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Quarterly E-News | Fall/Winter Edition

November 2020

Happy Thanksgiving & Native American Heritage Day from ASC

On behalf of the entire team at America's Service Commissions (ASC), I want to wish you a happy, safe, and meaningful Thanksgiving (November 26) and Native American Heritage Day (November 27).

As the association of the 52 state service commissions and their programs, we are grateful for your membership and support of the state service network -- and collective dedication to uniting states in service in an unprecedented year when we have been unable to gather in person to share our friendship and gratitude firsthand. Please know that your creativity in pivoting to build the national service community and cross-state relationships virtually has not gone unnoticed. From virtual AmeriCorps Opening Days and Governors Awards, to online trainings, Basecamp conversations, and Zoom networking over webcams, we're in awe of what commissions, nonprofits, and national service programs have been able to do in spite of COVID-19 this year.

We look forward to finding even more innovative ways to stay connected in 2021!

In gratitude,

Kaira Esgate, CEO
America's Service Commissions

National Service Policy Updates: Transition Preparations Begin

On Monday, November 23, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) officially ascertained the results of the 2020 Presidential Election and issued a letter to notify the apparent winner, President-Elect Joseph R. Biden and his team, that the federal government would make certain post-election resources available to assist in the transition under 3 U.S.C. § 102.

This is a major development in the transition process. Given this news, and as the states certify their election results, we are anticipating a new presidential administration beginning on January 21, 2021.

The Biden-Harris Transition Team has published the names of the members of its Agency Reviews Teams, including those assigned to the Department of Education whose members are also assigned to AmeriCorps (formerly the Corporation for National and Community Service).

ASC and our States for Service Coalition look forward to working with the new Administration as well as the 117th Congress, which will convene on January 3, 2021, to further national service public policy goals, reintroduce the CORPS Act, seek COVID supplemental funds for national service grantees, and empower and strengthen commissions and programs at the local, state, and federal levels in the year to come!


ASC National Service Training Conference Going Virtual in 2021

Given the ongoing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, America's Service Commissions (ASC) will be taking our regional conferences 100% virtual this spring and consolidating into one virtual event from May 4-7, 2021. The purpose of ASC's National Service Training Conference is to support and guide national service leaders in growing their resources, tending to their specific needs, building their capacities, and creating a space for inspiration. The 2021 virtual conference will provide practical tools while facilitating thoughtful discussions among national service practitioners in the field.

The theme for the 2021 training is "Take Action and Persevere," language that comes from the AmeriCorps Pledge. This theme recognizes the significant challenges that impacted all of us in 2020; and yet, AmeriCorps programs and members have lived up to their pledge to not sit idly by, but to take action and persevere during the most difficult of times.

For up-to-date details on the 2021 virtual conference or to submit a workshop proposal by the January 14th deadline, please visit our website at www.nationalservicetraining.org.


Apply Now for the 2021 Training & Technical Assistance Directory

ASC is currently accepting applications for consultants and trainers to submit an application to participate in the 2021 Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) Directory.

The Directory is a resource connecting quality trainers and consultants with state service commissions and AmeriCorps state programs. The directory is also posted publicly on ASC's website each year. The 2021 Training & Technical Assistance Directory will be released by January 31, 2021.

Applications must be completed online by Friday, December 18, 2020.

Whether you are a new or experienced consultant or trainer, we hope you will consider membership with ASC and inclusion in the 2021 Training and Technical Assistance Directory!


Afterschool Program Development Toolkit & Webinar

ASC is hosting a webinar on Tuesday, December 1 for state service commissions and statewide afterschool networks to report out the impact from a three-year project funded by the Mott Foundation to expand the quality and quantity of afterschool programming through national service. As part of the project, 11 state service commissions were provided subgrants to partner with their statewide afterschool network on a range of activities.

During the webinar, three state service commissions and afterschool networks will be sharing their work and ASC will preview its forthcoming Afterschool Program Development Guide and Afterschool and National Service 101 Guide -- toolkits developed based on best practices from the project. Each state service commission and statewide afterschool program will be mailed hard copies of the toolkits, which will be posted on the ASC website in the coming weeks.

View highlights of the year 1 and year 2 afterschool subgrant project on the ASC website at https://www.statecommissions.org/afterschool.


Commissions Gather Virtually for Annual VGF Convening

ASC was pleased to host a two-day Volunteer Generation Fund (VGF) Convening virtually on October 8-9 with more than 45 attendees to learn and exchange ideas on trends and best practices in volunteer engagement. The training, sponsored by Galaxy Digital and UServeUtah, included presentations such as "Mission Centered Data" presented by Sue Carter Kahl, a Virtual Volunteering Train-the-Trainer led by Jayne Cravens, and "DEI and Anti-Racism When Engaging Volunteers" presented by Jerome Tennille. In addition, attendees had the opportunity to get-to-know each other and share best practices in small group breakouts. Thank you to our sponsors and all who attended to further the field of volunteer engagement!


