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Category Archives: UServeUtah Featured

Welcome Friends in Service

Dear Friends in Service,

It is inspiring to hear stories from all around the state of Utahns’ commitment and passion for serving their friends, families, neighbors, and communities. This spirit of service has earned Utah the #1 ranking in the nation for volunteerism and civic engagement for nine consecutive years! Volunteerism helps meet critical needs in Utah and provides significant economic and social value for our citizens and communities. Each year Utah volunteers dedicate millions of hours of service. Last year alone that service was estimated to be worth $3.5 billion.

The poet, Henry Longfellow said: “No man or woman is so poor as to have nothing worth giving.” This is the vitality of volunteering; it is something that anyone can do – no matter where they live, their age, income, religious or cultural affiliation. Volunteering is a wonderful opportunity that is open to all of us and there is a vast range of possibilities for volunteerism in Utah. I invite you to join with us as we focus on making a difference.

Yours in Service,

Lt. Governor Spencer Cox

Utah AmeriCorps Grant Application Overview

AmeriCorps Utah logoPurpose of AmeriCorps State Grants

The purpose is to maximize the power of service and volunteering to improve lives in communities across the country. In the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, Congress directed the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) to focus national service in the following areas where service can make a major impact; (1) improving education, (2) energy conservation and the environment, (3) the health of all Americans, (4) economic opportunity for economically vulnerable individuals, (5) increasing service by and for veterans; (6) and providing disaster services.

For each of these priority areas, CNCS has identified specific objectives and, in many cases, standard performance measures that AmeriCorps programs must meet. For extensive information on CNCS funding goals, performance objectives, strategies, and priority measures, read the CNCS Strategic Plan.

Eligible Applicants
The following entities are eligible to apply for, implement, and operate an AmeriCorps program in Utah: non-profit organizations; an institution of higher education; a state agency; a community or faith-based organization; government entities within the state including cities, counties, and municipalities; or a partnership of any of the above entities. All Utah AmeriCorps programs must operate solely in Utah, and all member service activities must take place in-state. Utah AmeriCorps programs are required to use at least 10 member service years, or the equivalent of 10 full-time AmeriCorps members.

Grant Award(s)
The grant award spans a period of three years but is renewable annually subject to performance reviews, availability of federal funds and progress toward sustainability. Programs are funded to begin operations in fall of each year.

Types of Awards

Competitive Award
Competitive funds are awarded by CNCS. In the fall of each year, UServeUtah selects programs from the current State Formula Portfolio for recommendation to CNCS for review in competition with proposals from all single- and multi-state applicants. The Corporation runs a Peer and Staff Review to make funding determinations. Current Formula-funded programs who are interested in applying for a Competitive award will submit a request to UServeUtah for recommendation. UServeUtah does not accept new applicants in the fall for the CNCS competitive process.

Formula Award
Formula funds are awarded to programs by UServeUtah. Formula funds are given to UServeUtah based on the federal allocation for AmeriCorps and Utah’s population, which is then “passed through” to programs in the Utah AmeriCorps Portfolio. The amount of funds available to award each year to new and re-applying programs depends federal allocation and the number of Formula-funded programs in continuation (year one or two of the three-year grant cycle). UServeUtah employs a Peer and Staff review to make funding determinations.

Process

UServeUtah accepts new and continuing applications for formula funding in the spring of each year and uses a multi-step application process which includes:
Applicant must

  • Attend a mandatory* Technical Assistance and Training Meeting (these are the only opportunities to receive the application)
  • Submit a General Assessment Questionnaire
  • Submit application based on app instructions

Applications then go through a

  • Staff Review
  • Full committee review

*The application process will be explained in detail at the mandatory AmeriCorps Funding Technical Assistance Meetings that are taking place in March 2018.

Technical Training Timeline and Locations
For more information about where and when AmeriCorps Funding Technical Assistance Meetings will take place and how to apply, visit our 2018 RFP Process, Timeline, and Locations page.

