2021 ASC Annual Report

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The importance of

EQUITY & INCLUSION As the country and its leaders consider how to expand national service, many — including those of us at America's Service Commissions — believe that a focus on equity and inclusion are key.

AmeriCorps members have provided a tremendous service to the country over recent decades, and the program has the potential to provide crucial opportunities to the young people who need them most. As policymakers consider expanding the program, refocusing on equity will allow members to have an even greater impact, and for the program itself to better serve them and their communities.


Now is the time to eradicate the barriers that make national service seem like a luxury or privilege. We must ensure every American who wants to serve sees themselves as a part of our national service family and is enabled to serve across the country.



from the

CHAIR AND CEO 2021 was a year that required a lot of bravery from those in the national service field — bravery to lead and serve during a pandemic; bravery to be dissatisfied with the status quo and to respectfully push back on policies and decisions we disagreed with; bravery to develop and implement creative solutions, to launch new AmeriCorps programs that respond to the challenges of the moment; and bravery to pilot ideas that just might break down some of the barriers that keep service inequitable and that prevent our neighbors from serving or being served. All this bravery has been inspiring. And it’s exactly what we need to expand national service, build our communities, and move our network forward. Although these are challenging times, there is much to be proud of and excited about. Funding to state and territorial service commissions and their programs continues to grow, both Congress and the Biden Administration are supportive of national service, private philanthropies are investing in state service, and the conversation about how


to make the AmeriCorps experience more equitable and sustainable for members is gaining traction. As we continue to navigate both old and new challenges, let’s do so together. America’s Service Commissions (ASC) is proud to lead the commission network, which manages the vast majority of AmeriCorps programming and supports service and volunteerism in all its forms. We at ASC will continue supporting and advocating on behalf of national service, state and territorial service commissions, and volunteerism, but we can’t — and don’t — do this work alone. National service is stronger when we are in it together. Thank you for your support of and engagement with ASC and national service in 2021. As we look toward the future, we are confident that national service will continue to meet crucial needs in our communities — like education, healthcare, environmental sustainability, and food scarcity — as well as rise to meet whatever new challenges lie ahead. Together, we get things done.






ASC Awards


From the Chair & CEO


Board of Directors


Table of Contents


Leadership Convening


Meet our Team


Public Policy


Our Membership


Strategic Plan


Support Activities




National Service Training


Funders, Sponsors & Donors


Meet our

Joined ASC in 2021


Joined ASC in 2022

KAIRA ESGATE Chief Executive Officer


RACHEL BRUNS Chief Engagement Officer



Chief Advancement Officer


Training & Technical Assistance Manager

Membership & Training Manager

Membership Assistant




State Policy Manager

Operations Manager


Marketing & Communications Manager


Volunteer Engagement Manager



MEMBERSHIP America's Service Commissions is a membership-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization representing the 52 state and territorial service commissions. In addition to providing a wide-range of services to state service commissions, we also provide membership opportunities in three major categories: Individual Members, AmeriCorps Program Partner Members, and States for Service (S4S) Coalition Members. ASC represents state service commissions

and their programs as well as the broader state service ecosystem by: Providing one unified national voice for service on critical issues Educating members of Congress and state legislators on the value of national service and volunteerism Facilitating training and technical assistance for commissions and their programs Coordinating peer-to-peer learning opportunities for the national service and volunteer field



Our membership from 2020 to 2021 grew across all membership categories aside from commissions, which represents a stable number from year-to-year.




S4S Coalition

AmeriCorps Programs

We continue to see encouraging growth in our States for Service (S4S) Coalition membership as well as in our AmeriCorps Program membership.



ENGAGEMENT We pride ourselves on being a membercentered association. In 2021, we were pleased to receive the following feedback from commissions through our annual Member Satisfaction Survey: 98% of respondents stated they receive responses from ASC staff in a timely manner. 100% of respondents stated the information provided by ASC is helpful to advancing their work. 98% of respondents stated the association reflects and elevates their commission and the work they do.

