The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), which includes AmeriCorps and Senior Corps volunteers, is vital to the mission of the nonprofit sector and helps build strong, connected communities.
Service and civic engagement is a core value. Communities are stronger when we all care about each other and take action to actively improve the lot of others. National and community service programs provide an opportunity to live this value in society.
National service members focus on disaster relief, economic opportunity, education, environmental stewardship, health and wellness, and work with veterans and military families –most frequently through nonprofit organizations.
In Minnesota, 14,000 AmeriCorps members are critical to nonprofit organizations across Minnesota like College Possible, Habitat for Humanity, the Boys and Girls Club of Bemidji and over 3,200 other service sites throughout the state. Senior Corps members serve as tutors and mentors for youth with special needs, assisting seniors, and provide other essential community needs across the state.
NATIONAL SERVICE IS ESSENTIAL TO THE NONPROFIT SECTOR
AmeriCorps is a low-cost, high- impact pipeline program into the nonprofit sector. In 2008, over 60% of working AmeriCorps alums worked in nonprofits or government. Through early exposure to nonprofit organizations and the opportunity to put passion and conviction into action, AmeriCorps alums are more likely to continue in careers in public service and they are ready to hit the ground running to help create thriving communities. We bet you have a few service alums in your office that fit this description right now!
AmeriCorps and Senior Corps are results-oriented programs that are low-cost, high return on investment and leverage additional resources. National service programs leverage over $1.26 billion dollars and 3 million volunteers annually. For every dollar invested in national service programs, there is a $3.95 return to communities. This translates to greater economic opportunity, improved student academic performance, more houses built, greater access to emergency food and many other returns to Minnesota.
Whether AmeriCorps alums end up working in nonprofits or not, these programs and their millions of alumni are beacons of service, action, and connection that fuel our democracy and communities.
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