Innovation & Leadership Awards Recap

On September 25, we were thrilled to honor fourteen community leaders from across the nation at the 2020 America's Service Commissions (ASC) Innovation and Leadership Awards. This marked the first year the event was celebrated virtually due to COVID-19.

Congratulations to our 2020 Innovation & Leadership Awardees (click on each name to view their award video):

Watch the full event, opening video, and individual awardee feature videos on YouTube. Our sincere thanks to Gold Sponsor Cigna; Silver Sponsors Galaxy Digital, On3Learn, and Volunteer Mississippi; Bronze Sponsor America Learns; and all of our contributors and 'Celebrating States' Silent Auction donors for making the event a resounding success!


Welcome, 2020-2021 Board of Directors, Members, and Officers

On October 1st, America's Service Commissions new board members and officers began their terms for 2020-2021 after the slate was approved by the association's 52 commission members during the annual Membership Assembly held virtually on September 23rd.

ASC welcomes our new Board Chair, Maureen K. Eccleston of Pennsylvania. Eccleston currently serves as executive director of PennSERVE and has been a member of the ASC Board of Directors since 2017. Eccleston started her AmeriCorps journey with the sixth class of AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) and has since served or worked with AmeriCorps NCCC, AmeriCorps VISTA, AmeriCorps State and National, and Learn and Serve America. She has worked for two state service commissions, PennSERVE and the Maryland Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism. She holds a Master of Arts in Nonprofit Management from Notre Dame of Maryland University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from York College of Pennsylvania. A two-time AmeriCorps alumna, Eccleston believes in service as a catalyst for social justice.

America's Service Commissions also congratulates the following incoming leaders whose terms started October 1 to help guide and shape ASC as the nonprofit association of the 52 state service commissions in the year to come:

2020- 2021 Elected Board Officers:

  • Maureen Eccleston, Chair – Executive Director, PennSERVE (re-appointed)
  • Scott McFarland, Vice Chair/Public Policy Chair – Executive Director, Missouri Community Service Commission
  • Beth McGuinness, Membership Chair – Director of Programs, Massachusetts Service Alliance
  • Ginna Holmes, Resource Development Chair – Executive Director, Michigan Community Service Commission
  • Richard Swarttz, Treasurer – at-largeCFO, Peace Corps
  • Shelly McAlpin, Secretary – Executive Director, Serve Wyoming

2020- 2021 Board Members (in addition to Officers above):

  • Katie Abbott – Executive Director, Serve Alaska (continuing)
  • John Albright – Commission Chair, Missouri Community Service Commission (continuing)
  • Thenera Bailey – at-large – SISGI Group and and SISGI Beyond Good Ideas Foundation (new)
  • Kristen Bennett – at-large – Service Year Alliance (new)
  • Owen Brown – Youth Commissioner, Volunteer Mississippi (new)
  • Vanessa Diamond – Commissioner, Virginia Office of Service and Community Services (new)
  • Jeanne Duffy – Executive Director, Serve Wisconsin (continuing)
  • Steve Epstein – Commission Chair, Volunteer New Hampshire (new)
  • Caroline Farmer – Executive Director, Volunteer NC (continuing)
  • William Hall – Executive Director, ServeOhio (continuing)
  • Beverly Hoster – Commission Chair, Oklahoma Community Service Commission (re-appointed)
  • Judd Jeansonne – Executive Director, Volunteer Louisiana (continuing)
  • Julia Keehner – Commission Chair, Volunteer West Virginia (continuing)
  • Cat Keen – National Service Programs Director, Volunteer Florida (continuing)
  • Charlette Kremer – Commissioner, Serve Idaho (continuing)
  • Jessica Noble – Executive Director, Kansas Volunteer Commission (new)
  • Kate Scheuritzel – Director of Programs, Serve Connecticut (continuing)
  • Lisa Spinali – Commissioner, California Volunteers (new)
  • Marty Weinstein – at-large – CEO, Bay Area Community Resources and Co-Chair, California AmeriCorps Alliance (continuing)

ASC would also like to thank several outgoing Board members and officers for their past support and years of service:

With Thanks for Their Service:

  • Amber Martin-Jahn, Chair – Executive Director, Serve Washington (Former Chair; Board member since 2014)
  • Philip Kolling, Secretary – Executive Director, SerVermont (Former Secretary; Board member since 2014)
  • Bill Hulterstrom – at-large – President/CEO, United Way of Utah County (ASC's longest serving Board member; current term since 2014)

Welcome all and thank you for your leadership!


