BREAKING: Congress Expands Funding for National Service and State Commissions in FY18 Omnibus Bill

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March 23, 2018

UPDATE: President Trump has signed the FY18 Omnibus Bill providing expanded funding for AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, state service commissions, and the Corporation for National & Community Service! See below for more information on what the FY18 Omnibus contains.

Original Post:

March 21, 2018

Washington, DC

Today, Congress released the text of a $1.3 trillion fiscal 2018 omnibus bill. The legislation is expected to pass both chambers of Congress by the end of the week ahead of a deadline to keep the government open past Friday.

It includes more than $80 billion in new defense spending and $63 billion in nondefense spending for most of the federal government.

CNCS received a total of $1,063,958 Billion in funding, an increase of $33.6 million over FY 2017 funded levels.

Here is the breakdown of CNCS funding:

State Commission Grants:   $17,538,000
AmeriCorps State & National:   $412,010,000
AmeriCorps VISTA:  $92,364,000
AmeriCorps NCCC:  $32,000,000
Senior Corps:   $202,117,000
Innovation, Demonstration & Other:   $7,600,000
— including Volunteer Generation Fund    $5,400,000*
Evaluation:  $4,000,000
National Service Trust:     $206,842,000
Salaries and Expenses:     $83,737,000
Office of the Inspector General:    $5,750,000

Total CNCS Funding:    $1,063,958,000

*Congress directed $5.4 million of the Innovation, Demonstration & Other budget to be spent on Volunteer Generation Fund (VGF).

AmeriCorps State & National and state service commissions received significant increases. AmeriCorps was increased by $26 million, while State Commission Grant received an historic $17.538 million — a $1 million increase. The Commission Investment Fund increased by $1 million to $8.5 million, and the Volunteer Generation Fund received an historic $5.4 million, an impressive increase of $1.6 million, thanks to the hard work of national service champions and groups which included ASC, the state service network, our new States for Service (S4S) Coalition.

The Explanatory Statement directs CNCS to provide not less than $8.5 million for training and technical assistance activities for State Commissions, to expand the capacity of current and potential AmeriCorps programs, particularly in underserved areas.

If you would like to read more, you can view the Bill Text here (see p. 1016 regarding CNCS) and the Explanatory Statement regarding CNCS here (p. 70).

With Congress directing $1 million for training funds to commissions and the $1 million increase to the State Commission Grant, Commissions received an increase of $2 million for FY 2018 above FY 2017.

Additionally, and as a direct result of the work of ASC, the state service network, and our new States for Service (S4S) Coalition, the legislation includes a new general provision to allow CNCS to establish a new and widely anticipated 1,200 hour service position, including a proportional reduction in the education award. This will provide AmeriCorps programs increased flexibility, and more closely align member service positions with the needs of local communities.

 

We are incredibly grateful for the rock solid support and continued investment for service by the Congressional Appropriations Committee leadership and their staff; especially Senators Cochran, Leahy, Blunt, and Murray; and Representatives Frelinghuysen, Lowey, Cole, and DeLauro.

We will continue to update you as this bill moves through Congress and then ultimately to the President’s signature by the end of the week.

 

Tom Branen
Chief Policy Officer
America’s Service Commissions
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Eight States Selected to Receive Afterschool Grants from ASC, Mott Foundation

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New program development initiative will expand afterschool opportunities through AmeriCorps

For Immediate Release

Contact: Emily Steinberg, (202) 813-0807
esteinberg@statecommissions.org

Washington, D.C. — Eight states will be better poised to expand out-of-school time opportunities for youth at a statewide level, thanks to a grant of $250,000 from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. The grant, awarded to America’s Service Commissions (ASC), will support a multi-year initiative to identify how the state service commission network can expand afterschool opportunities through national service, such as AmeriCorps. ASC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association of the 52 Governor-appointed state service commissions across the United States and its territories that administer AmeriCorps*State grant and other volunteer-related funds.

As part of the initiative, ASC has selected eight state service commissions to receive $12,500 mini-grants. Funding will support staff and consultant time to develop a better understanding of the local afterschool landscape and identify potential paths for developing national service programming that will expand the quality and quantity of afterschool opportunities in their respective states.

The eight states selected to receive this funding include:

In total, ASC will provide these eight states with $100,000 in Mott funding for afterschool program development.

ASC will provide hands-on support to the selected states with monthly learning community calls, ongoing coaching, and a yearly convening for commissions receiving grants. In year two, five additional states will be selected to participate.

“We are thrilled to get this funding out there — to the states —to ensure that real program development can start happening at the local level,” said ASC CEO Kaira Esgate. “With Mott Foundation’s generous support and strong connections to the world of afterschool networks, we are confident that we can make a real difference for a lot of young people through AmeriCorps and national service programming.”

