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Quarterly E-News | COVID-19 Edition

 April 2020

A Message from the CEO Regarding COVID-19

We understand that all of us are operating under unprecedented and exceptionally challenging circumstances right now due to the rising threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please know that our team at America's Service Commissions is here to support you and is doing what we can as your association to mitigate the potential negative impacts of this public health emergency on the national service, volunteerism, and civic engagement sector.

Specifically, ASC is focusing on:

  • Supporting state service commissions with contingency planning coaching, peer best practice sharing, and policies and procedures development for state mobilization, preparedness, and volunteer response efforts;
  • Seeking COVID-19 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations & Legislative Relief from Congress for all national service programs under the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) through our public policy coalition, States for Service, in collaboration with Voices for National Service and other key policy partners;
  • Ensuring AmeriCorps programs and members receive helpful, timely, and consistent guidance to make smart decisions regarding their program operations and service positions;
  • Providing immediate, discounted access to our Member Assistance Program (MAP) via a Special Enrollment Period to ensure that AmeriCorps members and program staff have 24/7 access to over-the-phone counseling and mental health services;
  • Promoting innovative strategies, tools, and calls-to-action being used by state leaders and commissions to combat COVID-19 locally through volunteers and donations by sharing on social media using hashtags #COVID19, #DisasterServe, and #NationalServiceResponds; and
  • Adjusting our 2020 conference schedule and postponing ASC events such as the 2020 regional conferences to ensure the well-being and health of our attendees as well as a safe, positive training experience for all.

We are all in this together - one sector, one nation, one world. Let's take time to care for each other and do the right thing, follow local and federal public health guidelines, flatten the curve, and protect ourselves as well as those who are on the front lines right now saving lives. Stay safe and healthy out there so we can continue to serve our communities in meaningful ways in the weeks and months ahead.

In service,

Kaira B. Esgate signature

Kaira Esgate, CEO
America's Service Commissions

Congress Recognizes National Service for Responding to COVID-19 Nationwide


As lead agencies on volunteerism and national service at the statewide level, state service commissions across the country have sprung into action since March to play a vital role in the COVID-19 pandemic response. Commissions are coordinating with governors' offices, state emergency management agencies (EMAs), and state VOADs to mobilize volunteers, call for donations and nonprofit sector support, and of course, activate and reassign AmeriCorps members on the ground to help communities with urgent needs locally.

Whether coordinating volunteers, distributing food and supplies, operating call centers, or supporting students remotely, AmeriCorps members across the U.S. are currently providing essential services during COVID-19 locally while abiding by CDC guidelines for safety.

View photos of AmeriCorps members and commissions supporting communities through COVID-19 >>

As a result, the 116th Congress has recognized and begun developing legislation that includes vital COVID-19 relief and support for AmeriCorps and national service programs, such as the following:

  • The CARES Act, signed into law on March 27, included key provisions for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) to: 1) allow AmeriCorps members to earn the full value of their Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards if COVID-19 prevented them from fulfilling their service hour requirements; 2) permit fixed-amount grantees to draw-down grant funds for AmeriCorps members who exited, were suspended, or are serving in a limited capacity due to COVID-19; 3) provide CNCS authority to carryover unexpended FY20 appropriated dollars and apply these resources to the agency's FY21 COVID-19 recovery efforts and  transfer these funds between accounts and program lines to augment existing AmeriCorps and Senior Corps grants; and 4) extend the term of service (for a period not to exceed the 1-year period immediately following the end of the national emergency) or waive any upper age limit for AmeriCorps NCCC.
  • The fourth Coronavirus Supplemental Relief Bill, currently under discussion, may include additional measures and/or emergency funding to support and augment CNCS and its programs as well.
We look forward to providing additional COVID-19 legislative updates as they become available. Thank you to the thousands of AmeriCorps members and other volunteers who are stepping up to respond locally to COVID-19!

Update on the 2020 National Service Regional Training Conferences


Due to health risks and travel restrictions surrounding COVID-19, America's Service Commissions is rescheduling the 2020 National Service Regional Training Conferences as follows:

  • July 27-29, 2020: Pacific/Southwest Region - Albuquerque, New Mexico (new date)
  • August 24-26, 2020: Central Region - Milwaukee, Wisconsin (new date)
  • Spring 2021: Atlantic/Southern Region - Burlington, VT (no registration at this time)

We will also be hosting an optional pre-conference Recruitment Institute for AmeriCorps programs on Monday, July 27 from 8:30-11:30 a.m. at the Albuquerque conference. This is first-come, first-serve and there is limited capacity. If interested in attending, there is an additional $100 registration fee. Please contact us at [email protected] to add this pre-conference to your existing registration.

