America's Service Commissions header graphic shows AmeriCorps members being sworn in and text that reads Uniting States in Service

2023 Commission Innovation Awards — Top Three Finalists in Each Category

Join us on November 29 in Washington, DC to celebrate commission innovation!

Over the past 25 years, ASC and state/territorial service commissions have done tremendous work to grow national and community service across the country. Commissions continue to be the heartbeat of service, pushing it in new directions to make our communities stronger. As we consider how to ensure national service remains strong for the next 25 years, we can learn from and build upon the innovative work commissions are currently doing. In this spirit, in lieu of our traditional Innovation and Leadership Awards, we will be awarding Commission Innovation Awards at the 2023 annual reception.

We received many excellent applications and are pleased to announce the following top three finalists in each category!

Innovation in Grantmaking
One of the core functions of a commission is awarding AmeriCorps and volunteerism grants. How has your commission been innovative in transforming your grantmaking process? Examples could include introducing multiple grant cycles, making the grant application process more accessible, focusing on equity and diversity when selecting grant recipients, offering planning grants, awarding grants to new organizations or marginalized communities, etc.

  • Massachusetts Service Alliance
  • OneStar
  • UServeUtah

Innovation in AmeriCorps Programming
AmeriCorps program design and implementation plays a large role in the work of every commission. How is your commission working with community partners to create innovative programming to meet the needs of your state/territory today and in the future? Examples could include forming coalitions, investing in new focus areas including climate and environmentalism, offering training and technical assistance, focusing on equity and diversity, enhancing the member experience, providing workforce development or apprenticeship opportunities, engaging with alums, etc.

  • Michigan Community Service Commission
  • ServeMinnesota
  • ServeOhio

Innovation in Civic Engagement and Volunteerism
Volunteerism and civic engagement are a vital part of the commission role and remain a significant pathway to bridge building in our country. How has your commission been innovative in supporting civic engagement and volunteers in your state? Examples could include engaging volunteers from marginalized communities, developing intergenerational volunteer programs, expanding your staff to better support volunteer engagement efforts, offering a wide variety of volunteer opportunities, ensuring individuals with disabilities are able to volunteer, etc.

  • Kansas Volunteer Commission
  • Massachusetts Service Alliance
  • Michigan Community Service Commission

Innovation in Policy Making
Often the work of a commission can be amplified by partnerships with legislative bodies and state administrations. How has your commission been working with policy makers locally, statewide, and/or nationally to enhance the effectiveness of your work? Examples could include securing state funding; aligning with governors’ priorities; advocating for the passage of legislation that supports the expansion, equity and diversity, and sustainability of AmeriCorps and national service; developing relationships with elected officials; etc.

  • California Volunteers
  • ServeMinnesota
  • Serve Wisconsin

Innovation in Partnerships
The work of a commission can make huge impacts on their state/territory and help solve wide scale problems; however, many commissions’ work is limited by using only AmeriCorps funds and few other resources. How has your commission created innovative partnerships to better expand service in your communities? Examples could include grants from foundations, state funding, public-private partnerships, individual giving, corporate philanthropy, etc.

  • California Volunteers
  • Serve Colorado
  • Serve Washington

We hope you'll join us on November 29 in Washington, DC when we announce the winners!


About America's Service Commissions
America's Service Commissions 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 more than 75 percent of the federal AmeriCorps funds to address pressing community needs.