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Kansas Volunteer Commission, volunteer agencies build capacity in Kansas

Kansas Volunteer Commission, volunteer agencies build capacity in Kansas
Posted: Mar 11, 2021
Author: Ann Bush

The Kansas Volunteer Commission has awarded $120,000 in funding to eight Kansas volunteer and mentor organizations through the 2021 Volunteer Generation Fund (VGF) grant competition.

Each organization received $15,000 for one year.

The VGF grant will increase the infrastructure and expand the capacity of volunteer and mentoring organizations as they work with volunteers to improve their communities.

The Commission received the VGF grant from AmeriCorps, the federal agency that oversees the nation’s volunteer initiatives. AmeriCorps awarded 22 VGF grants to state service commissions, including the Kansas Volunteer Commission, totaling more than $6 million.

2021 Volunteer Generation Fund Grant recipients are:

  • Douglas County CASA Inc. – Serving Douglas County.
  • Flint Hills Volunteer Center – Serving Geary, Pottawatomie and Riley counties.
  • Heart of a Champion/One Heart Project – Serving Northeast Kansas.
  • Kansas Humane Society – Serving Sedgwick County and supporting shelters statewide.
  • Peace Connections Inc. – Serving Harvey County.
  • Rosedale Development Association – Serving Wyandotte County.
  • United Way of Douglas County – Serving Douglas County.
  • United Way of Franklin County Association – Serving Anderson and Franklin counties.

 

The successes of former VGF grant recipients will create a model for the new subgrantees to follow. In 2019, the Kansas Volunteer Commission awarded nearly $100,000 in funding to six Kansas volunteer organizations. The 2019 Volunteer Generation Fund Grant recipients were Barton County College Volunteers in Action; Flint Hills Volunteer Center; Kansas Humane Society; Sunflower CASA Project Inc.; United Way of Franklin County Association; and Wichita Habitat for Humanity.

The goal of that grant was to increase the infrastructure and expand the capacity of volunteer organizations to recruit and manage skilled volunteers. Together, these programs engaged 5,773 volunteers who leveraged 45,860 volunteer hours. According to the Independent Sector, a volunteer hour is currently valued at $27.20. Therefore, volunteers leveraged through the VGF grant provided an estimated value of $1,247,392.00 in service in Kansas between Oct. 1, 2019, and Dec. 31, 2020.

VGF’s unique model means that the grants announced will leverage additional public and private funds – further increasing the return on the federal investment. The Commission anticipates that the 2021 grants will leverage an additional $120,000.

“The Kansas Volunteer Commission is proud to support the VGF recipients with funding, training and technical assistance that has been proven to increase capacity," said Jessica Noble, Kansas Volunteer Commission executive director.

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The Kansas Volunteer Commission is a program of the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE). The mission of the Kansas Volunteer Commission is to empower all Kansans to meet community needs through service. The Commission's primary role is to provide resources and leadership to support local initiatives that tackle community needs. As the state service commission, the Commission directs effective national service programs, provides volunteer management training opportunities and supports the work of Mentor Kansas. For more information, visit www.kanserve.org.

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