Newsletter – August 2009

California Sees Rise in Volunteer Numbers

Photo of volunteer working on a computer with children

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) recently released a new study illustrating that 800,000 more Californians volunteered their time in 2008 than in the previous year. Last year 7.1 million Californians performed 989.2 million hours of service with an estimated economic contribution of more than $18 billion. Additionally, Californians gave more time than the national average,
last year contributing 35.2 hours per resident compared to 34.2 nationally.

“Civic engagement belongs at the highest levels of state government, which is why I created the first state cabinet secretary for service,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “I am thrilled that more and more Californians have responded and joined us in the effort to strengthen our state and its communities through service, which is even more important during these difficult times.”

“Every Californian has a role in strengthening our state and communities, because everyone can serve,” said First Lady Maria Shriver. “No matter what issue you care about – such as helping individuals with Alzheimer’s, lending a hand to families struggling to put food on the table or supporting our military families. I’m proud that we’ve been able to promote thousands of service opportunities through the volunteer matching network at”

The report is made possible by a partnership between CNCS, the U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics and provides a comprehensive collection of information on volunteering and civic engagement, with detailed data for all states and nearly 200 cities.

Sixteen California cities are included in the report: Bakersfield (20.1 percent of residents volunteer), Fresno (19.5 percent), Los Angeles (21 percent), Modesto (25.3 percent), Oxnard (27.7 percent), Riverside (20.8 percent), Sacramento (28 percent), Salinas (34.6 percent), San Diego (26.4 percent), San Francisco (29.5 percent), San Jose (32.7 percent), Santa Barbara (31.2 percent), Santa Rosa (38.8 percent), Stockton (25.3 percent), Vallejo (30 percent) and Visalia (24.1 percent).

“The nonprofit sector has experienced a one-two punch – the increase in demand for services and the decrease in donations,” said Secretary Baker. The renewed interest in volunteers couldn’t come at a more critical time. With unemployment up during these tough economic times, volunteering can provide individuals the opportunity to hone skills, learn new skills, make contacts and stay engaged. By becoming a
volunteer, you can help yourself while helping others.”

To view the report in its entirety please visit:

2010 Federal Fiscal Year Appropriations Update

Photo of United States Capitol Building

The President’s budget request included $261 million increase to approximately $1.149 billion in fiscal year 2010 for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). On July 24, the full House passed the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill allocating roughly $1.059 billion to CNCS ($90 million less than the President’s requested level). On Thursday, July 30, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved its FY10 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill including $1.157 billion to CNCS. This level is $267 million above fiscal year 2009 enacted levels, $98 million more than the House approved last week, and $8 million more than the President’s FY10 request. The full Senate will vote on the appropriations bill following the August recess. Once the Senate finishes with their version of the bill, the House and Senate will have to rectify the differences in a conference committee before sending it to the President.

Selected Line Items President’s Request House Senate
AmeriCorps State/National $372.5 million $331.5 million $372.5 million
National Service Trust $195.6 million $178.2 million $197 million
State Commission Assistance $16 million $17 million $17 million
Social Innovation Fund $50 million $35 million $50 million
Volunteer Generation Fund $10 million $0 $2 million
Nonprofit Capacity Building Fund $0 million $0 million $0 million
Learn and Serve America $39.5 million $39.5 million $40 million
AmeriCorps NCCC $26.3 million $26.3 million $29 million
AmeriCorps VISTA $97.9 million $97.9 million $100 million
National Senior Service Corps $220.9 million $220.9 million $221.3 million

CaliforniaVolunteers Unveils New PSA

CaliforniaVolunteers Unveils New PSA Ad

Earlier this month, CaliforniaVolunteers publicly unveiled a new “Feel Good, Do Good” public service announcement. The PSA features Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, First Lady Maria Shriver and real world volunteers and encourage every Californian to find meaningful opportunities. The production of the PSAs was made possible by a generous grant from the Shinnyo-en Foundation. View the :60 and :30 PSAs here. Please feel free to share this PSA with your networks and partners, as well promoting it through your social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

White House Launches “United We Serve” initiative

United We Serve:

“United We Serve” is a nationwide service initiative designed to help meet growing social needs resulting from the economic downturn. This initiative aims to both expand the impact of existing organizations by engaging new volunteers in their work and encourage volunteers to develop their own “do-it-yourself” projects. United We Serve is an initial 81 days of service but its supporters are working to expand it into a sustained, collaborative and focused effort to promote service as a way of life for all Americans.

