Finding ways to activate a strong volunteer base strengthens community engagement. For this reason, 17 mayors came together in 2009 to form the bi-partisan Cities of Service coalition. Local planners and government officials seeking practical “hands-on” approaches developed at the city level can use the site as an informational and planning resource.
The Cities of Service approach is to discover best practices targeting community needs with clear outcomes and measurable benchmarks. The idea behind the “impact volunteerism” approach is to increase good volunteer matching, to work together across cities to exchange best practices, and to increase the voice of the city at the state and federal levels.
Other site highlights include:
- Grants of up to $200,000 through the Rockefeller Foundation for participating mayors in specific city initiatives through Service and Volunteer Coordinators are available to participating cities.
- Many downloadable resources in the form of “Blueprints” or “Playbooks” are listed under the Resources category of the site. Blueprints are essentially specific initiatives that the city can undertake. The Playbooks provided through the site are large scale strategic plans implementing a how-to guide for local planners and leaders. Both Blueprints and Playbooks are recommended by mayors for mayors. This is key because it distills resources down to those that are practical, useful and tested.
How to Use
Local governments should consider joining the coalition andseeking out those grants featured under the Impact Volunteering Fund section, listed under the Resources category. The site should also be used as a practical library for discovering planning and project resources that can be implemented locally.
View the website: Cities of Service