AmeriCorps Releases Report on Volunteer Generation Fund Evaluation and Capacity Building Project

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This two-folded approach project conducted both a bundled evaluation and provided a one-year evaluation to participants.

AmeriCorps member

AmeriCorps member
AmeriCorps member

Washington, DC, April 25, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteering, released the AmeriCorps Volunteer Generation Fund Bundle Evaluation and Capacity Building Project final report, which assessed how State Service Commissions from Florida, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, New Jersey and Utah implemented their grant to develop and support community-based entities to recruit, manage and support volunteers within their states as well as the outcomes of their grantees’ efforts.

The report details how the nine participating Volunteer Generation Fund grantees were able to provide more than 2,000 organizations with capacity building services, with more than 1,900 organizations increasing their effectiveness, efficiency and program reach.  

“AmeriCorps proudly invests in innovative approaches to engage communities and foster action and belonging,” said Michael D. Smith, CEO, AmeriCorps. “The AmeriCorps Volunteer Generation Fund Bundle Evaluation and Capacity Building Project Report confirms and reinforces what we’ve seen over the last 30 years: through AmeriCorps’ investment in national service and volunteering, we’re improving the lives of our members, our partners, local communities and our country.”    

The Volunteer Generation Fund program was authorized by the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act in 2009 and invests in volunteer management practices that strengthen nonprofit organizations and other entities’ ability to increase recruitment and retention of volunteers to meet critical community needs through service.

The AmeriCorps Office of Research and Evaluation contracted a research firm to conduct an evaluation with a mixed-methods case study design to learn more about Volunteer Generation Fund grants and best practices in volunteer recruitment and retention. The study included a Volunteer Generation Fund Resource Guide, alongside a Comprehensive Literature Review for Volunteer Management for other grantees and organizations to utilize when implementing their Volunteer Generation Fund grant or any type of volunteer program, and State Commission case examples.  

“Although this study was performed during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which largely impacted many people’s ability to volunteer, we saw that the Volunteer Generation Fund grantees reported more than 130,000 volunteers recruited or managed, serving more than one million hours,” said Mary Hyde, Director Research and Evaluation, AmeriCorps. “Grantees shared their biggest successes, with outcomes centered around increased reach and recognition and improved services for beneficiaries. Additionally, the study found that since the end of 2023, participating grantees and organizations have noted that volunteer rates have returned to pre-pandemic levels.”

“Through this study, AmeriCorps was able to learn more about how grantees utilized the Volunteer Generation Fund to build volunteer engagement capacity of local organizations and identify trends like the addition of a diversity, equity and inclusion focus for enhancing recruitment,” said Emily Stock, Project Manager for Volunteer Initiatives, AmeriCorps. “More importantly, the project was able to highlight best practices in volunteer engagement to share with the sector.”

AmeriCorps plays a vital role in supporting the American culture of citizenship, service and responsibility, and is the nation’s largest grant maker in support of many forms of service and volunteering. AmeriCorps engages more than 5 million Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps Seniors and Volunteer Generation Fund programs.  

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AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteerism, provides opportunities for Americans to serve their country domestically, address the nation’s most pressing challenges, improve lives and communities, and strengthen civic engagement. Each year, the agency places more than 200,000 AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers in intensive service roles; and empowers millions more to serve as long-term, short-term, or one-time volunteers. Learn more at AmeriCorps.gov.

AmeriCorps offers opportunities for individuals of all backgrounds to be a part of the national service community, grow personally and professionally, and receive benefits for their service. Learn how to get involved at AmeriCorps.gov/Serve.

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CONTACT: National Service Press Office AmeriCorps [email protected] 

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