Washington, DC – The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) launched its 2013 RSVP grant competition today, encouraging nonprofits and public agencies across the country to learn how RSVP can help them increase their impact by engaging volunteers 55 years and older in service.
RSVP, one of three signature programs in Senior Corps, is a proven, flexible, and successful program with 40 years of experience in harnessing the skills and experience of older Americans in meeting critical community needs. The program helps nonprofits, higher education institutions, Indian tribes, and public agencies expand their impact by engaging experienced and committed volunteers.
“For four decades, RSVP has been a highly effective way to engage millions of older Americans in meeting national and community needs and delivering lasting, meaningful results,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “This competition will drive greater impact and innovation in the way RSVP volunteers serve across the country, and we encourage organizations to learn more and apply.”
The bipartisan 2009 Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act required national service programs to focus on a core set of critical challenges and to demonstrate impact through use of standardized performance measures. The legislation also required competition for RSVP beginning in fiscal year 2013.
In alignment with the Serve America Act and the agency’s Strategic Plan, the 2013 RSVP competition will target grantmaking on six focus areas: disaster services, economic opportunity, education, environmental stewardship, healthy futures, and veterans and military families. RSVP sponsors funded under the competition will report their progress using the CNCS performance measures, helping ensure they will be positioned for greater impact in the future.
“Competition is a critical driver of performance and encourages the adoption of innovation through new ideas and services,” said Dr. Erwin Tan, Director of Senior Corps. “This competition will offer organizations an opportunity to support creative programming that increases their impact on critical challenges facing their communities.”
RSVP volunteers help organizations expand services, build capacity, develop partnerships, leverage resources, create sustainable projects, and recruit and manage other volunteers. Grant funding partially covers expenses to operate a RSVP project, such as staffing, supplies, volunteer stations, and training of staff and members. Projects may use RSVP grant funds to conduct volunteer recruitment and recognition and to reimburse volunteers for service-related travel.
Eligible applicants include faith-based and secular nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education, state education agencies, Indian tribes, and local government entities including counties and cities. The draft 2013 RSVP funding notice, FAQs, and other information is available here.
RSVP funding opportunities are available in 264 specific geographic regions in 41 states across the country. See Appendix A for the list of geographic areas where funding is available.
The grant award covers a three-year project period. CNCS generally makes an initial award for the first-year of operation with continuation funding in years two and three contingent on satisfactory performance, compliance, and availability of funds. Letters of intent are due on Monday, September 10, 2012, and the deadline for applications is Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Successful applicants will be notified in March 2013.
CNCS will host six technical assistance calls to answer questions about this funding opportunity, including information on RSVP, how to apply, and the new performance measures. Calls will take place on August 2, August 27, August 28, September 18, September 26, and October 2. Call details and registration information is available here.
In addition, the Senior Corps Virtual Conference on August 14-16 will highlight the new performance measures for Senior Corps grantees, providing information to help organizations create effective measures to demonstrate impact in communities. The virtual conference is free and open to the public.