AMERICORPS MEMBER ASSISTANCE PROGRAM The AmeriCorps Member Assistance Program (MAP) is designed to support AmeriCorps programs in providing accessible and quality mental health services to AmeriCorps members and employees of their organizations. In order to participate in MAP, the AmeriCorps program must be an existing ASC member or join as part of MAP enrollment. In 2021, we had 29,494 individuals enrolled in MAP, with 45 states and territories represented.

94% of respondents stated their Partner Service Fees (similar to membership dues) are a good value for the services received. 100% of respondents rated our services as "excellent" or "good." In 2021, 178 staff representing 41 commissions participated in 10 ASC-led workgroups and 85 staff representing 37 commissions served on four ASC committees. We also added three ASC staff positions in 2021 to better serve our membership.



SERVICES For the past few years, we have sought to increase the number and types of support services we offer to our 52 state and territorial service commissions and their programs, while still ensuring affordability and tailored support where commissions feel they need it most. In 2021, we were pleased to offer a record number of opt-in services and training events that commissions could choose to participate in, including: AmeriCorps Alums Support — 9 states AmeriCorps Fiscal Boot Camp (hybrid) — 110 attendees AmeriCorps Program Boot Camp (hybrid) — 114 attendees Audit Prep Support — 3 states Beyond AmeriCorps Rules and Regulations Management Training — 8 states Commission Leadership Circle — 8 states (new) Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Cohort — 4 states Encore Fellow — 6 states (new) Federal Grants Management Training — 23 attendees Fiscal Coaching Series — 3 states Fiscal Officer 8-Part Training Series — 32 attendees (new) Grantmaking Convening (new) Inclusive Communications Assessment — 3 states (new) Management Training for Commission Staff — 5 states (new) Marketing Plan and Coaching — 3 states (new) Planning Grant and Technical Assistance Model — 3 states (new) Planning Grant Training Series — 3 states (new) Program Officer 8-Part Training Series — 15 states (new) Program Officer Gathering — 98 attendees (new) Public Relations Support — 3 states (new) Racial Equity Training for AmeriCorps Members — 6 states (new) Recruitment and Retention Coaching Series — 7 states (new) Strengths Accelerator (in-person) — 4 visits Services and trainings were delivered virtually unless otherwise noted.


INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE GUIDE In 2021, we commissioned The SISGI Group to create a guide for the national service network to use as a reference for communicating with words and expressions that are free from bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. Our JEDI Workgroup provided input and feedback for the guide, which addresses language associated with age, nationality, socioeconomic status, ability, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, and sexual orientation.

Our commitment to

JUSTICE, EQUITY, DIVERSITY, & INCLUSION We first began our intentional Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (JEDI) work in December 2019, and we released our official JEDI Plan in 2020. Throughout 2021, we made progress and took actions toward advancing many of our JEDI goals, including the following: Piloted a Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Affinity Group for commission staff Created & provided a learning call on Inclusive Communications Created & implemented “Expectations for Partnering with ASC” for TTA Directory members Advocated for DACA recipients to be eligible to participate in AmeriCorps State and National programs

Developed "Barriers to National Service and Recommendations to Make National Service More Inclusive and Equitable" and provided to the AmeriCorps agency Offered two JEDI-related opt-in services for commissions Advocated for increased member living allowances and cost per MSY Launched demographic survey for ASC presenters Began including image descriptions and alt text on social media posts Created a JEDI page on our website Provided a public comment on the AmeriCorps diversity questionnaire Hosted several learning opportunities on topics related to JEDI Released a revised guide for Allowable Member Activities for Racial Equity



NATIONAL SERVICE TRAINING Each year, ASC hosts our National Service Training regional events. In 2021, we held one virtual event rather than three in-person events. We had just shy of 1700 attendees from 52 states and territories, including nearly 300 commission staff and commissioners, more than 1300 AmeriCorps program staff, and approximately 70 presenters. Author and AmeriCorps alum Ashley C. Ford delivered the opening keynote. Other programming highlights included an AmeriCorps alumni panel, a plenary session with Erica Dhawan, remarks from AmeriCorps agency leadership, and three networking opportunities.

