Rockefeller Foundation Gives $2 Million to Help Cities Promote Volunteerism
NEW YORK, October 20, 2009 — The Rockefeller Foundation and
the newly formed Cities of Service coalition today announced the opening of
the application period for the first-ever "Cities of Service Leadership
Grants." Funded exclusively by the Rockefeller Foundation, the grants will be
awarded to ten cities, on a competitive basis, whose mayors have committed to increase the amount and impact of service in their communities. Each recipient city will receive $200,000 over a two-year period for the specific purpose of hiring a Chief Service Officer, an individual who will lead local efforts on behalf of their city's mayor to develop and implement a comprehensive plan to increase volunteerism. Today's announcement comes just five weeks after 17 mayors from around the nation convened in New York City to form the Cities of Service Coalition and six months after Congress passed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which will result in the greatest federal investment in service and volunteerism in 75 years.
"During difficult economic times, when it is important for communities to pull
together, the Rockefeller Foundation is proud to help America's mayors bring
President Obama's call to service to their own cities," said Rockefeller
Foundation President Judith Rodin. "As president of the University of
Pennsylvania, I saw how a local institution's commitment to civic engagement
can save a neighborhood. With the Rockefeller Foundation's support, Cities of
Service will help local leaders across the country tap into similar engines of
expertise, opportunity, and economic expansion."
"Cities around the country today face increased need with fewer resources --
and many mayors see great potential in tapping the willingness of Americans to
help their neighbors as an important strategy to get through these difficult
days," said Mayor Bloomberg, who appointed the nation's first municipal Chief
Service Officer in June 2009. "The generosity of the Rockefeller Foundation
will enable ten cities to dramatically accelerate their local efforts to
increase the amount and impact of service."