StrategicPlan

Strategic Plan

Source:
http://cns.gov/pdf/strategic_plan_web.pdf

Start: 2006-02-01 End: 2010-09-30 Publication Date: 2010-02-08

Submitter:

First name: Owen

Last name: Ambur

Email Address: Owen.Ambur@verizon.net

Organization:

Name: Corporation for National and Community Service

Acronym: CNS


Table of contents


Vision

Mission

Values

Community Focus

Partnerships

Community Volunteer Networks

Metrics and Continuous Improvement

Collaboration

Rural and Distressed Communities

Diverse Organizations

Service-Learning

Civic Engagement, Leadership, and Public Service

Management and Service Excellence

1: Critical Needs

1.1: Youth

2: Communities and Organizations

2.1: Students

3: Volunteering and Service

3.1: Volunteers

3.2: Baby Boomers

4: Management Excellence

4.1: Program and Project Quality

4.2: Culture of Performance and Accountability

4.3: Customer Service

4.4: Diverse, Energized, and High-Performing Workforce



Vision

Mission

Improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering

Values

Community Focus: Put the needs of local communities first.

Partnerships: Strengthen the public-private partnerships that underpin all of our programs.

Community Volunteer Networks: Use our programs to build stronger, more efficient, and more sustainable community networks capable of mobilizing volunteers to address local needs, including disaster preparedness and response.

Metrics and Continuous Improvement: Measure and continually improve our programs’ benefits to service recipients, participants, community organizations, and our national culture of service.

Collaboration: Build collaborations wherever possible across our programs and with other Federal programs.

Rural and Distressed Communities: Help rural and economically distressed communities obtain access to public and private resources.

Diverse Organizations: Support diverse organizations, including faith-based and other community organizations, minority colleges, and disability organizations.

Service-Learning: Use service-learning principles to put volunteer and service activities into an appropriate context that stimulates life-long civic engagement.

Civic Engagement, Leadership, and Public Service: Support continued civic engagement, leadership, and public service careers for our programs’ participants and community volunteers.

Management and Service Excellence: Exhibit excellence in management and customer service.


Goal 1: Critical Needs

Meeting Critical Needs through Service and Volunteering

Objective(s):

1.1: Youth


Other Information:

Across America, millions of lives are improved, problems resolved, injuries healed, and injustices overcome as a result of interventions by caring, compassionate, and skilled volunteers and service participants in Corporation-supported programs. These outcomes are reached in partnership with an expanding public-private network of nonprofit organizations, public agencies, and educational institutions.

Objective 1.1: Youth

Ensuring a Brighter Future for All of America’s Youth

Other Information:

