Commission Volunteer Generation Fund Initiatives

In a historic investment, 18 grantees, including 14 nonprofits, were awarded 2023 VGF grants totaling more than $6 million dollars as part of a $1 billion American Rescue Plan investment. Learn more about the 10 state and territorial service commissions currently administering VGF initiatives below.

Serve Colorado logo
Serve Colorado’s VGF funding supports outdoor stewardship volunteerism and urban environmental education. They work with Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado and Environmental Learning for Kids through subgrants to leverage volunteers to both mitigate the effects of climate change now as well as educating the next generation of climate leaders.
As Colorado's leading outdoor stewardship organization dedicated to volunteer engagement, VOC promotes resilience by encouraging resident volunteers in their communities to maintain and enhance the state's world-class recreation amenities by caring for the natural resources, habitats, and ecosystems on which their way of life depends. This assures that Colorado's public lands continue to be an economic driver for the state, especially in rural and mountain communities.
Denver-based nonprofit Environmental Learning for Kids’ mission is to provide Colorado's underrepresented youth STEM education, leadership, and career opportunity education. With VGF funding, ELK is able to expand their core programming of exposing youth to Colorado's natural world, increase their academic science skills, volunteer in their neighborhoods, and being exposed to careers in the natural resource field.
Volunteer Iowa logo
The Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service (VolunteerIowa) will utilize the VGF grant to launch and expand high-impact mentoring and service-learning programming in schools and out of school time programming, to help students succeed academically and support their mental health and overall wellbeing. Focuses will include addressing COVID learning loss and the decrease in volunteers during the pandemic, as well as ensuring volunteers recruited are representative of communities served. Funding and training will be provided to schools and teachers to incorporate service-learning in the classroom, and to schools to launch or expand volunteer mentor programs. Community focused mentoring campaigns will be piloted to increase volunteer mentors and youth served.
Kansas Volunteer Commission logo

The vision of the Kansas Volunteer Commission is to empower all Kansans to meet community needs through service. The commission, a program of the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE), is working to develop a more civically engaged Kansas, in which all individuals feel like they belong and have an opportunity to serve. Volunteer Generation Funds will be used to build the capacity of Kansas volunteer organizations to engage volunteers from historically underrepresented areas as well as launch a school-based volunteer initiative, in line with the National Partnership for Student Success. Funds will also be used to continue Service Enterprise, which is in its third year of operation.

