National Volunteer Service in Jeopardy

March 27, 2017 – Our colleagues at the Points of Light have posted a commentary related to the proposed cuts to the Corporation for National and Community Service within the forthcoming national budget.

Here is an excerpt –

CNCS was created by Congress to be a public-private partnership that would decrease dependency on government and empower citizens to tackle tough issues and problem-solve together at the local level. Analyses have shown that for every $10 invested in CNCS by the federal government, another $15 is raised from private sources to fund the agency’s important programs that address community challenges. In 2015, CNCS generated $1.26 billion in outside resources from private businesses, foundations, and other sources, including investments from companies like Walmart, Home Depot, Target, Cisco, CSX and Citigroup that increase the return on taxpayer dollars. And, for every $1 the federal government invests in national service, there is a nearly $4 return on investment.

“National Service has a longstanding history of bipartisan support for being a cost-effective way to engage citizens, strengthen communities, create jobs, and bring people together,” said Neil Bush, Points of Light Chairman of the Board of Directors. “Coupled with major support and investments from the private sector, the impact of national service is far-reaching and deep in communities across America.”

Across the country, 80,000 AmeriCorps members and 270,000 Senior Corps members are currently serving local communities. In 2015, through the Points of Light network of local affiliates, more than 11,000 national service members contributed to the mobilization and support of volunteers. These national service members played an important role in the network’s impact in local communities, including more than 17 million hours of volunteer time given, more than 100,000 service projects completed, and more than $400 million in economic value.

A 2014 survey from Points of Light’s AmeriCorps Alums, called “Untapped Potential,” found the benefits of the year of service long surpass the time in service. Alums agreed that national service solidified their commitment to community and country, and that through national service, they developed skills to be better students, employees and citizens. AmeriCorps Alums is the only national network that connects the nearly 1 million alumni of all AmeriCorps programs who have served since 1994 to the people, ideas, and resources that support their commitment to a lifetime of service.

As Congress debates this budget, we have to make our voices heard. That’s where you come in.  Join us and our partners at Voices for National Service by calling your members of Congress today.

It only takes two minutes, and it makes a real difference. Voices for National Service has a sample script and talking points to guide you. If you’ve already called, please call again. If you haven’t called, now is the time.

America needs national service now more than ever. If you share our concerns about the broad impact of these cuts, we encourage you to make your voice heard.”