Looking Back: Our 2019 Annual Report

July 1, 2020

Dear ASC Members and Friends:

We are pleased to present you with the 2019 ASC Annual Report, which is now available to view or download.

As we look back on 2019 and the end of a decade (which feels so long ago already!), we can see a clear trajectory of advancement and evolution for America’s Service Commissions and our growing state service network.

2019 was a year of Breaking Down Barriers for us – challenging old norms, developing new strategies and services, reducing “red tape” by advocating for key policy changes, and expanding on our already robust array of trainings, benefits, and special initiatives toward our goal of making it easier for more people to serve and, ultimately, unite states in service.

Although we are a national organization with a wide geographic footprint, ASC continues to be a lean, small-staff association that has maintained its ability to be nimble and flexible in the face of a quickly changing landscape and emerging priorities. While we worked hard to meet the deliverables outlined in our 2017-2019 Strategic Plan, we also left room for innovation and adaptation to meet the needs of our network this past year.

As you’ll read in this report, 2019 marked the official launch of our new Strengths Accelerator Initiative to provide commissions with intensive, onsite technical assistance and teams of experts to identify areas of strength and promise, as well as key priorities and opportunities, to build long-term
commission capacity.

New opt-in services for commissions were also developed in 2019 to offer high-quality professional development and explore emerging trends, from Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) to Disaster Services Capacity support, and AmeriCorps Recruitment to Continuity Planning.

Our Board of Directors also spent considerable time and attention in 2019 considering and responding to our federal agency’s Transformation and Sustainability Plan (TSP) to ensure the needs of commissions and their programs were represented and adequately met during this time of great transition and uncertainty. We believe in the importance of working with our federal agency partners at the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), and have seen the power of using our collective voice as states to deepen this relationship further, providing real-time
constructive feedback, and asking tough questions when needed.

Finally, we’re proud to say that 2019 also saw the passage of another favorable federal spending bill (HR 1865) that expanded national service by $21 million, a major win for our field after threatened budget cuts proposed to virtually eliminate AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, the Volunteer Generation Fund, and state service commissions. This is in part thanks to the efforts of our privately-funded States for Service Public Policy Coalition, working together with key advocacy partners and legislative champions, to ensure that service stays strong in America.

In 2020, we hope to double down even further on this theme of “Breaking Down Barriers” to service by fostering creative solutions, harnessing the immense talent within our network through peer best practice sharing, and continuing to convene some of the best minds in service at our national and regional events (when we can do so safely!) so we can continue to think big.

Thank you for being part of the ASC community and state service network.

In service,

Amber Martin-Jahn, Chair, America's Service Commissions
Kaira Esgate, CEO, America's Service Commissions

America's Service Commissions | 455 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Suite 153 | Washington, DC 20001 (202) 813-0807