Volunteer Louisiana logo
In the third year continuation of the (VGF) grant, Volunteer Louisiana Commission will continue to collaborate with strategic partners on a multi-phase initiative to improve disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. Volunteer Louisiana will promote preparedness messaging and build disaster volunteer capacity through skill-based training statewide, creating a sustainable pool of disaster resilience volunteers. Volunteer Louisiana will enhance its volunteer management system and collaborate with local volunteer connector agencies to better integrate data systems.
Massachusetts Service Alliance logo
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused tremendous learning loss and social and emotional struggles for our young people and, at the same time, a deep decline in organizations’ ability to engage volunteers to help meet our current challenges. The Massachusetts Service Alliance (MSA) will undertake a multi-part strategy to better support our young people in the Commonwealth through enhancing volunteer engagement within schools and nonprofits across Massachusetts as well as providing opportunities for youth to become more active citizens themselves. We will focus our efforts in Gateway Cities and Boston in order to reach the young people most in-need of support. With the support of the Volunteer Generation Fund grant, our approach will include: (1) the replication of a successful school-based mentoring and volunteering program in partnership with Falmouth Volunteers in Public Schools; (2) grants to community-based organizations and schools to support the implementation of a Connect Science Service-Learning initiative; (3) grants for capacity-building in volunteer engagement for organizations developing “Youth Career Pathways” programming; and (4) continued deep and intensive capacity-building with at least 10 youth-serving organizations in Gateway Cities through the delivery of the Service Enterprise Initiative. MSA will engage at least 4,650 volunteers each year of the grant who will be improving academic, social emotional learning and mental health outcomes for students and supporting students to take action to address local needs in their own community.
ServeMinnesota logo
ServeMinnesota, in partnership with Minnesota Alliance for Volunteer Advancement (MAVA), proposes to continue its successful Service Enterprise Initiative (SEI) to Minnesota organizations, including their new web-based SEI modules, which expand the reach to rural areas of Minnesota. This organizational training certification expands volunteerism and the use of skills-based volunteers who increase organization’s effectiveness to address chronic community challenges. This effort strengthens the capacity of the state’s volunteer connector organizations to create and connect volunteers with high quality assignments, increasing the number of skills-based volunteers generated and retained. In the coming year, 200 organizations will be trained; increasing their capacity to recruit, connect and retain 20,000 volunteers who will contribute 250,000 service hours. Combining community and skills-based volunteer efforts, this project will result in an estimated value of over $7 million.
New Jersey Commission on National and Community Service logo
The New Jersey Volunteer Generation Fund (NJVGF) Program’s funding enables this statewide initiative to work with, enhance, and engage all 21 counties through a network of volunteer centers, united ways, and volunteer connector organizations. This initiative supports the funding of 11 sub-recipients incorporating specialized training to: 1. Expand the capacity of NJ's connector organizations' volunteer management infrastructure; 2. Support programs that expand, launch, or improve high-impact tutoring and mentoring through targeted volunteer recruitment; 3. Increase the number of new volunteers from underrepresented areas recruited and retained to support delivery of additional and sustainable direct services throughout the state; and 4. Provide training and technical assistance strengthening the capacity of local infrastructure organizations addressing state/national needs, expanding the number of volunteers statewide and nationally. NJVGF focuses on improving the lives of those living in New Jersey through volunteerism.
Nevada Volunteers logo
Nevada Volunteers utilizes funding from the Volunteer Generation Fund to implement three interventions to increase the capacity of Nevada organizations to effectively manage volunteers and increase volunteerism across Nevada: 1) Expand the reach of our statewide website,, to connect organizations with a diverse base of volunteers; 2) provide capacity-building mini-grants to organizations interested in implementing new evidence-based volunteer management best practices; and 3) provide training and technical assistance to organizations on evidence-based volunteer management best practices.
Volunteer Tennesee logo
The Tennessee Volunteer Generation Fund Coalition will increase volunteer recruitment and expand the use of volunteers and service-learning to remove inequities in the areas of education, healthy futures, and economic opportunity, and to provide emergency preparedness and community resiliency. Using high-quality volunteer recruitment, training, and management practices, coalition partners Hands On Nashville and Volunteer Memphis will provide capacity building services to 2,384 volunteer connector organizations, and 361 of those will increase their effectiveness, efficiency, and/or program scale/reach. Hands On Nashville (HON) increases accessibility to volunteer opportunities that engage individuals in meaningful service, directed toward improving economic opportunities and educational outcomes for youth. Working its membership of 115+ nonprofit partners, HON will build the volunteer management capacity of 94 organizations, that address needs in education; economic opportunity and workforce development; diversity, equity, and inclusion; emergency preparedness and community resilience; and healthy futures and food security. Volunteer Memphis will support a robust, effective emergency preparedness program for Memphis and Shelby County by providing capacity building for 50 organizations and recruiting 3,000 disaster volunteers. Volunteer Memphis will also provide capacity building for 400 organizations in the issue area of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Serve Wisconsin logo
Serve Wisconsin is Wisconsin’s National and Community Service Board. Our mission is to promote service, provide training and allocate resources to programs that enrich lives and communities through service and volunteerism. Serve Wisconsin’s most recently awarded VGF grant will support efforts by local United Ways to run Board Training Programs throughout the state of Wisconsin. Many nonprofits struggle to recruit and retain board members who look and live like the people they are serving. Diversity within boards is important to encourage innovative and empathetic decision-making to support the communities they are charged with serving. Our VGF funded programs will train new leaders, specifically people from underrepresented communities and those with lived experience in poverty, to serve as decision makers on local nonprofit boards. Additionally, Serve Wisconsin will provide short term grants to agencies in rural communities to help with volunteer recruitment, training, and capacity building.