In addition to supporting states, ASC will work with the National Network of Statewide Afterschool Networks and other key stakeholders to develop new strategies around afterschool program development over the next two years.

Through this effort, ASC believes that the project will lead to an increased understanding between state service commissions and statewide afterschool networks about how to leverage national service and AmeriCorps resources in support of high-quality afterschool opportunities nationwide.

For more information on this initiative, visit statecommissions.org/afterschool.

# # #

About America’s Service Commissions
America’s Service Commissions (ASC) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association representing and promoting the 52 state service commissions across the United States and territories with the mission to lead and elevate the state service network. State service commissions are governor-appointed public agencies or nonprofit organizations made up of more than 1,000 commissioners, private citizens leading the nation’s service movement and administering 80 percent of the federal AmeriCorps funds to address pressing community needs. Learn more at statecommissions.org.

About Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, established in 1926 in Flint, Michigan, by an automotive pioneer, is a private philanthropy committed to supporting projects that promote a just, equitable and sustainable society.  It supports nonprofit programs throughout the United States and, on a limited geographic basis, internationally.  Grantmaking is focused in four programs: Civil Society, Environment, Flint Area and Education. In addition to Flint, offices are located in metropolitan Detroit, Johannesburg and London.  With year-end assets of approximately $2.7 billion in 2016, the Foundation made 405 grants totaling more than $121 million.  For more information, visit www.mott.org.

President’s FY 2018 Budget Blueprint Released – Includes Recommendation to Eliminate CNCS

By Tom Branen, Chief Policy Officer, America’s Service Commissions (ASC)

America First Budget Blueprint - release March 16, 2017

President Trump’s FY 2018 America First Budget Blueprint was released this morning at 7:00 AM Eastern Time. Here is a link to the budget blueprint:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/budget/fy2018/2018_blueprint.pdf.

Unfortunately, it recommends the elimination of of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) along with a number of federal agencies and programs.

From the budget blueprint:

The Budget also proposes to eliminate funding for other independent agencies, including: the African Development Foundation; the Appalachian Regional Commission; the Chemical Safety Board; the Corporation for National and Community Service; the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; the Delta Regional Authority; the Denali Commission; the Institute of Museum and Library Services; the Inter-American Foundation; the U.S. Trade and Development Agency; the Legal Services Corporation; the National Endowment for the Arts; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation; the Northern Border Regional Commission; the Overseas Private Investment Corporation; the United States Institute of Peace; the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness; and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

This blueprint is a policy statement from the administration and is not a binding budget. Congress has the final say on the annual federal appropriations and we look forward to continuing to educate Congress on the critical need and value of CNCS and its programs to our nation.

Remember this budget release is the first step in a very long and at times complicated process. Therefore, don’t agonize…organize.

More analysis and updates to come.

ASC is monitoring the release of the President’s FY 2018 budget and the ongoing FY 2017 appropriations situation and will update you as negotiations continue.

For more information, contact:

Tom Branen

America’s Service Commissions

455 Massachusetts Ave, NW Suite 153

Washington, DC 20001

202-207-5389

TBranen@asc-online.org

Outstanding Commissioner Award – Nicole Trimble

Image of Nicole TrimbleThe final recipient of the Outstanding Commissioner Award is Nicole Trimble. She is a Social Venture Partner, and has served as the Chair of Serve Washington for the last three years. She is a visionary leader and has diverse experiences in national service, nonprofit and philanthropy arenas. She has worked for Casey Family Programs, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Corporation of National and Community Service (CNCS). Nicole embodies the values of the AmeriCorps pledge to bring Americans together to strengthen our communities.

Nicole brings a unique perspective to Serve Washington due to her experiences as an AmeriCorps member, AmeriCorps Alum, AmeriCorps program director, CNCS Program Officer, grant-maker, and work in the field of corporate social responsibility. She creates a stronger national service network through partnerships and collaboration. In 2012 during a White House ceremony, Nicole was one of 12 AmeriCorps Alums who were recognized as a “Champion of Change” for using their national service experience to become influential leaders in their careers and their communities.

“I have committed to taking my AmeriCorps lessons with me into each professional experience and it has paid off. I have been blessed with a more fulfilling career than I could have ever imagined and I owe much of it to national service.”

-Nicole Trimble

Nicole attended the Corporate Service Council (CSC) annual dinner at the 2014 Conference on Volunteerism and Service and shared with a group of corporate leaders how she recognizes AmeriCorps as a foundational experience in her personal and professional trajectory. She encouraged everyone at the dinner to actively recruit and hire AmeriCorps Alum because of the talents they bring to the workplace are more valuable than any lines on a resume.

Nicole Trimble serves as Senior Director of Social Corporate Responsibility for Outerwall (company behind Coinstar and Redbox kiosks), and has facilitated a new partnership with Serve Washington to engage Outerwall employees in a day of service with AmeriCorps members on 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance. This new partnership resulted in $35,000 in unrestricted donations to Serve Washington and one of its subgrantees.

