March Serve America Act Implementation Update
I hope you are enjoying the beginnings of spring in your part of the country. March was a busy month as we launched two new Serve America Act programs and moved forward on grant application reviews in Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America. Below are some of the highlights, along with upcoming deadlines.
Volunteer Generation Fund
On March 25, we announced the grant competition for the Volunteer Generation Fund, a new Serve America Act program designed to strengthen the ability of organizations to recruit, retain, and manage volunteers to have a sustained impact in local communities. The competition makes available $4 million for state service commissions to develop 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. Applications are due on May 18, and a technical assistance call will take place on Tuesday April 13, at 12:00pm Eastern. More information on the conference call and the Volunteer Generation Fund can be found here.
Nonprofit Capacity Build Program
On March 30, we released the Notice of Funding Availability for the Nonprofit Capacity Building Program, a new initiative designed to increase the capacity of small nonprofits to expand their impact in communities facing resource hardships. For FY 2010, $1 million is available for a intermediary grantees to work with small and midsize nonprofits to develop and implement performance management systems. The intermediaries will provide organizational development assistance to establish procedures for measuring progress and leveraging staff and volunteers toward outcomes that transform communities. Letters of intent to apply are due on April 27, and the application deadline is May 18. A technical assistance call is taking place on April 19 at 4 p.m. Eastern Time. Click here for more information.
We are still interested in hearing your comments on the proposed rule which covers a wide range of matters pertaining to the National Service Trust, the AmeriCorps State and National application process, and Senior Corps. The full text of the rule is available by clicking here. The easiest way is to submit comments online through Regulations.gov. Our final conference call for individuals to comment is taking place on April 2, all at 3:00 pm EST. Click here for more information on the calls. The comment deadline is April 26, and I hope you can take some time to share your perspectives on this proposed rule that touches most of our programs.
Social Innovation Fund
We want to remind you that the deadline for the Social Innovation Fund (SIF) is coming on April 8. This year, we will award up to $50 million in Federal funding to approximately seven to 10 intermediary organizations. These intermediaries will identify, select, support, and monitor promising nonprofit organizations working in rural and urban low-income communities to address the priority issue areas of economic opportunity, youth development, and school support, and healthy futures. For more information on the SIF, including FAQ and transcripts of four technical assistance calls, click here.
All of the new grant competitions under the Serve America Act have generated a large volume of applications, and staff across the Corporation are deeply involved in reviewing grants. On March 11, we announced the Learn and Serve America Summer of Service grants, totaling $2 million to 17 nonprofits, universities and schools to engage 4,000 at-risk youth in grades 6 through 9 in innovative service projects that address environmental and disaster preparedness issues. The deadline for the current RSVP competition in Senior Corps is April 6. AmeriCorps State and National received more than 500 applications for the 2010 competition, and applications are being reviewed and final announcements are expected in early summer.
As we approach the one-year anniversary of the signing of the Serve America Act later this month, we want to again thank the national service field and the public for helping us implement this legislation in an open, thoughtful, and deliberate way. The high degree of public participation and thousands of comments we've received on a range of issues have provided valuable insights and strengthened our implementation of this landmark law.
As always, we encourage you to visit our Serve America Act homepage for the latest information.
Chief of Program Operations
Corporation for National and Community Service