As part of its receipt of $2.2 million over three years from Americorps, the Michigan Community Service Commission has awarded a contract to Cincinnati-based Inspiring Service to support better volunteerism in Michigan. The funding will support organizations in their response to COVID-19 by identifying resources and collaborating regionally to meet compelling needs. The $2.2 million is the largest award Michigan has ever received.
“This important funding is critical for Michigan’s recovery,” said Robert Kolt, chair of the MCSC. “In a crisis, people want to help. Safely coordinating volunteers takes time and money, and this federal funding will help support efforts in our communities. Effective volunteer efforts don’t begin and end overnight, this multi-year federal funding commitment is essential in combating the virus.”
MCSC, the state’s lead agency for volunteerism, will use the funding to strengthen the infrastructure and capacity of nonprofits, corporations and state government to utilize best practices that lead to increasing the number of Michigan volunteers across the state.
The project will use innovative technology systems to support skills-based volunteerism, virtual volunteering, and employee and youth engagement to make a meaningful impact. The technology systems will capture data to make informed decisions and serve as a catalyst for inspiration and recognition.
“Virtual and skills-based volunteering are not new concepts, but the pandemic is forcing change at a greater speed,” said Ginna Holmes, MCSC executive director. “Communities and regions of the state are looking for integrated approaches to enhance resiliency in the nonprofit sector.”
MCSC will provide at no cost resources to nonprofits in each of eight regions across the state. Michigan Community Resilience Program grantees, with the help of the MCSC, will support nonprofits in accessing the resources, which include Inspiring Service’s innovative community nonprofit guides, its BoardConnect platform, and virtual events to speed the connection of skilled volunteers to nonprofits in need.