With funding from AmeriCorps the purpose of the Maine VGF grants is to provide support to volunteer programs in the State that are providing service in three focus areas: Aging in place, transportation services, and food security and assistance.
Under the 2009 Serve America Act, the Volunteer Generation Fund (VGF) was established to provide funding through State Service Commissions to strengthen local volunteer programs and expands volunteerism in areas where it has not yet fully developed. The Maine VGF Program will:
- Increase capacity in agencies to utilize skilled volunteers to deliver services in one or more of the three target areas
- Improve volunteer management practices
- Increase volunteerism to meet needs in one or more of these areas
In addition to expanding opportunities for volunteers, the fund also provides support for improving volunteer management practices and other capacity building measures among agencies. Agencies with strong volunteer programming have a greater impact and are more likely to realize their organizational missions leading to increased support and services to those who benefit from their efforts. Therefore, the fund focuses investments on volunteer management practices that increase both volunteer recruitment and retention. Retention is key to ensuring that volunteers are productively engaged and to bringing stability to nonprofit operations. Additionally, it supports efforts that build the career skills of volunteers, expanding opportunity for the unemployed, veterans, and disadvantaged youth.