ASC Receives Grant to Expand Youth Service in States

ASC received a $265,000 grant from the Mott Foundation to expand youth service, with a focus on youth that otherwise would not be engaged. We plan to release a Request for Proposals (RFP) to state service commissions in early 2021 for the opportunity to receive a subgrant to focus on creating new or expand existing youth service initiatives in participating states and territories.

ASC will facilitate a learning cohort and convening for participating state service commissions to share best practices and develop toolkits to share with the broader state service commissions network based on the project’s lessons learned.

Stay tuned for future announcements!


Become an Advocate for Service

Support States for Service as we prepare for the 117th Congress!

It is hard to believe that the month of November is already here. As we approach the end of a challenging year and a tumultuous election season, can we count on your support to help us advance national service in 2021?

Three years ago, we launched the privately-funded States for Service (S4S) Coalition -- ASC's public policy arm -- to ensure we had the ability to advocate effectively and compliantly on your behalf.

Our goal? To protect and expand national and community service at the federal, state, and local levels and to promote flexibility and innovation in state/federal policies to allow state service commissions and their programs to do their work better.

We are a diverse coalition of state service commissions, AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors programs, Volunteer Generation Fund grantees, volunteer engagement professionals, and individual champions of service and AmeriCorps alumni who believe in the power of service to get things done.

But we need you. We cannot sustain States for Service without your membership and financial support.

Will you take 5 minutes to join the S4S coalition now?

As the 117th Congress prepares to take office in January, and as we collectively navigate a nationwide recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, our work to advance national service is more important than ever.

By becoming a dues-paying States for Service member, you will directly contribute to our ability to:

  • Represent your interests in Washington, DC to lawmakers and federal agency officials year-round;
  • Build essential bipartisan support for state service commissions, AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps Seniors, youth service funding, Volunteer Generation Fund and an Alumni Reserve Corps;
  • Help develop and pass groundbreaking legislation like the CORPS Act;
  • Fight for national service inclusion in future COVID stimulus and supplemental bills;
  • Work to include key policy objectives in the next reauthorization bill for national service to build upon the Serve America Act;
  • Advocate for annual increases in funding for the AmeriCorps agency and its programs;
  • Champion innovative state legislation to make service opportunities better and more available to all in every state.

And of course, you'll also benefit from our membership perks, gain valuable public policy know-how for your professional/personal development, and get to know an incredible community of like-minded advocates who are passionate about AmeriCorps and national service.

Please join us by signing up as an S4S member by December 31st.

*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.

In This Issue...

  1. Happy Thanksgiving & Native American Heritage Day from ASC
  2. Key Dates and Deadlines
  3. National Service Policy Updates: Transition Preparations Begin
  4. ASC National Service Training Conference Going Virtual in 2021
  5. Gear Up for Giving Tuesday
  6. Apply Now for the 2021 Training & Technical Assistance Directory
  7. Afterschool Program Development Toolkit & Webinar
  8. Commissions Gather Virtually for Annual VGF Convening
  9. ASC Statement on Systemic Racism & Injustice
  10. Innovation & Leadership Awards Recap
  11. ASC Receives Grant to Expand Youth Service in States
  12. In Case You Missed It: 2019 Annual Report and Financials
  13. Become an Advocate for Service
  14. Tom Branen Celebrates 15 Years with ASC
  15. Service Job Board

Key Dates and Deadlines

November 26-27: ASC offices closed

December 1: Giving Tuesday

December 10: ASC Board of Directors Virtual Meeting (registration link shared with commissions)

January 6: AmeriCorps State/National FY21 Competitive Grant Deadline + National Direct Consultations due to Commissions

January 18: MLK Day of Service

Week of March 1: Virtual ASC Leadership Convening (details forthcoming - limited to commission directors and chairs)


Gear Up for Giving Tuesday

The winter holidays are almost here, and our favorite philanthropic celebration - GivingTuesday - is just around the corner. This year, GivingTuesday falls on December 1, 2020.

Since it launched in 2012, GivingTuesday has helped build a world in which the catalytic power of generosity is at the heart of the society we build together -- unlocking dignity, opportunity, and equity around the globe. Over the past eight years, it has grown into a year-round global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, we at America's Service Commissions are thrilled to participate in Giving Tuesday again. Our goal: to raise $1,000 in individual donations across our network to support our mission in the coming year with unrestricted funds.

