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President Seeks $1.149 Billion for National Service Budget

Friday, May 8, 2009   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Greg Heinrich
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Yesterday, President Obama submitted to Congress his FY 2010 budget request for the Corporation for National and Community Service and its programs. The complete budget justification document is available now on the CNCS budget page; below is a brief summary of its contents.

The spectacular success of MLK Day, the new funding in the Recovery Act, the passage of the Serve America Act, and now the increases in President Obama's budget have made for a historic time of transition for national service; a once-in-a-generation expansion of size and scope in response to a growing consensus that service a vital part of the solution to our greatest national challenges, particularly in a tough economy.

The President is requesting $1.149 billion for the Corporation and its programs, a $259 million or 29 percent increase over the FY 2009 enacted level. The budget strengthens existing programs and invests in new initiatives created by the Serve America Act to increase the scope and impact of service and volunteering and strengthen social innovation. It funds many initiatives authorized by the Serve America Act and lays the foundation for others down the road. The social innovation and volunteer generation funds in particular are early priorities; we expect them to provide valuable insight and resources for other programs.

We are very interested in getting your input on the Serve America Act. Over the coming weeks we are holding listening sessions and conference calls and will soon launch a web tool for you to share your thoughts and ideas. We hope that everyone will join in – we can't do this without you.

Overall, this budget also makes clear that national service is a high priority for President Obama, and demonstrates his faith in the power of service to transform lives and communities. Highlights include:

  • A total of $220.9 million to support nearly 500,000 Senior Corps volunteers to meet local needs through service. This is a 3.3 percent increase over the 2009 enacted level, and includes increases for all three Senior Corps programs RSVP, Foster Grandparents, and Senior Companions.
  • 10,000 new AmeriCorps positions, representing the first step towards the goal of 250,000 annual members by the year 2017, and $195.6 million for the National Service Trust, including the first increase in the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award since it was created 16 years ago. Within AmeriCorps, the budget requests: 
    • $372.5 million for AmeriCorps State/National grants, which is a $101 million (37 percent) increase over the FY 2009 enacted level, as well as a $4 million increase for State Commissions to support their increased workload.
    • $97.9 million ($1.8 million above the FY 2009 enacted level) to support 5,980 full time AmeriCorps VISTA members and 1,690 Summer Associates.
    • $26.3 million to support 1,030 full-time NCCC members (and 90 Summer of Service members) on five campuses. NCCC will maintain its focus on disaster preparedness and response and engaging disadvantaged youth in service.
  • $39.5 million to support 1.3 million participants in Learn and Serve America, a $2 million (5 percent) increase over last year. This will provide continued support for service-learning, increase the number of disadvantaged youth participating, integrate annual grant competitions, and begin a 10-year longitudinal study on impact of service-learning.
  • $50 million for a Social Innovation Fund to provide financial support for incubating new ideas and bringing successful projects and programs up to scale, as well as leveraging additional capital from the private sector.
  • $10 million for a Volunteer Generation Fund to support grants to states and nonprofits to recruit, manage and support volunteers and strengthen the nation's volunteer infrastructure. The goal is to increase volunteer retention and use volunteers time and energy more efficiently.
  • Funding for a national Call to Service campaign and a new national day of service to commemorate 9/11. Money is also requested to support the Martin Luther King Day of Service, our annual conference, and outreach to faith-based and other community groups. The budget also provides for training, technology upgrades, and management initiatives to better support our programs in the field.

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