Purpose

The purpose of the Utah Commission on Service and Volunteerism is to enable individuals, communities, and organizations in Utah to benefit from the service, power, skills, and passion of volunteers.

Our mission is to strengthen and grow bonds across Utah communities through the uniting power of service and volunteerism.

Our vision is vibrant, inclusive, productive communities with active, engaged citizens.

View our 2017-2019 STRATEGIC PLAN.

Our work is based in these core values:

  • Service Unites. Volunteering collectively grows bonds across various experiences, beliefs, backgrounds and barriers.
  • We believe that volunteerism is a uniquely American form of civic engagement that is fundamental to our democracy and critical to our communities.
  • We believe volunteers build strong communities and have a lasting impact on local needs.
    Utah volunteers are exceptional. They are willing to make the time, and the connections that come from reaching out in service to and with others.
  • We know that volunteers are bedrock in any community. Neighborhoods where volunteers gather and serve are more vibrant, safe, and engaged.
  • People who volunteer feel a unique sense of ownership and responsibility and are in turn transformed by the experience.

Our competitive advantages include:

  • We offer state leadership. As a branch of the state government and a program of the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, we can use our bully pulpit to promote volunteerism with authority.
  • We collaborate. We have years of experience working in the public and private sectors to focus resources on volunteerism.
  • We have data. Our studies measure the impact volunteers have on our lives and our communities.
  •  We have expertise. Our training to volunteer organizations helps them better use and support volunteers.
  • We bring resources to the table. Our nationally-recognized AmeriCorps programs connect local needs with manpower in a cost effective and efficient way.

UServeUtah, the Utah Commission on Service and Volunteerism, has a long history of advocating the value of volunteerism, training skilled volunteers, coordinating a statewide system to facilitate service, developing innovative AmeriCorps programs, and promoting Utah’s national leadership in volunteerism.

National Service

This year AmeriCorps, the Domestic Peace Corps, will engage more than 80,000 Americans nationwide in intensive, results-driven service in areas of critical need. UServeUtah administers all Utah AmeriCorps State grants and manages the Utah program portfolio comprising 10 AmeriCorps programs that target underserved populations in the focus areas of Economic Opportunity, Education, Environmental Stewardship, Disaster Preparedness, Healthy Futures, and Veterans and Military Families. In the 2015-2016 grant year AmeriCorps programs recruited over 23,000 volunteers who gave over 250,000 hours of service with an estimated value of over $6.2 million dollars.

In 2016, Utah AmeriCorps programs operating throughout the state engaged 1,640 AmeriCorps members. These members provided services to the homeless population, tutored and mentored youth, connected underserved populations to health care resources, restored and maintained parks, streams, and trail systems, taught environmental stewardship, and operated after school programs. Since 1994, more than 15,000 Utahns have participated in AmeriCorps programs, dedicating over 14 million hours to building up communities across the state.

In the event of a disaster, UServeUtah acts as the liaison with the Corporation for National and Community Service to call upon National Service resources such as AmeriCorps members for on-ground support and serves on the State Emergency Response Team (SERT) as the the lead in coordinating volunteer and donations management statewide.

Community Engagement

UServeUtah seeks to establish a strong infrastructure to support volunteers in Utah and functions as a consultant, and training resource to build and cultivate organizational capacity and increase volunteer utilization. UServeUtah also actively promotes volunteerism and is committed to creating ways for Utahns to identify and engage in quality volunteer and service opportunities. A primary aim of UServeUtah is to help organizations successfully use service & volunteerism as a strategy to fulfill their mission as well as increasing the number of highly skilled and long-term volunteers serving in Utah.

UServeUtah accomplishes this by (1) providing successful statewide trainings that ensure organizations are prepared to use volunteers effectively, (2) supporting businesses in creating employee volunteer programs throughout the state, and (3) helping local municipalities recognize and utilize volunteers as an effective means of addressing community needs.