Funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, Cities of Service Impact Volunteering Fund Grants Will Help More Mayors Meet Priority Local Needs Cities of Service today announced a new round of funding available through the , the signature Cities of Service initiative designed to help more cities use “impact volunteering” to tackle pressing local challenges.
Funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Cities of Service Impact Volunteering Fund is designed to allow mayors to effectively organize and deploy volunteers to take on critical projects at a time when municipal budgets and resources are tight.
“Since the launch of the Cities of Service coalition in 2009, mayors nationwide have proven that impact volunteering provides measurable value to cities,” said New York City Mayor and philanthropist Michael R. Bloomberg. “Bloomberg Philanthropies is excited to continue our support of the Cities of Service Impact Volunteering Fund to build on success and encourage new mayors to adopt this volunteer engagement strategy.”
The Cities of Service model is unique, as it focuses on “impact volunteering” – volunteer strategies that target community needs, use best practices, and set clear outcomes and measures to gauge progress. This applies a heightened focus on impact and outcomes instead of measuring the number of volunteers or volunteer hours. At its core, the model equips mayors with the tools to engage citizens as resources and assets in community problem solving, rather than solely as service users and clients.
Today, more than 160 mayors are members of the Cities of Service coalition. Cities of Service Impact Volunteering Fund grant sizes range from $25,000 to $100,000, with the potential for a $5,000 bonus if impact goals are achieved. Initiatives can address any of the following priority areas: education and youth, health, neighborhood revitalization, preparedness and safety, sustainability, and veterans.
To date, over 50 US cities have launched high-impact volunteer initiatives using the Cities of Service approach, and more cities have plans underway. Sample highlights of city progress can be found . The Cities of Service Impact Volunteering Fund is a multi-million dollar fund. Nearly $1 million was awarded through the first round of grants in October 2012. Grant sizes will range from $25,000 to $100,000 with larger amounts reserved for cities with multiple initiatives. More information can be found at .
Only mayors whose cities are members of the Cities of Service coalition are eligible to apply on behalf of the city and its partners. The multiple initiative grants are limited to cities that have secured public or private funding to support a full-time Chief Service Officer or its equivalent within local government. For more information on how to join the coalition, email .
The application can be found at and must be received no later than Friday, September 13, 2013. Cities will be selected based on the following criteria: quality of initiative plan, degree of scale and impact, how additional resources are leveraged, strength of partnerships, and demonstrated commitment of executive leadership. For more information, contact Cities of Service at .
Founded in September 2009 in New York City by New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and 16 other mayors from across the nation, Cities of Service is a bipartisan coalition of mayors committed to addressing critical city needs through impact volunteering. American cities face serious challenges and many mayors want to take advantage of every resource available to them – including the time and energy of public-spirited residents – to address those challenges. But in cities across America today, citizen service is often an underutilized or inefficiently utilized strategy by municipal governments. By leveraging citizen service strategies, Cities of Service helps mayors address local needs and make government more effective.
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