CaliforniaVolunteers would like to ensure that your inspiring service stories are highlighted and recognized on this national stage. If your program is engaged in an activity taking place in California that matches one of the issue weeks below, please be sure to let us know by contacting Matt Schmidt at

For more details about the “United We Serve” initiative, please visit

The issue week calendar for the remainder of the summer includes the following themes:

  • Aug 24-30 Safety & Security (supporting military families and veterans and preparing for disasters)
  • Aug 31-Sept 6 Interfaith Service

Sacramento Region Citizen Corps Council Receives Award

California Citizen Corps logo

On August 11th at the 2009 National Conference on Community Preparedness, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced the winners of the first National Citizen Corps Achievement Awards.

Presented in eight categories, these awards recognize innovative practices and achievements of Citizen Corps Councils across the nation to make our communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to manage any emergency situation. With over 2,400 registered Citizen Corps Councils nationwide and in California, these award winners exemplify excellence in community emergency planning, foster successful public-private partnerships, prioritize collaboration, demonstrate creative and innovative local problem solving, and implement sound programs that can be modeled for use by other communities.

The Sacramento Region Citizen Corps Council took home the prize of Outstanding Citizen Corps Council Award Serving a Population Over 1.5 million.

CaliforniaVolunteers is the lead oversight agency for the California Citizen Corps Program, which was created post-9/11 to coordinate in-state volunteer activities to make our communities safer, stronger and better prepared to respond to any emergency.

The California Citizen Corps Program includes Citizen Corps Councils, Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT), Medical Reserve Corps, Neighborhood Watch, Volunteers in Police Service and Fire Corps.

For more information on California Citizen Corps, please visit

Census 2010

Census 2010

Every decade, the federal government undertakes a census – a count of every person residing in the United States. Obtaining an accurate count for California is an issue of concern to CaliforniaVolunteers and many of our partners, including other state agencies and departments, grantees, community organizations, and faith-based organizations. The census plays a critical role in determining representation in the U.S. Congress and allocation of resources such as federal funding. For example, more than 70 federal programs that benefit California, including AmeriCorps, use census data as part of their funding formulas for education, health, and other services.

Barriers such as language and misconceptions about the census often prevent groups from being included in the count. To address this and other concerns, California has established a statewide Complete Count Committee (Committee) to ensure full participation in Census 2010. The Committee and the U.S. Census Bureau are hosting a series of regional convenings to engage and involve local communities in planning for Census 2010 outreach efforts. CaliforniaVolunteers encourages our partners and other organizations to participate and contribute their expertise and ideas. More information, including a schedule of meetings, is available at

Organizations that are currently engaged in census outreach activities may benefit from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Partner Support Program (PSP), which will pay for up to $2,999 in products (e.g., banners, pens, pencils, t-shirts and other promotional items) or $2,499 in services (e.g., translation services, design for printed materials) related to Census 2010 outreach. The program does not award grants, but instead sends funds directly to vendors. A list of frequently asked questions about the PSP is available here. The next deadline for applications is October 15, 2009. For more information, organizations in Northern California should contact Lia Bolden at (510) 250-4321 or For Southern California, contact Luz Castillo at (818) 717-5813 or or Suzanna Flores (818-717-5816).

California Coastal Cleanup Day

California Coastal Cleanup Day

California Coastal Cleanup Day is the country’s premier volunteer event for the marine environment. The day is the highlight of the California Coastal Commission’s year-round Adopt-A-Beach program and takes place this year at various sites throughout the state on September 19, from 9 a.m. to noon. Coming at the end of the summer beach season and near the start of the school year, Coastal Cleanup Day is a great way for families, students, service groups, and neighbors to come together, preserve our marine environment, show community support for our shared natural resources, learn about marine debris impact and prevention, and have fun. Coastal Cleanup Day is also the kick-off event for Coastweeks – three weeks of coastal and water-related events for the whole family.

More information on the event is available on the Coastal Cleanup Day website. Individuals or groups interested in pre-registering for a local event should select the “How do I participate?” link.

Contact information for local event coordinators can be found here.

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