Research and Evaluation Task Force

In attendance: Tom Meuser, Ivan Fernandez, Kate Klibansky, Cole Cochrane, Maryalice Crofton, Morgan Rielly, Kirsten Brewer 
Introductions and Agenda Check

Debrief on Michael Smith Visit on Climate Corps Breakfast

Hosted Michael Smith, CEO of AmeriCorps agency, and staff. Shared issues that service faces in a rural state versus other states. We highlighted some of the barriers to service. Also shared breadth and ambition of Climate Corps and Maine Service Fellows. Rep. Rielly shared more about the State Service Caucus which he co-founded. 
In attendance with Michael was Sandy Scott, special projects lead, including Climate Corps. AmeriCorps is working on an EO with other agencies; part of informal interagency workgroup. We are looking forward to coordinated funding between federal agencies given expected funding to be coming through IRA. 
Tom also attended Audubon VGF event, which echoed similar themes regarding the challenges of a rural state.  
We also made the case that Climate Corps is not exclusively conservation corps; it was important to have Resilience Corps there to demonstrate the breadth of focus areas. 

Update on Climate Corps RFA

Thank you to peer reviewers for your thoughtful consideration and feedback. 
Grant Task Force also conducted technical review. Downeast Community Partners has been recommended for full-funding. GPCOG not recommended. Primarily due to not meeting Commission goals of increasing program/geographic/participant diversity. 
Peer reviewers thought the process was effective for reviewing the grants. Important that the final grantee will be addressing the great need for weatherization/energy efficiency in an underserved region of the state. 
Other TF members pleased to hear the result and glad to see work of the Corps well-distributed across the state. 
Somewhat surprising that there were only 2 applicants for the Climate Corps. Not sure if it’s not the best time of year for non-profits, or if relatively short timeline/awareness prohibited organizations from doing the needed strategic planning. 
Question about how we will report success to the Climate Council and the public. How many Climate Corps members are there/will there be? 
Climate Corps will be a network/umbrella of different programs. Working on determining criteria for new network. Will finalize and invite groups to participate in the network. Will then be able to report on how many active climate corps members in Maine. There are overlapping programs however (AmeriCorps, Maine Service Fellows, etc, will be tactics for funding climate corps positions/programs). 
Looking forward to staying closely engaged with the Climate Council to ensure awareness and collaboration across the entire Climate Action Plan. 
To date there has been a major emphasis on workforce development/job training, etc, and the value and unique role of service has not been at the forefront. 
Other opportunities: 
Competitive grant opening shortly for AmeriCorps programs.
Maine Service Fellows also funded by Climate Corps legislation. Rural counties in Maine are eligible (according to USDA RUCA Codes, Coordinator Jake Hurner, can help with applications. 

Other Funding Opportunities that are available for Climate Corps


    America The Beautiful-Waiting on decision for large planning grant. 
Goal, landscape-scale ecological restoration program. Encourages multi-partner and cross-jurisdictional collaboration. Expectation to refer and implement existing plans. “planning” will achieve 2 goals, helping small, rural, municipalities implement state-wide Climate Action Plan (focus on nature-based climate solutions). Also staff member to plan to sustain this effort into the long-term. Request for close to $1m, 2 members in each rural county. Likely very competitive.  
Private Funding-Maine Volunteer Foundation applied for Horizon Foundation grant to fund 1 Maine Service Fellow position. Spoke with representative of Climate Change Funders Network in Maine. 
In many cases Volunteer Maine is not eligible for private grant funding, however we have the Maine Volunteer Foundation, can receive funds on our behalf. 
BIL -Spoke with representative of GOPIF, looking at how to access this funding for Climate Corps. Most likely opportunity: energy workforce, maybe BRIC, a program for natural hazard mitigation planning. 
Staying tuned for IRA funding…  
Community Resilience Partnership-state funding to implement climate action plan activities. Would be well-suited to fund an AmeriCorps member to support a project. 
Potential opportunity: Bingham Program. Climate Change and Health focus?


Justice40 Executive Order and Mapping Tool

Overview of this executive order, the mapping tool, and implications for grantmaking in government.