Thank you for your patience as we work with attendees to update, transfer, or refund registrations as needed; if you need to make changes to your event registration, please make sure to contact us at [email protected] to transfer or cancel your registration as soon as possible and no later than June 1.

For up-to-date details on the 2020 regional conferences, please visit our website.

Happy Global Volunteer Month!


America's Service Commissions wishes everyone a happy Global Volunteer Month (GVM)!

GVM was initially conceived to recognize the thousands of people around the world who serve as "points of light" in their own communities. In light of COVID-19, the need to recognize, inspire and activate volunteers is greater than ever. Society’s most vulnerable populations need support and will continue to need support in the weeks and months ahead.

This week (April 19-25) is also known as National Volunteer Week (NVW). Established in 1974, NVW is an opportunity to celebrate the impact of volunteer service and the power of volunteers to tackle society’s greatest challenges, to build stronger communities and be a force that transforms the world. In honor of NVW, we ask that you help us celebrate and recognize the incredible role of volunteers on social media and online blogs. In particular, we want to highlight the important work being done by states and local volunteer networks through the federally-funded George H.W. Bush Volunteer Generation Fund (VGF).

Join us for a VGF Twitter Chat tomorrow, Tuesday, April 21 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern to celebrate by following us at @StateCommission along with the hashtags #NVW and #VolunteerGeneration!


 ASC Leadership Convening 2020 & Capitol Hill Day Recap


Thank you to the 80 state service commission Executive Directors and Commissioners from across the country who joined us in Washington, DC from February 10-13, 2020 for the annual ASC Leadership Convening. Each year, ASC hosts the convening as a forum to discuss pertinent issues and needs, realign on key association and network priorities, and provide a space for networking, peer learning, professional development, and inspiration for state commission leadership. Highlights this year included:

  • CNCS Leaders Dialogue and Transformation & Sustainability Updates with CEO Barbara Stewart and cross-departmental CNCS leaders
  • Conversation with the National Commission on
    Military, National and Public Service's Vice Chair, Debra Wada, regarding their Final Report
  • Presentation on Advancing Youth Service with Steve Culbertson of Youth Service America
  • Breakout Sessions on Corporate and Funder Engagement Strategies, Engaging your Governor and State Legislature, and the Role of Commissions in AmeriCorps Recruitment;
  • A Discussion of Advancing National Service in the Next 25 Years; and
  • Educational meetings on Capitol Hill to discuss national service and commission impact with more than 30 states' delegations reached.

View Leadership Convening photos >>

View Capitol Hill Day photos >>

ASC Statement on the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service's Final Report


In its final 255-page report to Congress last month entitled Inspired to Serve, the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service issued a compelling call to expand all forms of service over the next 10 years, including a goal to enlist one million Americans annually in civilian national service programs, a significant leap from the approximately 290,000 combined AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and Senior Corps positions that are currently filled each year.

ASC is pleased to have been a consulting partner and contributor to the National Commission's report process, providing both written and in-person testimony and coordinating focus group and presentation opportunities for the National Commission to consult with state service commissions and their AmeriCorps programs over the past two and a half years.

The final report includes five major recommendations to create a national infrastructure that is ready and able to accommodate one million federally-supported national service opportunities by 2031:

  1. Improve awareness and recruitment.
  2. Monitor the accessibility and results of AmeriCorps programs.
  3. Increase the value, flexibility, and use of service incentives.
  4. Expand opportunities through national service.
  5. Establish new models for national service.

ASC applauds the National Commission's in-depth research process and recommendations to Congress and believes a robust state role will be necessary to fully achieve these goals.

"The involvement of governors and their state service commissions is going to be key to the success of expanding national service in the United States as the National Commission's report is wisely calling for," said Kaira Esgate, CEO of America's Service Commissions. "State service commissions already play a critical role in developing and supporting national service programs that address local community needs. National service is truly national, and not just located in large urban areas, because of the role state service commissions have always played in making service programs and positions accessible to (and relevant for) all communities. We know from experience that the role of states must continue — and likely expand — to fulfill the recommendations included in this timely report."

Read our full statement on the Final Report >>

In This Issue...