We also offered 54 workshops covering topics including but not limited to: AmeriCorps programs Financial and grants management Justice, equity, diversity, & inclusion State and territorial service commissions Volunteer and member engagement



INNOVATION AND LEADERSHIP AWARDS On September 14, we recognized community leaders from across the nation at our virtual Innovation and Leadership Awards. Typically hosted in Washington, DC, the event is held each year to recognize the accomplishments of state service commission staff, commissioners, service programs, and their champions. Congratulations to our 2021 awardees: Friend of ASC: Congressman David E. Price (NC), Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA), Congressman Tom Cole (OK), Congressman Michael Waltz (FL) State Service Leadership Award: State Representative Morgan J. Rielly (ME) Outstanding Commissioner: Margarita Rodriguez-Duffy (DE) Outstanding Commission Executive Director: Amber Martin-Jahn (WA)

Outstanding Commission Staff: Dr. Sandy Pulles (MN) Outstanding Commission Staff: Ruhamah Bauman (WI) Outstanding Service Program: COVID-19 Containment Response Corps (CO) Outstanding Service Program Staff: Dr. Mary Ellen Isaacs (TX) Honor Roll: Tom Branen (MD)


Meet our

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Our work at America's Service Commissions would not be possible without deep support from our Board of Directors who contribute their time, talent, and treasure each year to keep our nonprofit association and network strong. Thank you for your service! 2021-2022 Board Officers Maureen Eccleston, Chair · Executive Director, PennSERVE Judd Jeansonne, Vice Chair/Public Policy Chair · Executive Director, Volunteer Louisiana Lisa Spinali, Resource Development Chair · Commissioner, California Volunteers Beth McGuinness, Membership Chair · Director of Programs, Massachusetts Service Alliance Jeanne Duffy, Treasurer · Executive Director, Serve Wisconsin Shelly McAlpin, Secretary · Executive Director, Serve Wyoming 2021-2022 Board Members Katie Abbott · Executive Director, Serve Alaska John Albright · Chair, Missouri Community Service Commission Thenera Bailey · CEO, SISGI Group and and SISGI Beyond Good Ideas Foundation Kristen Bennett · Chief Strategy Officer, Service Year Alliance Owen Brown · Youth Commissioner, Volunteer Mississippi Vanessa Diamond · Commissioner, Virginia Office of Service and Community Services Steve Epstein · Chair, Volunteer New Hampshire Commission Caroline Farmer · Executive Director, Volunteer NC William Hall · Executive Director, ServeOhio Ginna Holmes · Executive Director, Michigan Community Service Commission Beverly Hoster · Chair, Oklahoma Community Service Commission Julia Keehner · Chair, Volunteer West Virginia Commission Cat Keen · National Service Programs Director, Volunteer Florida Charlette Kremer · Commissioner, Serve Idaho Marc McAleavey · Executive Director, Serve Indiana Jessica Noble · Executive Director, Kansas Volunteer Commission Kate Scheuritzel · Director of Programs, Serve Connecticut Richard Swarttz · CFO of United Way Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee Counties Marty Weinstein · CEO, Bay Area Community Resources and Co-Chair, California AmeriCorps Alliance With Thanks for Their Service — Outgoing Board Members Scott McFarland, Past Public Policy Chair and Vice Chair · Executive Director, Missouri Community Service Commission



LEADERSHIP CONVENING In February 2021, we hosted our first ever virtual Leadership Convening. We had 160 people attend, representing 50 of 52 commissions. The programming included an overview of the ASC strategic plan, public policy updates, a dialogue with leadership from the AmeriCorps agency, a session on equity and cultural responsiveness, and more.


HILL DAY During the summer of 2021, we hosted our annual Hill Day. While this event usually takes place in-person, we pivoted to a virtual format due to COVID-19. We assisted 50 national service champions in scheduling virtual meetings with their federal elected officials to advocate on behalf of AmeriCorps and national service.


