Political Winds: National Service Programs Get Huge Funding Boost in 2010 Fed Budget

Official White House Photo, Pete Souza
Official White House Photo, Pete Souza

Today was an historic one for national service, as President Obama signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, fully funding a request from the President and Congress for the biggest parts of the Serve America Act.

With the signing, the President brings to fruition months of work on behalf of the Corporation for National and Community Service, VolunteerMatch, ServiceNation and Voices for National Service, and many other coalition partners. From the Presidential Summit on volunteering that took place in late 2008, to the signing of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act this April, to the final approval of funding that took place today, it’s been an exciting process to watch.

The Act will provide the Corporation for National and Community Service with $1.149 billion in federal funding, the most in the agency’s history and an increase of $260 million from last year. Special line items include:

  • $50 million for a Social Innovation Fund
  • $4 million for a Volunteer Generation Fund to develop and improve volunteer recruitment efforts;
  • $1 million to support a new Nonprofit Capacity Building Program; and
  • $2 million for a new Summer of Service program to engage students in community-based service-learning projects.

Nicola Goren, Acting CEO for the Corporation for National and Community Service, calls the funding “an extraordinary milestone” in their work, and a crucial next step in a process that will eventually lead to more opportunities than ever to unite in service and tackle our nation’s most difficult challenges.

Our hope is that the funding will also have an impact in your own organization as the investments in nonprofit capacity-building begin to transform how organizations recruit and engage members of the public in their cause. One glance at VolunteerMatch’s activity shows that the nation is eager to serve.

Click here for budget details, charts, statements, and quotes from the folks in DC.