The Volunteer Generation Fund (VGF) is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service. There are 17 state service commissions administering VGF grants to expand volunteer infrastructure by supporting volunteer management practices that increase volunteer recruitment and retention.
Five states, Kansas, Washington, Tennessee, Michigan and the District of Columbia, are using VGF to expand volunteers in education and mentoring.
- The Kansas STEM Mentoring Initiative is a three-year project with a goal to increase the number of STEM mentors serving the youth of Kansas. Supported by the Kansas Volunteer Commission, the Kansas STEM Mentoring Initiative, fosters a consistent approach to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education, yet allows for organic development of STEM programs matching local strengths, challenges and resources. The KVC is partnering with the Kansas Enrichment Network to develop and deliver training and technical assistance centered on high-quality STEM mentoring and Positive Youth Development concepts.
- One of the impact goals for Serve Washington‘s VGF grant is to design and replicate volunteer programs that are education-based, including reading, writing, and tutoring programs, and work toward increased graduation rates, especially within impoverished populations. One way this is being accomplished is through the WA-ID Volunteer Center’s thriving “America Reads” program. The program provides one-on-one volunteer reading tutors to 250+ K-3rd grade students who have been identified by their school districts as below reading grade level. The volunteers commit at least one hour, usually more, of their time every week. In the 2012/2013 school year, of the 237 students who were identified as having the ability to reach grade level, 87% of them did so. All others improved their reading ability to some degree. During the 2013/2014 school year, the WA-ID Volunteer Center volunteers donated more than 23,000 hours of service, for an average of 80 hours each.
- To increase volunteer recruitment and expand the use of volunteers to address education challenges in Tennessee, Volunteer Tennessee has collaborated with Volunteer Centers across the state to form the Tennessee Volunteer Generation Fund Coalition. Hands On Nashville, the United Way of Greater Chattanooga, the United Way of Greater Knoxville, the United Way of Williamson County, and Volunteer Tennessee make up the Tennessee Volunteer Generation Fund Coalition. Each of these partners plays a role in implementing the volunteer management grant with Volunteer Tennessee serving as the lead agency. The partners in the Coalition have a great deal of experience in promoting service. The project’s goals include recruiting 7,500 volunteers to benefit 10,000 children.
- The Serve DC – My Brother’s Keeper Volunteer Generation project is designed to support nonprofit organizations that work with boys and young men of color in the District of Columbia in the areas of education, healthy futures and economic opportunity. In partnership with the Taproot Foundation, the Serve DC – My Brother’s Keeper Volunteer Generation project uses pro bono volunteers to help improve the organizational capacity of nonprofits working in the aforementioned areas to support the sustainability of volunteer generation programs targeting men of color in the Washington, DC area.
- The Michigan Community Service Commission (MCSC) has committed to improving outcomes for young men and boys of color with the launch of the My Brother’s Keeper-Michigan initiative, assisting four organizations in leveraging volunteers and support innovative collaboration between public and private organizations. The funded organizations include VIP Mentoring in Detroit, the Youth Development Commission in Detroit, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Flint, and One Love Global in Lansing. The engaged youth in the program will receive mentoring and also serve as volunteers, empowering them to make a difference in their communities.