Summary: Youth need support from caring adults in their families, schools, and communities. In particular, youth who grow up in severely distressed communities characterized by high poverty rates, high crime rates, early experimentation with drugs and alcohol, and promiscuous behavior are more likely to be at risk of school failure, unemployment, criminal behavior, and persistent poverty. Not only can youth benefit from services such as mentoring, but they also have much to offer their communities as volunteers and service participants. The Corporation will continue to support children in need by providing opportunities for both more youth to benefit from services received, and for more youth to serve others. Detailed Narrative: America is known as the “land of opportunity”— where anything is possible regardless of heritage, background or status. This “American dream” is the hallmark of our society and an inspiration to our citizens and the world. America’s youth have enormous potential to succeed, yet far too many youth do not have the consistent, positive presence of an adult in their lives to help them transition to adulthood. Unfortunately, for some of the most vulnerable, yet promising of our nation’s population—our youth—the prospect of achieving the American dream seems insurmountable. Today’s youth face increasing challenges to becoming productive adults capable of earning a sustainable wage, supporting a family and positively contributing to their communities. Some will turn to drugs, alcohol, tobacco, promiscuity, violence and other risky behaviors. For instance, children who grow up in disadvantaged circumstances are more likely to be at risk of school failure, entry into the juvenile justice system, persistent poverty, and entry into foster care.8 If we work together— through faith-based, community, state, national, and local groups, we can provide our children and youth the opportunity to succeed and ensure a brighter future for all. Many American children and youth need additional support. Youth living in rural and distressed communities face tremendous challenges, making positive youth development difficult. More than 35 percent of fourth graders and at least 25 percent of eighth graders cannot read at grade level. Approximately 15 percent of American children are living below the poverty level and almost 30 percent of children under age 18 are living in single parent or no parent homes. In 1960, less than 10 million children were not living with their fathers. Today, that number has increased to 25 million. Children and youth in at-risk environments are particularly susceptible to negative role models and behavior, and thus, have special challenges to overcome to reach their full potential. Among at-risk factors include:9 Neighborhoods with high poverty rates; Below-grade level performance in school; Teen pregnancy Time spent in the juvenile system or in foster care; Mental and/or physical disabilities; and Incarcerated parent(s). The Corporation, and many communities, schools and nonprofits around the country are poised to make a significant positive impact. After the release of the Final Report from the White House Task Force on Disadvantaged Youth in October 2003, the Bush Administration has strongly advocated for collaboration among Federal agencies that affect the lives of youth in at-risk and disadvantaged environments. The report strongly encouraged agencies to respond to the policy of supporting all youth in becoming highly engaged and successful participants in education and civic life. We will leverage our national service resources to develop meaningful partnerships with our federal, state, and community youth service partners. We will also help advance First Lady Laura Bush’s national priority of empowering youth, through which she highlights the need to reconnect youth with their families, schools, and communities. Our goal is to improve the lives of youth by providing meaningful opportunities to serve and by meeting their most pressing needs, whether academic, environmental, health-related, or social. The Corporation will meet the needs of our nation’s youth by: Recruiting and supporting mentors for youth (with special attention towards children of incarcerated parents); Engaging youth in at-risk and disadvantaged environments in meaningful service experiences; and Developing community volunteering to strengthen positive youth connections with family, schools, and community (including faith-based institutions). As we have done for many years, we will continue to engage youth in national service and volunteering, as well as continue to provide youth as service recipients necessary mentoring, tutoring, and service-learning opportunities. The Corporation will continue to emphasize the importance of connecting youth with adults who can support their academic and emotional development. Such healthy relationships can provide youth with valuable life-lessons that can prove useful to them even as they become adults, perhaps even motivating the youth to themselves begin or continue serving others. Young people need relationships with caring adults to assist them in their successful transition to adulthood. Connections between youth and their families, schools, and communities (including faith-based organizations) create a strong social construct that enables youth to make positive choices. The Corporation will help to strengthen these positive connections for youth by generating volunteers and building community capacity to engage, train, and manage volunteer mentors. Children of prisoners are particularly in need of positive role models. To address this need, we will mentor and serve 100,000 children of prisoners, in support of the President’s initiative. Parents and families are the first and most important influence in a child’s life, providing a system of love and support. We acknowledge and will seek to strengthen and reinforce parental engagement in youth development. While it is essential that our nation ensure all youth receive the services that will support their positive transition into adulthood, it is also important to appreciate the powerful benefits that youth engaged in service can provide their communities and our nation. Over the next five years, the Corporation will engage over three million youth from at-risk environments in national community service. These opportunities—to become involved in meaningful volunteer and service activities—enable youth to experience the joy and satisfaction of laying aside their own needs to meet the needs of others. Such lessons are irreplaceable and help to instill the spirit and value of community, which contributes to their sense of civic responsibility as adults. Retired General Colin Powell, former Secretary of State and founder of the America’s Promise Alliance, supported the idea of infusing service into the learning process when he said, “[W]e ought to push our youngsters. . . so that they see that service is an important part of being an American citizen.” Engaging youth in meaningful service has also proven to be a powerful way to help young people improve their academic and social behaviors while increasing their confidence. For example, Alex San Pedro, who at age 18 was a troubled teen admittedly “on the road to nowhere”, is now 26-years-old and studying art at Lane Community College. He no longer plans to die young. He became a literacy tutor for youth in at-risk and disadvantaged environments through AmeriCorps. He says, “I saw in those kids’ eyes that they were so happy to see me. . . That just made me feel like, hey, maybe I do have something to give. Maybe I should do something more.”10 Without meaningful and coordinated intervention, a large population of American children (particularly children of incarcerated parents, children in foster 17care, and children reading below grade level) will face increasingly insurmountable obstacles to becoming productive adults who are capable of maintaining employment, earning a sustainable wage, supporting a family, and positively contributing to their communities. However, we will work with our partners to engage the nation’s youngest citizens in meaningful service opportunities that help to provide the necessary tools for America’s youth to experience the American dream. NATIONAL TARGETS FOR 2010: Provide mentoring services to 3 million additional children and youth in at-risk environments, up from 2.5 million in 2002 Provide mentoring and other support and services to 200,000 children of prisoners Engage over 3 million children and youth in at-risk environments in service CORPORATION TARGETS FOR 2010: Provide mentoring and other support and services to 100,000 children of prisoners Engage 2.2 million children and youth in at-risk environments in national service through Corporation-sponsored programs


Goal 2: Communities and Organizations

Strengthening the Capacity of Communities and Organizations

Objective(s):

2.1: Students


Other Information:

Strong communities have a robust capacity to engage citizens effectively. Corporation programs help nonprofit organizations, public agencies, educational institutions, and volunteer connector organizations build that capacity for communities. A focus on community capacity and sustainability ensures that every Corporation program leaves a community better equipped to engage local citizens to address pressing local challenges.

