Edward M. Kennedy

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.

April 24, 2009, The Wall Street Journal — This week, the president signed into law the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which authorizes a huge expansion of the Americorps program, potentially tripling the number of its government-paid "volunteers." The legislation -- which also promises federal funds for "effective solutions developed by social entrepreneurs" -- was heralded as a victory for patriotism and public service. It was enough to draw Jimmy Carter to share the podium with Ted Kennedy -- both on hand for the signing ceremony at a charter school in a poor section of Washington, D.C. But is it truly good news? Those who cherish the independence of American philanthropy and the nonprofits it supports actually have reason for worry.

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