Public Policy Updates

NATIONAL SERVICE LEGISLATION GAINS MOMENTUM IN DC & STATES ASC continues to expand its work to support commissions in pursuing state legislation that expands service opportunities and benefits for AmeriCorps members and/or alumni. Highlights from 2021 include: Florida: Volunteer Florida helped facilitate Governor Ron DeSantis signing into law CS/SB 1050: Disaster Volunteer Leave Act, allowing for state employees to request up to 120 administrative leave hours to serve with nonprofit organizations to provide disaster response and recovery services. Maine: Volunteer Maine celebrated the unanimous passage of LD 1010/722, which creates the Maine Service Fellows program and will launch a study of the establishment of a Maine Climate Corps. The bill was signed into law by Governor Janet Mills on June 10. (pictured at right) Nebraska: In April, the Nebraska legislature unanimously passed LB 197, groundbreaking state legislation providing in-state tuition eligibility to all AmeriCorps alumni no matter what state they served in. The legislation, sponsored by AmeriCorps alum Senator Tony Vargas with technical assistance from ServeNebraska, will enhance AmeriCorps service benefits, increase college access and affordability, and draw more students to Nebraska universities.

Oregon: Oregon Volunteers was thrilled to announce the passage of HB2433, a state tax bill that will exempt the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award from Oregon state tax effective for education awards earned beginning January 1, 2021. Wisconsin: In July, Governor Tony Evers exempted the AmeriCorps Segal Education Award from state income tax through his 2021-2023 Executive Budget to recognize and reward AmeriCorps members' contributions to Wisconsin through their service. In addition, several states, most notably California, saw significant state investment in service programming that created new service opportunities, increased member living allowances, and augmented the education award that members receive upon completion of service.



On March 10, 2021, President Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan into law. The legislation included an unprecedented investment of more than $1 billion in national service including increases for all programs of the federal AmeriCorps agency. Among these investments were $620 million for AmeriCorps State and National which would increase living allowances for members and expand the number of AmeriCorps members serving nationwide. In addition, $20 million will build the capacity of commissions to develop new and expand existing programs. Further, $20 million will be invested in the Volunteer Generation Fund to expand volunteer engagement efforts.


The Cultivating Opportunity & Response to the Pandemic through Service (CORPS) Act was introduced in the both the House (H.R. 4100) and Senate (S.1165) with strong bipartisan support. The CORPS Act proposes an $8 billion investment in national service programs, members, and commissions over a three-year period in order to contribute to our nation’s economic recovery. The CORPS Act also supports national service by growing a more diverse group of participants and local nonprofit programs, improving the quality of service experiences through increased living allowances and education awards, stabilizing existing programs, and targeting COVID-impacted communities and economic recovery projects. Notable provisions of the CORPS Act include: increasing the member living allowance to 175% of the poverty level for an individual, allowing members to earn concurrent education awards, and removing the federal tax from both the living allowance and education award.


Although not completed in 2021, both the House and Senate did include increases for national service over FY21 enacted levels as part of the FY22 federal appropriations process. The FY22 appropriations process, which funds the federal government, will be completed during the 2022 calendar year.


In November 2021, the House passed the historic Build Back Better Act that included robust funding for a Civilian Climate Corps (CCC) that will engage 300,000 Americans over the next decade. From conserving our public lands to bolstering community resilience and addressing the changing climate, the CCC includes a flagship AmeriCorps program with increased benefits that reimagines national service and puts young Americans on the path to good-paying climate jobs. This new, modern-era CCC — proposed by President Biden as part of his American Jobs Plan — would be built upon the existing network of AmeriCorps and local nonprofit programs already accomplishing important work like wildfire remediation, resiliency, disaster response, and workforce development, as well as develop new programs to support more impacted communities. This investment in the CCC would provide employment opportunities; invest in natural climate solutions, clean energy, and resilience; address environmental justice through locally-led, science-based projects; ensure a livable wage and increased education awards, as well as support services and healthcare, career pathway development, and workforce development outcomes; extend benefits to all AmeriCorps members; and include project investments from multiple federal agencies to meet the diverse needs of underserved and historically impacted communities across the country. The Senate is expected to take up the Build Back Better legislation in 2022.