Objective 2.1: Students

Engaging Students in Communities

Other Information:

Summary: Educational institutions (elementary, secondary, and higher education) play a key role in guiding students to become responsible citizens and leaders who use their academic and other experiences to support the common good. Volunteering and service are powerful factors that support and enhance the learning experience and need to be further incorporated into academic curricula. Detailed Narrative: Student involvement in service and service-learning produces valuable benefits to local communities and enables young people to become proactive members of society, while also experiencing the mutual benefit gained from such involvement. Service and servicelearning opportunities create avenues for our nation to develop the next generation of citizens who sustain or enhance their service commitments. Students develop an understanding about the importance and impact of service, strengthen their character and roles as engaged citizens, and improve their academic performance. Schools—both K-12 and postsecondary—as well as community-based and other service-learning programs provide useful places for engaging students in volunteer opportunities and in helping them start off on a solid path toward a lifetime of service and civic participation. Driving Greater Service on Campus -- Virtually every American college articulates a dual mission—on the one hand supporting the pursuit of knowledge and skill development, and on the other hand building strong character for effective citizenship. Many post-secondary institutions are making significant progress in supporting the civic engagement of their students; however, additional opportunities to energize meaningful service and volunteering on campus exist. Research indicates that high school students volunteer at a higher rate than college students. Although it is true that college students’ participation in service is slightly higher than the adult average, it is also true that our efforts to engage college students could be far more robust. Since its inception, the Corporation for National and Community Service has built a strong network of relationships with higher education. Since 1994, AmeriCorps members have earned more than $1 billion in AmeriCorps Education Awards to further their educational opportunities. Roughly one quarter of all institutions of higher education have received support from Learn and Serve America funding. In FY 2004 alone, the Corporation invested approximately $180 million in higher education. Yet, college investment in service and service-learning (a teaching method that combines service to the community with academic learning) has not kept pace with demand. Over the next five years we will build upon our relationship with post-secondary institutions of higher education through our three major programs—Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America, encouraging higher education institutions to offer more service-learning courses as well as more co-curricular opportunities to serve. In addition, we will support colleges and universities in providing more service opportunities through the Federal Work-Study program. In particular, we will focus colleges on efforts designed to give youth in disadvantaged circumstances the skills and tools to be prepared for and attend college. The Corporation currently offers significant benefits, in the form of AmeriCorps education awards and stipends, to members who commit to full or part-time service. We will continue to promote these and other benefits of service in an effort to increase the number of students engaged in service by 40 percent over the next five years. We will work to ensure that at least half of all higher education institutions provide, or stimulate the creation of resources to coordinate service, service-learning, and community partnerships. In order to make service and volunteering more a part of the college experience over the next five years, we will: Strengthen and expand our network of intermediaries (Volunteer Centers, Campus Compact, State Service Commissions, national foundations and public service non-profits, faith-based and other community based organizations at the state, community, and campus level) that support service and service-learning; Reduce barriers that inhibit students from engaging in service (such as transportation, information, relationships with community agencies, and lack of institutional support); Ensure that students have opportunities to serve as part of their academic studies through high-quality service-learning; Increase the number of college students serving as tutors and mentors to youth from disadvantaged circumstances, particularly to prepare them for high school completion and college attendance; and Provide a national platform to promote the value and importance of service on campus. By supporting those educational institutions that make service an integral part of their academic mission and connect education to the needs of the local community, we will help to promote an ethic of service among America’s younger Americans. Bringing Service to the Classroom -- The Corporation’s programs have been catalysts for the growth of service-learning in our nation’s K-12 schools. In 1984, nine percent of schools offered service-learning opportunities. Today, service-learning reaches approximately 30 percent of all schools. The Corporation will work to build service-learning into the curriculum of half of all K-12 schools by 2010. Since President George H.W. Bush signed the legislation authorizing grants to schools to support service-learning, we have worked to support service for young people both during the school day and in after school programs. Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America have all provided support to student service. The U.S. Department of Education has made service-learning a key feature of many of the programs it supports as well. The Corporation will build on this existing infrastructure to disseminate effective practices and spread service-learning to new schools and districts. We will expand support for teacher education and professional development programs that provide training in community partnership development and service-learning. In addition, we plan to pilot a new “summer of service” program for young teens that will also support effective training for educators. In order to incorporate service-learning in more K-12 schools, we will work toward the following goals over the next five years: Identifying quality program models to highlight effective practices, increase visibility of service-learning, and evaluate the outcomes of service-learning; Expanding the number of teachers, faculty, and school administrators using service-learning; Strengthening the value of service-learning to educational institutions; and Working with non-profit groups to help them recognize students as valuable resources and enable them to more effectively connect K-12 students with appropriate and effective service opportunities. Taking Service-Learning Beyond the Classroom -- The practice of engaging individuals in service-learning extends beyond engaging students in an academic setting. People other than students, including working or retired individuals, can also engage in service-learning, particularly through structured community-based projects and programs. Throughout their service-learning experience, individuals, either serving alone or in a group, increase the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively carry out projects, strengthen communities, serve as leaders, and expand their future opportunities. Service-learning in this context, as well as in the academic context, is a systematic, thoughtful, and programmed approach to learning that emphasizes the links between service, community, and civic responsibility. NATIONAL TARGETS FOR 2010: Engage 5 million college students in service, up from 3.27 million in 2005 Ensure half of all higher education institutions provide at least one full-time person responsible for coordinating and supporting service on campus Ensure 20 percent of Federal Work-Study funds are devoted to college students who engage in service, up from 15.9 percent in 2005 Ensure at least one-third of teenagers are exposed to service-learning in school Ensure at least 50 percent of America’s K-12 schools incorporate service-learning into their curricula, up from 32 percent in 1999 CORPORATION TARGETS FOR 2010: Engage 300,000 college students in service supported by Corporation-sponsored national service programs as participants and volunteers Ensure 80 percent of Learn and Serve America higher education institutions have service-learning as part of their official core curriculum (in at least one discipline or school major) Ensure 65 percent of Learn and Serve America K-12 schools and school districts have service-learning as part of their official core curriculum (in at least one subject in at least one grade) Double the number of higher education institutions matching the AmeriCorps Education Award or providing other incentives for volunteering


