TRENTON, N.J. – The New Jersey Commission on National and Community Service (NJ Commission) announced today that it has received a Volunteer Generation Fund (VGF) grant of $283,333 from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that oversees AmeriCorps and the nation’s volunteer initiatives. This funding will allow the NJ Commission to better support local organizations in recruiting, managing, and retaining volunteers to address some of New Jersey’s most pressing challenges.
Upon receipt of the award, Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno stated: “Volunteer service is a major initiative of the New Jersey Department of State. We are therefore delighted to have received this national grant for our “Jersey Strong: I am a Volunteer” program. We look forward to working with volunteer centers in north and south Jersey and college-based programs throughout the state to make volunteering a central focus of our communities and campuses.”
The program partners for the initiative are: the United Way of Northern New Jersey; the Volunteer Center of South Jersey; New Jersey Campus Compact; the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development of Rutgers University; and the Volunteer Center of Burlington County.
The grant will support the recruitment of 5,000 volunteers and over 150,000 volunteer hours each year of a three-year cycle. The goals of the grant also include building a new infrastructure of volunteerism that will pilot the collection and documentation of volunteer placements; enhancing campus volunteerism through a unified online inter-campus sharing of information, volunteer opportunities and alternative spring breaks; expanding school-based youth service learning; using volunteerism to assist the unemployed to return to the workforce; and increasing volunteer retention.
This year’s grant competition was highly competitive with a strong demand by state service commissions seeking VGF resources. CNCS awarded 15 VGF grants to state service commissions across the country, totaling more than $3.7 million. The New Jersey’s grant of $283,333 is planned for each year of a three-year cycle, depending of the availability of federal funds and program success.
Earlier this year, the NJ Commission received $3,682,871 in AmeriCorps funding from CNCS to provide AmeriCorps programs across the state for program year 2017-2018.