STRATEGIC PLAN In March 2021, the ASC Board adopted its 2021-2023 strategic plan, which envisions a vibrant future for state-level service and volunteering. The plan was later revised in June 2021 as a result of the historic investment in national service via the American Rescue Plan. Central to advancing the work envisioned in the goals below is ASC's commitment to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. Goal #1: Commission Capacity Building — Increase the leadership and capacity of commissions so that by December 2023 80% of commissions indicate that ASC services have increased their organizational capacity. Highlights from 2021: Increased support services to commissions related to pandemic response and American Rescue Plan expansion Hosted the highly successful virtual National Service Training in May 2021 Goal #2: Public Policy — Grow the total amount of annual federal funding to support commissions from $27 million to $31 million by FY24 and increase the number of commissions receiving state funding from 34 to 40 by July 2023. Highlight from 2021: Increased federal appropriations for commissions and their programs via the historic American Rescue Plan investment

Goal #3: National Service Ecosystem — Strengthen ASC’s role in and leadership of the national service ecosystem, to make national service more accessible and representative of communities served. Highlights from 2021: Released DIA Report detailing the important role of commissions in advancing national service Released COVID Publication detailing commission and AmeriCorps State program efforts to address the pandemic

Goal #4: Financial Model — Grow annual ASC income from $1.7 million in 2020 to $3.2 million by 2023 and strengthen ASC financial systems for tracking and utilizing funds. Highlight from 2021: Increased philanthropic investment in ASC and the commission network

Goal #5: Human and Operational Resources — Secure and develop ASC’s human and operational resources necessary to execute on the strategic plan in a remote work environment. Highlight from 2021: Created and hired three new staff positions to expand ASC staff capacity



FINANCIALS PPP Loan 3.2% Philanthropy 21.3%

Contributions 1.4%

Trainings 18.1%

$2,889,175 Membership Dues 22.5%

Earned Income 7.7%

Fee for Service 25.8%

Expenses: Actual expenses came in at $1.6 million, representing 74% of revised budgeted expenses for 2021, allowing ASC as a nonprofit organization to add to its financial reserve as well as hire for new staff positions in response to additional workload. Much of these savings came as a result of shifting planned in-person events and trainings to a virtual format which reduced travel and production costs.


Income: Despite the ongoing uncertainty due to the COVID19 pandemic, ASC ended the year in a strong financial position with income of nearly $2.9 million, a 70% increase over 2020. Much of this growth was due in part to substantial philanthropic investment from the Ballmer Group, Mott Foundation, and Schultz Family Foundation. Further, ASC continues to diversify its funding sources.

Operations 8.5%


Trainings 12.8%


Personnel & Contractors 78.7%


Thank you to our

FUNDERS In 2021, we received grants from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the Schultz Family Foundation, and the Ballmer Group for a total of $565,000. These grants allowed us and the commission network to expand our work.

We supported 11 states in expanding youth service opportunities at a statewide level, thanks to a $265,000 grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. The grant is funding a multi-year initiative to identify how the state


service commission network can expand youth service opportunities through national service.

The Ballmer Group awarded us a $250,000 grant to support our policy work. We advocate, in partnership with commissions, for federal and state policy changes that will expand and incentivize national service




Challenge grants from the Schultz Family Foundation (SFF), totaling $3.5 million. ASC received $50,000 from SFF to lead a learning collaborative for the commissions to discuss faced in implementing their grant activities.


opportunities across the country.

Seven commissions received National Service

promising practices as well as challenges





Thank you to our


Commission Champions AL!VE Massachusetts Service Alliance Michigan Community Service Commission On3Learn ServeMinnesota ServeMontana Volunteer Delaware Volunteer Maine

Individual Donors Katie Abbott John Albright Thenera Bailey Kristen Bennett Courtney Bloniasz Owen Brown Rachel Bruns Desiree Culpitt Vanessa Diamond Chad Driscoll Jeanne Duffy Maureen Eccleston Steve Epstein Kaira Esgate Caroline Farmer Bill and Sue Getman Dan Getman Liz Getman Monica Greenfield William Hall

Ginna Holmes Judd Jeansonne Julia Keehner Cat Keen Sandy Keith Brad Kmoch Josefina Mata Shelly McAlpin Beth McGuinness Jessica Noble Shannon Ramsey Shirley Sagawa Stacey Scherschligt Kate Scheuritzel Lisa Spinali Emily Steinberg David Styers Richard Swarttz Marty Weinstein Matthew Wilhelm


AMERICA'S SERVICE COMMISSIONS 455 Massachusetts Ave NW, Suite 153 Washington, DC 20001 202.813.0807 info@statecommissions.org www.statecommissions.org