Goal 3: Volunteering and Service

Engaging Americans in a Lifetime of Volunteering and Service

Objective(s):

3.1: Volunteers

3.2: Baby Boomers


Other Information:

Through our programs and partnerships, the Corporation and its partners and grantees offer every American (as a member, program participant, or community volunteer) meaningful opportunities to serve and improve their lives. As we reinvigorate America’s ethic of responsibility, patriotism, and citizen engagement, we also enhance Americans’ civic skills and socially responsible attitudes, thereby strengthening our democracy. In return for their service, participants receive resources for their education, gain or enhance valuable skills, and find rewarding opportunities to better connect with their community.

Objective 3.1: Volunteers

Mobilizing More Volunteers

Other Information:

Summary: We have seen five million more Americans serve their communities and country since the President’s call to service in 2002. We are dedicated to continuing that trend so that more citizens in need, service organizations, and communities will benefit. In 2005, there were 65.4 million Americans serving; our goal for the nation is to increase that number to 75 million by 2010 by making more service opportunities available. Detailed Narrative: As the echoes of the September 11 attacks were ringing in our ears, President Bush issued his call to service in early 2002. Between then and the devastation of Hurricane Katrina four years later, the number of people volunteering in communities has increased from 59 million Americans to 65.4 million.4 For those of us interested in engaging citizens of all ages and backgrounds, including those with disabilities, and strengthening our democracy, this growth in the number of Americans volunteering represents a once-in-ageneration opportunity to sustain a significant upsurge in citizen engagement. This initiative is about increasing the level of individual engagement in volunteer activities and building the infrastructure of nonprofits and communities to create more volunteer opportunities, and to respond to significant community challenges through citizen mobilization. Together with our partners, including volunteer and service-driven organizations across the country, the Corporation is committed to working toward a national goal of expanding the number of Americans who volunteer by more than 15 percent over five years, from 65.4 million to 75 million Americans. We also want to encourage volunteers to contribute more hours to their communities. As part of that effort, we are encouraging more Americans to consider making volunteering part of their regular activities. This effort will allow volunteers to gain a wealth of knowledge and enhance their individual skills through their service experience. With those increased skills, volunteers can be a tremendous asset to organizations, helping to increase long-term capacity in communities. For example, Michelle Ward, an AmeriCorps*NCCC alumna who studies economics and international business, applied skills learned from her service when she began work with the embassy in Togo for the U.S. State Department. The emergency management work she was a part of while fighting wildfires with AmeriCorps*NCCC came in handy when a political coup occurred in Togo. She became responsible for evacuation efforts and setting up shelters. Research conducted by the Corporation and others in recent years shows that increasing the level of individual engagement in volunteer activities requires significant recruitment, but it also requires much more. Meeting the demand of individuals wanting to volunteer requires building and sustaining capacity and infrastructure within nonprofit organizations and communities to support those volunteers, to match them with appropriate and meaningful opportunities, to train them to succeed, and to manage and reward their work. The same research that recognized America’s volunteer force as 65.4 million strong also identified millions of other Americans with a history of volunteering. These former volunteers indicated they had not volunteered recently due to a variety of obstacles, including lack of time, lack of information, family responsibilities, transportation issues, and health or medical issues. As we move forward, our challenge will be to focus simultaneously on reaching out to more Americans of all ages and backgrounds to volunteer and, at the same time, to ensure that volunteers’ needs are fulfilled. Corporation programs have a strong history of invigorating and supporting community volunteers. We promote service for young people to gain valuable skills for work and school, for older Americans to stay active and healthy, and for people of all ages to broaden their service experience. Our Learn and Serve America programs introduce over a million children and youth every year to the excitement of meeting community needs, and put them on the path to a lifetime of service. Our AmeriCorps members recruit, train, and supervise more than 800,000 community volunteers each year. Our Senior Corps programs, with more than 500,000 