  1. A Message from the CEO Regarding COVID-19
  2. Congress Recognizes National Service for Responding to COVID-19
  3. Happy Global Volunteer Month!
  4. Update on the 2020 National Service Regional Training Conferences
  5. Key Dates and Deadlines
  6. 2020 Training/Technical Assistance Directory
  7. ASC Leadership Convening 2020 and Capitol Hill Day Recap
  8. Results for America Publishes Findings on Minnesota Reading Corps and Evidence-Based AmeriCorps Programming
  9. ASC Statement on the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service's Final Report
  10. Gen2Gen Cities Report
  11. Join the States for Service Coalition - New Membership Rates Available
  12. Service Job Board

Key Dates and Deadlines

April 1-30: Global Volunteer Month

April 19-25: National Volunteer Week - Please help us celebrate the Volunteer Generation Fund during our VGF Appreciation Day & Twitter Storm on April 21 (#VolunteerGeneration)!

June 10-12: Points of Light Conference: The Civic Century (Virtual Event)

July 15-16: ASC Commission Program Officer Gathering (Des Moines, IA) - registration is currently open to opt-in states but will be opened to the public in May if space allows

July 27-29 (rescheduled): Regional Training Conference - Southwest/Pacific Region (Albuquerque, NM)

August 24-26 (rescheduled): Regional Training Conference - Central Region (Milwaukee, WI)

September 15-17: CNCS AmeriCorps State/National Symposium (Washington, DC)

September 16: ASC Innovation & Leadership Awards Reception (Washington, DC area)

2020 Training/Technical Assistance Directory

decorativeThe ASC Training & Technical Assistance (TTA) Directory is a resource for state service commissions and national service programs to identify quality trainers and consultants. Search the document to find trainers and consultants on a variety of organizational, programmatic, and grants related topics, along with references.

View the 2020 Training and Technical Assistance Directory here >>

If you are a consultant/trainer interested in joining ASC's TTA Directory, please contact Elisa Gleeson at [email protected] regarding the application process.

Results for America Publishes Findings on Minnesota Reading Corps and Evidence-Based AmeriCorps Programming


In late 2019, our friends at Results for America recently released and presented key findings related to evidence-based AmeriCorps interventions and agency-wide improvements in the use of evidence and data at the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), in an effort to promote evidence-based decision- and grant-making in federal government.

In 2013, Results for America began urging federal departments and agencies to prioritize evidence of
effectiveness in their grant programs through its annual Invest in What Works Federal Standard of Excellence.

Be sure to check out the following RFA reports and highlights that pertain to AmeriCorps and national service:

Report featuring Minnesota Reading Corps: Improving Elementary School Literacy in Minnesota by Prioritizing Evidence of Effectiveness in AmeriCorps

Article featuring CNCS: Results for America Recognizes Leading Federal Agencies for Using Evidence and Data to Improve Lives

Event Recap: A Conversation with U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar on National Service and Strengthening Our Democracy


New Report: #Gen2Gen Cities


City and county leaders across the country are increasing volunteerism, making better use of public spaces, strengthening communities, saving money, and improving outcomes for residents of all ages. But how? By leveraging the assets of residents and connecting the generations!

For more about these intergenerational strategies, plus tools and tips to create your own, check out the new #Gen2Gen Cities report from our friends at

Join the States for Service Coalition - New Rates Available!


Are you passionate about national service and volunteerism as cost-effective strategies to get things done for America?

Do you want to learn the ins and outs of public policy as part of your personal and professional growth?

Do you hope to advance new policies that will actually improve your day-to-day work in the national and community service sector?

Then join the States for Service (S4S) movement!

Together, we as state service commissions, AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, volunteer engagement professionals, and individual alumni and champions can protect and expand service at the federal, state, and local levels in new and innovative ways.

Sign-up for an annual S4S membership today >>

Coalition Membership Levels:*

Young Professionals & Alumni: $25

Individuals: $50

Programs/Partners: $150

State Service Commissions: $500

Statewide (Commissions & their programs) - ranges from $1,000-3,000 based on number of programs

*Disclaimer: Memberships must be paid by non-federal funds. The States for Service coalition's work is funded by non-federal funds in compliance with federal rules and regulations.

Service Job Board

Looking for new job opportunities in the service sector? Check out the ASC Service Job Board, including recent listings such as the following:

Executive Director, Nevada Volunteers (Reno, NV)

Executive Director, Volunteer West Virginia (Charleston, WV)

Controller, Massachusetts Service Alliance (Boston, MA)

AmeriCorps Program Officer (Contract/Grants Reviewer), Volunteer Louisiana (Baton Rouge, LA)

Director of Community Affairs, OneStar Foundation (Austin, TX)

Various Positions, SBP USA (Nationwide)

Crew Leaders, Arizona & New Mexico Conservation Corps

Search job openings at the Corporation for National & Community Service


Stay safe, stay home, save lives!


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