We commend Nicole Trimble for her outstanding efforts and accomplishments!

Outstanding Commissioner Award – Lawrence Neil Bailis

Lawrence BailisThe recipient of the Outstanding Commissioner Award is Lawrence Neil Bailis, who currently serves on the Massachusetts Service Alliance (MSA) Board. He is an Associate Professor at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management. For over twenty-five years, he has been a nationally recognized researcher and scholar of service learning/experiential education and national service programs. His Brandeis courses include seminars on Citizen Leadership and Service, and additional coursework that trains the alumni of service programs and other individuals to become more effective advocates for the causes they believe in.

In 2014, he drew upon his academic expertise in policy advocacy in order to assist in developing and implementing an initiative that brought together the MSA board and staff with political leaders in both parties, including all major candidates for Massachusetts governorship. This helped insure candidates were familiar with service programs and helped them develop support for service programs in their platforms.

He also directly supported the capacity building efforts of MSA through training on program evaluation and related management issues in MSA training sessions. In addition to this, he has played a prominent role, during his years on the MSA board, in working with federal and state legislators to advance the prominence and support for AmeriCorps, Commonwealth Corps, and other service programs. He helped created and lead the Eli G. Segal Citizen Leadership program, a program that bridges generations by selecting AmeriCorps alums, CNCS staff, City Year alums and Brandeis students as Fellows and creating networks that support them in their commitment to citizen leadership.

He has served three years of service as Commission Chair and four years of service as Vice Chair. In addition to this, he has chaired the MSA Program committee and the search committee that resulted in the selection of its current executive director. He was a leader in a recently completed strategic planning process for the Commission and currently serves on all MSA committees.

During his years as chair, his advocacy work has contributed to an increase in state support for the commission. He has promoted expanded outreach to service program alumni at Brandeis University and expansion of scholarship opportunities at the school for service program alumni.

“No one has been a more effective advocate for service programs in Massachusetts than Larry Bailis. He has taken his academic expertise int he field of advocacy and translated it into effective working relationships with key lawmakers and leaders in the executive branch to help to formulate, promote, and enact legislation that provides solid funding for service programs and a precedent-setting “Annual Service and Volunteerism Day” in our Commonwealth.”

-Massachusetts State Representative, Ruth B. Balser

We commend Lawerence Bailis on his hard work and advocacy efforts.

 

Outstanding Commission Executive Director Award – Shelly McAlpin

Shelly McAlpin The recipient of our Outstanding Commission Executive Director Award is Shelly McAlpin. She works for ServeWyoming and has been with the organization for 8+ years. In 2012, she was appointed Executive Director. Her resume includes over ten years of experience in nonprofit management including grant administration, program coordination, emergency volunteer coordination, fund development, policy administration and new program development. She has a Master’s Degree in Political Science and Foreign Policy from University of Wyoming and is certified in volunteer management. Her first introduction to ServeWyoming was as a volunteer, and not long after, she joined the staff.

Recently, Shelly coordinated a meeting with the Governor of Wyoming to secure funding for the biennium, and because of her phenomenal job, he has offered his help whenever the commission needed it. Shelly continues to be pivotal in the expansion of the Professional Volunteer Network and Volunteer Wyoming. The Professional Volunteer Network, which she helped create, builds capacity for multiple organizations, through a mentoring and sustainability model, becoming one of ServeWyoming’s most successful programs. This was largely due to Shelly’s passion and dedication to the commission’s mission of “improving lives and strengthening Wyoming communities through volunteerism.”

“Shelly arranged for our commission staff and executive committee to meet with the Corporation for National and Community Service CEO as well as Colorado’s commission and regional leadership team. The event brought our commissions closer together, got us exposed to the national level and created new relationships to help ServeWyoming. Shelly is a natural collaborator and has proven this through her many accomplishments with our organization. 

Her law background, integrity, dedication to service, and strategic thinking have been perfect for not only stewardship of federal and charitable dollars, but for steering the course of the Commission.”

— Nurieh Glasgow, Program and Training Officer, ServeWyoming

Shelly is constantly looking for ways to expand the commission’s service in Wyoming, such as through community outreach via Volunteer Guides in counties where ServeWyoming is not present or through incorporating veterans into service events. She understands and embraces the importance of remaining flexible yet inventive to ensure the Commission continues and grows. She continually embraces reality-based and need-based solutions as it relates to the disaster preparedness around Wyoming. She continues to position Serve Wyoming in key areas to make broad statewide campaigns like Prepare Wyoming, Volunteer Reception Centers, VOAD and disaster preparedness key programs around Wyoming.

We congratulate Shelly McAlpin and commend her for her amazing service and dedication!