participants, set the standard for experienced volunteers in thousands of communities across America. And our research shows that participants in Corporation programs leave the programs more likely to remain engaged in their communities for years to come, as well as enter into public service careers. In addition, when nonprofit organizations were asked about what they most need in order to build an infrastructure solid enough to support greater volunteering, a common response was a dedicated, stipended volunteer (someone like an AmeriCorps member, a VISTA member, or a Senior Corps volunteer) to manage the other volunteers and support organizational capacity-building.5 The Corporation is committed to improving the capacity of organizations and strengthening their infrastructure to effectively engage volunteers by making volunteer recruitment and management a more central focus. In order to do this, we will engage more participants in our programs as volunteer coordinators, and we will also strengthen relationships with community volunteer connector organizations (such as volunteer centers). These organizations are also dedicated to meeting the needs of volunteers and nonprofit groups; they match individuals with appropriate service opportunities and train nonprofit organizations to deepen the engagement of individual participants. Building on the success from the President’s call to service, our efforts over the coming years will focus on six major areas: Increasing volunteer recruitment, training, and support by AmeriCorps and Senior Corps; Ensuring that AmeriCorps*State and National and VISTA extensively support the spectrum of community volunteer connector organizations; Utilizing participants in national service programs to provide volunteer coordination and management support for organizations, especially smaller organizations that rely on volunteers; Ensuring organizations are partnering with faith-based and other community organizations to help meet community needs; Building the capacity of local communities to organize citizens to respond effectively to disasters; and Using our national platform to recognize volunteers. The Corporation views disaster preparedness and response as a priority that directly supports this initiative. While volunteers and voluntary associations have always been an integral aspect of how the United States responds to disasters, the September 11 tragedy, as well as the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, indicate a renewed commitment Americans have made to rebuilding lives and strengthening communities. The Corporation intends to serve as a national catalyst and coordinator for volunteer disaster preparedness and relief efforts by further building the civic capacity and infrastructure of high priority communities to prevent, where possible, and to respond to the aftermath of terrorist or natural disasters. The Corporation will particularly work with Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOADs) and Citizen Corps to connect volunteers—whether youth, students or Boomers—with organizations dedicated to disaster response and preparedness. We will also provide resources directly to community organizations to increase the number and quality of their preparedness and response trainings, thereby expanding the number of people ready to respond to a disaster, whether man-made or natural. We recognize that our current program participants, former participants, and community volunteers are themselves a very valuable resource and are essential for responding to disasters and coordinating other volunteers responding to disasters. They have a range of skills to rebuild homes and communities, connect victims with necessary services and address health care needs. The Corporation plans to capitalize on their dedication and motivation, to benefit those most in need. By offering volunteers meaningful service opportunities, the Corporation and nonprofits across America will help strengthen volunteers’ desire to continue their civic activities, thereby remaining connected to their communities. Following President Bush’s lead, we believe national and community service is an effective engine for developing active and engaged citizens, which in turn strengthens our communities, our ability to meet challenges like disasters, and our democracy. NATIONAL TARGETS FOR 2010: Engage 75 million Americans (age 16 and older) in volunteering, up from 65.4 million in 2005 Engage 43 million Americans (age 16 and older) in regular volunteering (defined by those who volunteer 12+ weeks a year), up from 31.75 million in 2005 Ensure at least half of all nonprofit organizations and faith and community-based organizations that rely on volunteers regularly utilize effective volunteer recruitment and management practices, up from 31.3 in 2003 CORPORATION TARGETS FOR 2010: Leverage 4 million community volunteers who are recruited and managed within Corporation-sponsored national service programs Engage 90 percent of former AmeriCorps members in volunteer activities in their communities after their term of service, up from 72 percent in 2005

