Rockefeller Foundation Gives $2 Million to Boost Local Volunteerism

The Rockefeller Foundation and Cities of Service, a bipartisan coalition of mayors, have announced the opening of the application period for $2 million in grants that will be awarded to ten cities committed to boosting volunteerism.

Each of the successful applicants will receive $200,000 over two years to hire a chief service officer who, in turn, will work to develop and implement a comprehensive plan to expand service in the community. To apply for a grant, a city's mayor must first join the Cities of Service coalition and agree to participate in a multiyear effort to increase volunteerism and its impact in his or her community.

Formed in September, the coalition brings together mayors committed to developing a coordinated strategy that matches volunteers with community groups working to address the areas of greatest local need, advancing strategies and best practices that produce measurable results, encouraging other mayors to join the effort, and ensuring that cities have a voice in federal legislative, policy, and program discussions.

Mayors of cities with at least one hundred thousand residents and one community college or four-year university may apply for Service Leadership Grant through December 15. The ten recipients will be announced by Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

"During difficult economic times, when it is important for communities to pull together, the Rockefeller Foundation is proud to help America's mayors bring President Obama's call to service to their own cities," said Rockefeller Foundation president Judith Rodin. "With the Rockefeller Foundation's support, Cities of Service will help local leaders across the country tap into similar engines of expertise, opportunity, and economic expansion."

"Rockefeller Foundation Gives $2 Million to Help Cities Promote Volunteerism." Rockefeller Foundation Press Release 10/20/2009.