 

In honor of Giving Tuesday, we ask for your support in three ways between now and December 31:

 

1) Make a donation to ASC of $30 or more to benefit our forthcoming publication, Innovative State Service COVID-19 Response Programs, which will showcase a group of outstanding AmeriCorps, Volunteer Generation Fund, and state service-based programs across the country that have gone above and beyond to innovate, adapt, and/or respond to community needs during COVID-19 this past year. The publication will be released in late 2020/early 2021 and will be shared with Members of Congress and key stakeholders. (Have a tip about a program to include? Send us an email at [email protected])

 

2) Find a local AmeriCorps program or volunteer-based nonprofit in your community that speaks to your interests, and make a donation to them by December 31 as well. You can typically find your state's AmeriCorps programs on the website of your state service commission. Find your state service commission's website here >>

 

3) Like/share our Giving Tuesday campaign on social media and use the hashtags #GivingTuesday and #DisasterServe:

Your gift of $30 or more will help us highlight and showcase state service commissions and their AmeriCorps and Volunteer Generation Fund programs across the country -- and most importantly, advocate for their needs, funding, and interests during this critical year to keep national service strong from state to state despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Prepare to give back on December 1st! Visit www.givingtuesday.org to get inspired.


ASC Statement on Systemic Racism and Injustice

In June, ASC issued the following statement to our network which can also be viewed on our website:

America’s Service Commissions stands in solidarity with our nation’s Black community and all who are grieving the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many others.

Black lives matter. Collectively, we cannot fully do the work of strengthening communities and ending the gaps in our country’s education, healthcare, and economy until systemic racism is dismantled from our institutional and cultural systems.

There is so much work to do to get there. ASC is committed to listening and learning from Black voices and other communities of color as we walk forward on the path to equity, inclusion, safety, and freedom. We will do this through continued dialogue, training, coaching, feedback, and empowering voices that are often silenced to speak. We will take action and advocate for policies that will advance equity for Black people and communities of color.

To all ASC members, state service commissions, national service programs and AmeriCorps members, we hope you will join with us to listen, learn, and lead. We are here to support you and learn with you.

In the words of one of our state service commission directors and our Vice Chair, “Service is not the full solution, but service builds bridges, seeks common ground, strengthens communities. Service has healing power, both for those who serve and for those who are served.”

Let’s continue to rise up in service together.


Honoring the MLK Day of Service - January 18

This year, the 2021 Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday marks its 26th year as a national day of service.

As you join or organize volunteer projects safely in your
community on and around January 18, use the
following resources to highlight the importance of this day:

1) Register Your Project: Visit https://www.allforgood.
org/ to recruit volunteers for your event.

2) Take Action - Find a Volunteer Opportunity:
https://www.nationalservice.gov/serve/search.

For more resources and new logos, visit www.mlkday.gov.


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:

AmeriCorps Grants Compliance Officer, Alabama Governor's Office of Volunteer Services (Montgomery, AL)

Communications & Operations Assistant, Massachusetts Service Alliance (Boston, MA)

Volunteer Director, California Volunteers, Office of the Governor (Sacramento, CA / Remote Possible)

California Climate Action Corps Director, California Volunteers, Office of the Governor (Sacramento, CA / Remote Possible)

Digital Infrastructure Officer, California Volunteers, Office of the Governor (Sacramento, CA / Remote Possible)

Web Developer/Digital Web Specialist, California Volunteers, Office of the Governor (Sacramento, CA / Remote Possible)

Email Manager, California Volunteers, Office of the Governor (Sacramento, CA / Remote Possible)

Operation Feed California (OFC) VISTA Manager, California Volunteers, Office of the Governor (Sacramento, CA / Remote Possible)

AmeriCorps Program Officer, California Volunteers, Office of the Governor (Sacramento, CA / Remote Possible)

Communications Specialist/Information Officer, California Volunteers, Office of the Governor (Sacramento, CA / Remote Possible)

Training & Technical Assistance Manager, California Volunteers, Office of the Governor (Sacramento, CA / Remote Possible)

Compliance Manager, California Volunteers, Office of the Governor (Sacramento, CA / Remote Possible)

Evaluation Systems Designer, TerraCorps (Lowell, MA)

Communications Coordinator, Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC) Northwest (Milwaukie, OR)

Various Positions, Montana Conservation Corps (MT - various locations)

Various Positions, Reading & Math, Inc. (Reading & Math Corps) (Multiple Locations)

Various Positions, Reading Partners (Multiple Locations)

Various Positions, SBP USA (Nationwide)

Crew Leaders, Arizona & New Mexico Conservation Corps

Search job openings at the Corporation for National & Community Service


In Case You Missed It: 2019 Annual Report and 990

We recently updated our website to include our previous year's 2019 ASC Annual Report, Form 990, and other key documents.

View them here >>


Tom Branen Celebrates 15 Years with ASC

Earlier this month, ASC's Chief Policy Officer Tom Branen celebrated a milestone -- 15 years with America's Service Commissions. Since Tom loves national service as much as he loves the Washington Nationals, he received this special shout-out from Nationals play-by-play announcer Dave Jageler. Thank you, Tom, for being a great colleague, policy guru, and tireless champion for AmeriCorps, national service, and state service commissions all these years!

Click here to leave a message for Tom >>


 

Happy Holiday Season from ASC!

 

America's Service Commissions

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