Objective 3.2: Baby Boomers

Harnessing Baby Boomers’ Experience

Other Information:

Summary: Baby Boomers are a highly talented, highly motivated group that could drive solutions to some of our most intractable social problems. Capturing their experience and energy and engaging them in helping to solve critical social issues through service must become high-priority goals for the nation in the coming years. Whether providing volunteer services or receiving services, Boomers and other older Americans stay active and connected to their community, thereby improving their quality of life. Detailed Narrative: It is clear that America is on the forefront of an unprecedented demographic revolution, with older members of the 77 million Baby Boomer generation a mere five years away from age 65. Beginning about 2010, the share of the population that is age 65 and over will begin to climb substantially, resulting in profound implications for our society, our social service delivery systems, our economy, as well as Social Security and Medicare. Baby Boomers bring the advantages of experience and education, and are motivated to make a difference. There is tremendous potential to provide solutions to some of our most intractable social needs, including the expanding need for independent living support. Research tells us that Baby Boomers, as a whole, will not withdraw completely from the work place in “traditional retirement.” Instead, they will seek a balance of work, leisure, civic engagement, and other interests. Offering opportunities to capture their talents and experience and engaging them in the process of solving critical social issues through service must become high-priority goals for the nation in the coming years. One such critical social issue is independent living. Demands for affordable long-term care and independent living services in particular will increase sharply in the next four decades. Beginning in 2020, approximately one in six Americans will be age 65 or older. Americans ages 85+, the group most in need of long term care services, including community-based care, is projected to triple by 2040, from today’s four million individuals to about 14 million. The discussion about America’s aging Baby Boomers often centers on the increasing costs ahead for taxpayers as the ranks of older Americans swell. The other side of the equation, however, is the potential of Baby Boomers to deliver critically needed services, including independent living support. According to the Government Accounting Office, “Family and other informal caregivers play a critical role in supplying the bulk of long-term care. Effective policy must create incentives and supports for enabling informal caregivers to continue providing assistance.” America faces a near-term opportunity to unleash an unprecedented increase in civic engagement and volunteering in local communities. As we look to the horizon, we believe that the aging of the Boomer generation can produce a civic revolution that: Provides opportunities for Boomers to deliver independent living to today’s seniors in need, including the 80-plus population; Lays the foundation for affordable independent living services to meet the rapidly accelerating demand; and Offers fulfillment that yields a higher quality of life for Boomers who serve. Baby Boomers on the whole are better educated and will live longer and healthier lives than any generation before them. They offer an array of experiences, talents, and available time. If properly engaged, they could have a positive impact on some of our country’s most challenging social problems and alleviate the volunteer sector’s greatest recruiting challenge—finding volunteers during the workday. Picture communities where volunteers help improve the quality of life for increasing numbers of older Americans by helping them continue to live independently in their homes. Envision some of the more than 22.4 million informal caregivers in the United States receiving respite services from volunteers to help alleviate caregiver burnout. George Ferguson, a retired Baby Boomer, started mentoring a seven-year-old boy through the Grandfathers Group, an RSVP project in Alexandria, Virginia. The child worried about how long Ferguson would be available. Five years later, he is still mentoring the same child. Imagine how our society would be different if Boomers were deployed to ensure two million more pre-school children from impoverished neighborhoods were ready for school. Consider how mobilizing retired teachers could solve tutor shortages in depressed urban areas. The Baby Boomer population contains a wealth of talent. Many Boomers are still working; others are retired, or semi-retired. They have an array of extensive experiences in areas such as law, medicine, and education, management of a home or small business, and a wealth of other areas. They can be a valuable resource to strengthen nonprofits and the clients they serve. The Corporation is focused on creating meaningful and flexible service opportunities that both engage the large number of Boomers who currently volunteer as well as motivate non-volunteers who are looking for the time and the opportunity to make a difference in their communities. In addition to helping solve community needs, service offers important benefits for Boomer volunteers. Older Americans who receive or deliver service are more connected with the community, remain more active, and have a more optimistic outlook. Research tells us that Boomers are different from the population of older Americans who currently volunteer in their communities. First, they tend to respond more positively to articulations of the benefits to themselves, including personal fulfillment, excitement, social opportunities, or opportunities to learn something new. Second, they will generally respond more favorably to flexible opportunities, such as those that allow for full-time, part-time, or episodic service. They also respond to service that meets their personal interests and to opportunities that demonstrate visible benefits to the community. Consequently, we must support programs and institutions that effectively engage these Boomers. Currently most of the volunteers age 55 and over who participate in Corporation supported activities serve through Senior Corps programs: RSVP, Senior Companion Programs (SCP) and Foster Grandparent Program (FGP), but Boomers (who by the end of 2006 will be ages 42 through 60) also serve in AmeriCorps*VISTA and AmeriCorps*State and National. Over the next five years, the Corporation will build on its experience recruiting Boomers in national service programs by: 1) assessing how the skills of this group can be tapped; 2) strengthening our support for engaging Boomers in Senior Corps programs; 3) exploring strategies for increasing the participation of Boomers in AmeriCorps; and 4) encouraging collaboration between Senior Corps and AmeriCorps in promoting service and volunteerism among Baby Boomers as they reach the traditional retirement age. We are standing at the dawn of a new era if we can successfully recruit Boomers into community service; but that cultural shift will require great effort. Making full use of Boomers’ experience will take strategic and extended commitments from nonprofit groups, business, and government, with each group offering unique and attractive opportunities for engaging Boomers (such as creating flexible work schedules for service participation). By changing how nonprofits view and use volunteers and pioneering alternative models of service, we will take full advantage of Baby Boomers’ talents, skills and experience and make tomorrow better for people of all ages. NATIONAL TARGET FOR 2010: Engage an additional 3 million Baby Boomers in volunteering, up from 25.8 million in 2005 CORPORATION TARGETS FOR 2010: Engage 500,000 Baby Boomers in Corporation-sponsored national service programs as participants and recruited volunteers Ensure at least 75 percent of Baby Boomers in Senior Corps and AmeriCorps rate their overall service/volunteer experience as excellent Ensure at least 75 percent of Baby Boomer volunteers in Senior Corps and AmeriCorps believe programs have given them a significant chance to bring about change in their community Provide (through service and volunteering) 250,000 seniors support from Corporation-sponsored national service programs to live independently Provide 100,000 families and caregivers of seniors support from Corporation-sponsored national service programs


