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The Maine Commission for Community Service Awards 5 Agencies with Volunteer Generation Fund Grants

May 7th, 2018

                                                                                     

 For Immediate Release                                               Contact: Michael Ashmore, 207-624-7792
May 7, 2018                                                                                   michael.ashmore@maine.gov

 

Augusta, ME -- The Maine Commission for Community Service (MCCS) and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) are pleased to announce that five Volunteer Generation Fund grants have been awarded to community-based organizations across Maine. The purpose of the Maine VGF grants is to provide support to volunteer programs in the State that are providing service in three focus areas: Aging in place, transportation services and food security and assistance. 

Under the 2009 Serve America Act, the Volunteer Generation Fund (VGF) was established to provide funding through State Service Commissions to strengthen local volunteer programs and expands volunteerism in areas where it has not yet fully developed. The Maine VGF Program will:

  • Increase capacity in agencies to utilize skilled volunteers to deliver services in one or more of the three target areas
  • Improve volunteer management practices
  • Increase volunteerism to meet needs in one or more of these areas

In addition to expanding opportunities for volunteers, the fund also provides support for improving volunteer management practices and other capacity building measures among agencies.  Agencies with strong volunteer programming have a greater impact and are more likely to realize their organizational missions leading to increased support and services to those who benefit from their efforts. Therefore, the fund focuses investments on volunteer management practices that increase both volunteer recruitment and retention. Retention is key to ensuring that volunteers are productively engaged and to bringing stability to nonprofit operations. Additionally, it supports efforts that build the career skills of volunteers, expanding opportunity for the unemployed, veterans, and disadvantaged youth.

The five organizations that submitted successful grant applications are being collectively awarded $162,613. These organizations are:

  • Southern Maine Agency on Aging, Scarborough [$37,500]
  • United Way of Eastern Maine, Bangor [$37,500]
  • Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program, Brunswick [$37,500]
  • Eastern Area Agency on Aging, Bangor [$14,714]
  • The WindowDressers, Inc., Rockland [$35,399]

Maine’s volunteer sector represents $934 million dollars (Volunteering & Civic Health Index, 2015) and engages 32% of Maine adults in providing services that range from ushering at local theaters to preparing taxes. This level of citizen engagement earns Maine 10th place among the states in the ranking of rates of volunteering. At the same time, Maine’s volunteer sector loses nearly one-third of its labor force (volunteers) each year because local programs have not had the training or support to apply essential volunteer management practices.

Considering that volunteering is one of the eight key elements of civic health – a fundamental part of quality community life and viability – MCCS successfully competed for Volunteer Generation funds granted by CNCS to support growth of local volunteer efforts. This Maine grant awards implement several objectives of the Commission’s strategic plan, “Enhancing the Capacity of Maine’s Volunteer Sector,” which is published at: http://www.maineservicecommission.gov/publications/strategic-plan/

 For more information on the Program and the agencies listed above visit http://www.maineservicecommission.gov/maine-volunteer-generation-fund/

 

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The Maine Commission for Community Service (MCCS) builds capacity and sustainability in Maine's volunteer sector by funding service programs, developing volunteer managers, raising awareness of the scope and impact of the sector, and encouraging an ethic of service.

MCCS was established in 1994 by Executive Order and under state statute in 1995. The 25-member Service Commission is the State’s partner with the federal Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) to promote volunteer service in Maine.

 

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The mission of the Corporation for National and Community Service is to improve lives, strengthen communities and fortify the civic health of the nation. CNCS’s legal authority to award Volunteer Generation Fund grants is the National and Community Service Act of 1990, as amended (42 U.S.C. § 12653p.).  For more information on CNCS, visit www.nationalservice.gov .