster Preparedness, Response to BP Oil Spill

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.

“National service is a critical and cost-effective approach to advancing our national priorities, and volunteers are essential to that equation,” said Patrick A. Corvington, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “We are focused on building and sustaining the capacity of organizations to solve problems by providing them with the tools to attract and retain skilled volunteers. The Volunteer Generation Fund will provide those critical resources.”

Specifically, the grants will support activities to identify effective approaches to increase the number of volunteers, strengthen the capacity of volunteer connector organizations to recruit and retain volunteers, and develop strategies to effectively use volunteers to solve local problems. The grantees will provide a variety of services to organizations, including training and consultation to volunteer centers. Click here to read the complete list of grantees.

Corvington announced at the agency’s Gulf Coast Convening today that the 5 states in the region, including Texas, were awarded grants to address the social service needs inflicted by the Deepwater Horizon BP Oil Spill. The fund will also help the Gulf states collaborate to develop and execute a regional strategy to respond more comprehensively to future disasters. Click here to read more about the convening and learn more about how the Corporation is coordinating the national service response to the oil spill.



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