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Administrative Staff Reports

April 7, 2011

March 2011 Program Officer, Volunteer Sector Initiatives

Submitted by Pam Zeutenhorst

This month’s report is longer than usual due to highlights of the ASC Leadership Summit.  The Summit was very informative and the summary at the end of the report provides a brief glimpse of three very full days of meetings.

VOLUNTEER GENERATION FUND

Contracts sent to VGF grantees.

Training held on OnCorps (on-line reporting system).  Training provided by Grants Officer and Training  & VISTA Coordinator due to Program Officer's participation in the ASC Leadership Summit.

Grantees submitted first year targets as a foundation for VGF performance measures.

Filmed two spots for TWC Down on Maine St.focusing on Volunteer Generation Fund.  Representatives from United Ways of Tri Valley Area & Eastern Maine talked about their VGF activities.

Participated in CNCS VGF grantee meeting (3/30) in Alexandria, VA as part of ASC Leadership Summit.  Ten of nineteen Commissions with VGF funding and three non-VGF funded Commissions attended the meeting.  Highlights include:

*  Updates provided by VGF funded Commissions

*  Guidance on VGF continuation application – due date anticipated to be early May 2011.   NOFA due out in early April.

*  CNCS leadership supportive of continuing VGF.

*  Program progress report under review by OMB.  Information provided of data to be collected and draft narrative outline.

*  ASC announced campaign to promote Volunteer Generation Fund.

PDAT/ADA

Staff Council expanded & renamed – National Service & Volunteerism Council.  AmeriCorps & Volunteer Generation Fund grantee T/A meetings held on same day as Council meetings to facilitate participation by Commission grantees.  Maine Senior Corps staff has indicated interest in participating in quarterly Council meetings, also.

Participated in College-RAND-Communities for Children Collaborative meeting -  The goal of this meeting was to determine faculty interest in piloting a new state-wide initiative which seeks to provide 1) evaluation assistance to community programs and 2) opportunities for community-based learning for college students.  Next meeting scheduled for end of April.

Participated in teleconference meeting of ASC Training & T/A Committee.  Committee has developed subcommittees to focus on areas of interest as identified in telephone survey of 51 of 53 Commissions.  Will serve as co-chair of the Profession Development subcommittee.

Application for Professional Development Fund for manager of volunteers and service learning practitioners posted on website.  Deadline for application is Apr 8, 2011.  Applications to be reviewed by E&E Task Force and staff.

Facilitated monthly AmeriCorps Grantee Meeting.  Updates provided regarding the CNCS and FY2011.

Provided technical assistance to national service program staff.

Provided information about national service funding opportunities to community organizations.

VISTA  PROJECTS

Provided orientation to new VISTA & Training Coordinator.

Conducted outreach for new VISTA sites focused on education and veterans & military families.

Developed performance measures based on CNCS national performance measures and CNCS State Office milestones for new Maine VISTA Project.

Co-lead orientation for new VISTA site supervisors with CNCS Program Specialist.

ASC LEADERSHIP SUMMIT

Participated in summit Mar 28-30 at United Way Worldwide in Alexandria, VA with Commission Chair.   Attendees at summit included 43 Commission staff and 15 Commissioners representing 36 State Commissions.

Meeting highlights:

*  United Way Worlwide-CNCS-State Service Commission Partnerships  - Patrick Corvington, CNCS CEO, and Brian Gallagher, President & CEO UWWW presented information on current collaboration among UWWW and CNCS and engaged in dialogue with Summit participants on possibilities for future partnerships.

*  Discussion with CNCS Senior Leadership – Patrick Corvington, CEO; John Gomperts, Director of AmeriCorps; Rosa Moreno-Mahoney, Deputy Director, AmeriCorps State & National (and responsible for VGF); Idara Nickelson, Director, Office of Budget Formulation & Performance; and Robert Velasco, II, COO/Chief of Program Operations (Acting) participated in a panel discussion on topics pertinent to Commissions.  Issue of rural programming was discussed.  Robert Velasco, COO, committed to forming committee of State Commissions to discuss ways that CNCS funded programs may address needs of rural communities.  New timeline for NOFA for AmeriCorps National Directs, State Commission, and Tribal programs discussed.  NOFA out in mid-June with applications due in November and notification of award in June.  New timeline would provide CNCS more time to review applications and allow awarded programs to start earlier. 

*  Reimagining Service Presentation – Kaira Esgate, ED; Gail Gershon, Senior Director, Gap Inc.; and Peter York, Senior Vice President & Director of Research, TCC Group, provided an overview of Reimagining Service.  Currently, nonprofits that participate tend to be from larger nonprofits ($100,000+ yearly income).  Reimagining Service is pursuing additional partners to make participation in the assessment more affordable to small nonprofits.  Spoke with Ms Esgate about expanding into a rural area and there is interest from Reimagining Service to explore a partnership.  For more information check out  www.ReimaginingService,org.

*  CNCS & Federal Partnerships – Alex Amparo, Senior Advisor, Federal Emergency Management Agency; Michael Robbins, Senior Advisor for Nonprofit Partnerships, US Department of Education; and Tess Scannell, Partnership Expert, Office of Public Engagement, Peace Corps discussed existing partnerships and cooperative agreements between their respective agencies and CNCS.

*  Commission Staff Breakout Session – Staff brainstormed fourteen topics of concern to state commissions.  Top four topics prioritized by hand vote for discussion during session.  Remaining items to be discussed in other venues at a later date.  Following items discussed: 1) Potential federal shutdown and impact to Commissions; 2) Criminal history background checks.  Upcoming regulations will define where exceptions will be made.  3) New timeline of NOFA - ASC formed committee to provide feedback on impact of new timeline to State Commissions; 4) Discussion about match (Commissions & program level).