Goal 4: Management Excellence

Sustaining Excellence

Objective(s):

4.1: Program and Project Quality

4.2: Culture of Performance and Accountability

4.3: Customer Service

4.4: Diverse, Energized, and High-Performing Workforce


Other Information:

The Corporation’s management strategy is to create and foster shared values throughout the agency that improve our performance culture and strengthen the delivery services to our clients, and ensure accountability within our workforce. In order to reach our strategic goals, we commit ourselves to effectively and efficiently: Deliver solid performance that meets established targets, goals and objectives; Use public funds with a high level of accountability; Leverage risk and opportunity to increase overall productivity; Build confidence and credibility among programs, grantees, partners and other stakeholders; and Continually analyze and improve its performance. To rapidly deploy assistance from the national to regional levels, the Corporation has delegated significant program management decisions to state and local organizations. Therefore, effective management must exist at two levels in order for these factors to be present—both within the Corporation itself and among the grantee organizations who operate the programs. The Corporation has implemented an aggressive plan to achieve management excellence. As we continue to improve our management systems, achieve greater accountability and efficiency, meet the needs of our customers, and work collaboratively with our field to ensure they are operating effectively, we will increase our capacity to affect positive change in organizations and increase our grantees’ and partners’ abilities to meet our communities’ needs. MANAGEMENT TARGETS: Achieve a customer service score on the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) of 80 plus for our programs, up from 69 in 2005 Increase the percent of employees who report overall satisfaction with their job to at least 80 percent, up from 67.5 percent in 2004 Achieve a percentage of at least 80 percent of grantees who are satisfied with the overall usability and effectiveness of our major technology systems Have no reportable conditions or material weaknesses identified in the most recent Corporation financial statement audits, down from 1 reportable condition in 2004 Increase the percent of government-wide financial management metrics where the Corporation is rated Green to 100 percent, up from 78 percent in July 2005 Increase the percent of key internal program management metrics that meet scorecard targets to 100 percent Leverage cumulatively $2.5 billion in non-Corporation funds from 2006-2010

Objective 4.1: Program and Project Quality

Expand Program and Project Quality

Other Information:

The Corporation has embarked on a multi-faceted approach for improving program and project quality. As the Corporation continues to move toward an enhanced, performance-based grants management system, we will we will continue to add vigor and expertise to the process we use to select high-quality programs. We will support a variety of organizations capable of developing successful programs and generating increased volunteer capacity. We will conduct and support outreach to faithbased and other community organizations that are not presently receiving Corporation resources and be more responsive to state and local needs in order to build a pipeline of high quality and diverse applicants in all grant competitions. Significant management improvements have taken place over the past two years at the Corporation. The changes will continue to unfold over the next five years. We will further enhance knowledge management by engaging and sharing meaningful research and evaluation efforts to identify effective program practices, societal trends, and areas for program improvement. We will promote knowledge sharing internally and externally and invest in the skills and capabilities of our service partners. By investing in a continuous culture of learning, we will strengthen management and program performance. We will also provide more tools and opportunities for the replication of successful service models and accelerate innovation in program models during competitions and pilot ideas that can later be embraced by our core programs.

