With support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Service Year Alliance awarded four $25,000 grants in November 2021 to communities using national service to address local needs. The goal of these grants was to help new and existing community collaboratives develop sustainable local funding as they use national service as a strategy to address local needs. The communities had until April 1, 2022, to attract this 1:1 match.
Six months later, we are excited to announce that all awardees have successfully secured their match. We are truly inspired by the communities that took on this challenge and leveraged the opportunity to approach new funders, strengthen past relationships, and bring new resources to support service year programs in their communities.
The match funding, in total, more than doubles the initial challenge grant from the Mott Foundation and brings six additional funders to the table who are investing in the power of place-based national service to strengthen communities. Because of this infusion of financial support, communities have the resources to fully execute their projects and provide better support to corps members and communities across the nation.
The four National Service Community Challenge Grant Awardees are:
North Country, New Hampshire
- Campus Compact for New Hampshire is working to build national service infrastructure in the under-resourced and rural northernmost counties of the state. Stakeholders have identified where national service can address unmet community needs such as kindergarten readiness and building a talent pipeline in the community. Campus Compact secured its match with funding support from the Granite United Way.
- The Serve Illinois Commission, representing the state of Illinois, is launching the Life Progressive Initiative to expand national service access to young people of color. The program will create a resource center and provide opportunities for professional development during and up to one-year post service. The Serve Illinois Commission secured its match with funding from the Steans Family Foundation and the Serve Illinois Foundation.
- The Philadelphia Mayor’s Office has set up an emergency fund for Philadelphia AmeriCorps members, providing immediate support to help maintain the health and safety of members and retain them in service. They have hired a Support Services Coordinator who will provide long-term planning for increased member support across Philadelphia service year programs and fundraising and resource development for the financial sustainability of this project. The Philadelphia Mayor’s Office secured its match with funding from the William Penn Foundation. The project also garnered support from the Philadelphia alumni network and a longtime AmeriCorps champion in Philadelphia. You can read more about the broad support here.
- The United Way Association of South Carolina, the state service commission, is focusing on expanding recruitment and access to service through HBCU engagement and launching an ambassador program with recent service year alumni. In addition, they are providing wraparound support, including an emergency fund for corps members who might not be able to finish their service. The United Way Association of South Carolina secured its match with funding from the Schultz Family Foundation and additional support from the Arras Foundation.
Learn more about the National Service Community Challenge Grants here. Feel free to contact [email protected] with additional questions and for opportunities to fund national service in communities across the United States.