Objective 4.2: Culture of Performance and Accountability

Cultivate a Culture of Performance and Accountability

Other Information:

To strengthen the Corporation’s performance and accountability, we will enhance our administrative and evaluation systems, fully utilize technology, and grow the value of national service dollars. In order to maintain reliable systems, we must will that they are: Effective, accurate, and secure; Automated and paperless; Aligned across all of the Corporation's programs; Streamlined to reduce both Corporation and grantee workloads; and, Geared towards meeting our customers' (including grantees, programs and participants) needs. We will conduct more targeted and in-depth monitoring and analysis of our grantee programmatic and fiscal performance. In order to achieve greater management effectiveness, we will fully integrate more rigorous performance metrics into management analyses and program operations, assessing and where necessary revamp systems for capturing, aggregating, and analyzing data that impact administrative operations and programs. We will better integrate and streamline grant-making functions and Trust operations to produce strong management results. Through efforts to increase investment in technological data management systems such as e-Grants, and capture data in one central and user-friendly location (the Data Warehouse), we will develop and sustain more valuable data that is readily and securely accessible. This will allow employees and partners to perform more efficiently and effectively. The Corporation also supports various forms of sustainability. Through strategic grant-making and more targeted capacity-building, we will provide local organizations with the tools to increase the current annual $380 million in non- Corporation funds annually leveraged to a total of $2.5 billion over the next five years. These resources will allow more Americans to serve, increasing the capacity of communities to meet critical local needs.

Objective 4.3: Customer Service

Deliver Exemplary Customer Service

Other Information:

Over the next five years, we will work towards becoming a Federal government leader in customer service. It is important to us that we engage in continuous open dialogue with our grantees and other resource recipients, staff, community constituents, and other stakeholders, as well as eliminate any undue burden upon these groups that makes accomplishing their goals a challenge. This process, as well as the process for obtaining accurate and relevant data from our customers, will allow us to better serve everyone with whom we communicate as they continue meeting the needs of those they serve. We recognize that the road ahead will be challenging, but we will actively measure how well we are doing in providing exemplary customer service. As we continue to improve our relationships with constituents and partners, we will listen and respond to our customers’ feedback to ensure that our communication and responses are transparent, as well as work with them to ensure we develop and execute strategies for obtaining specific individual program and national performance outcomes.

Objective 4.4: Diverse, Energized, and High-Performing Workforce

Build a Diverse, Energized, and High-Performing Workforce

Other Information:

The Corporation recognizes that our hard working and committed employees are our most valuable asset. They have answered the call to public service, and to further embody that ideal, we continue to seek and employ a diverse, energized, and high-performing workforce. To achieve this commitment, we will work to strengthen workforce diversity at all levels, reward high performers, and be more responsive to and supportive of employees. We will provide more opportunities for professional growth and civic participation, as well as identify tools to ensure that all employees are offered the training necessary to perform their expected duties. We believe our improved human capital strategies will help us foster greater employee satisfaction, enhance our performance culture, better reflect staff’s civic motivation, and ultimately transform the agency into one of the most rewarding and supportive places to work in the Federal government. Effective communication is key to successful management; therefore, we will work to ensure that key organizational decisions receive appropriate attention through dialogue between managers, staff, and the broader service network. We will incorporate feedback systems, providing staff with opportunities to be heard and with the assurance that their ideas will be incorporated into the process for making management and administrative decisions and furthering our strategic goals. Furthermore, we will engage in ongoing communication with and through our Diversity Advisory Council and our Union leadership to help ensure that those decisions are responsive, fair, and accurate. The Corporation aspires to become a successful learning organization. To do this, we will improve and leverage our technologies to ensure we are sharing both knowledge and skills. We will also provide more effective training opportunities that will allow new employees to begin performing their tasks proficiently, as well as to provide existing employees with more learning opportunities to enhance job performance and develop interpersonal skills. We will collaborate with issue area experts to conduct evaluations of programs, and foster “affinity groups” for programs working on similar issues. To support this effort, we will strengthen our merit and performance culture, reward higher-performing employees, and ensure that compensation is appropriately tied to performance. We believe our improved human capital strategies will help us foster greater employee satisfaction, enhance our performance culture, better reflect staff’s civic motivation, and ultimately transform the agency into one of the most rewarding and supportive places to work in the Federal government. In taking these steps, we will ultimately transform the Corporation into one of the best places to work in the Federal government, and positioning the Corporation as a successful knowledge management organization.

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