What is Skills-Based Volunteering?

Skills-based volunteering (SBV) is an innovative approach that is rapidly gaining recognition as a powerful driver of both social impact and business value. SBV is a strategic type of volunteerism that exponentially expands the impact of nonprofits by incorporating a range of skills that strengthen the operations and services of nonprofit organizations.  Skills-based volunteerism utilizes the skills, experience, talents and education of volunteers and matches them with the needs of nonprofits. Skills-based volunteerism can be a pathway to employment by maintaining employability skills or learning new skills. Individual skilled volunteers may offer their particular expertise to a nonprofit agency, while corporate skills-based volunteering may involve employee volunteers working on projects for a nonprofit organization through a structured program developed and managed by their employer. Skills-based volunteering is about matching the right person with the right skills and knowledge, at the right time, to the right project in order to achieve greater impact. By leveraging all types of knowledge and expertise, skills-based volunteers help to build and sustain nonprofits’ capacity to achieve their missions successfully and can serve to enhance and enrich the lives of the volunteers.

Who is eligible to apply?

Applicants must be a community or faith-based organization that maintains a 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, or a government entity in Florida.The applicant must be an organization that mobilizes people and resources to deliver creative solutions to community problems by offering programs and services that:

  • Recognize that all volunteers have skills and talents to share;
  • Connect people with opportunities to serve;
  • Promote volunteering at all levels and ages; and
  • Build or establish partnerships and collaboration among organizations in the community.

Volunteer Florida will encourage geographic diversity by actively seeking proposals from all seven regions of the state, as defined by the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

How many sub-grants will be awarded?

Volunteer Florida will make available up to $200,000 to a maximum of twenty (20) sub grantees serving the needs of Floridians, each receiving $10,000 in grant funding and training support for their participation in the FY 16 Volunteer Generation Fund initiative.

What type of work is allowed to count for volunteer hours and number of volunteers?

Examples of allowable work for volunteer hours and number of volunteers could include: canvassing and community organizing, data entry and analysis, demographic research, etc.

Can we choose our own performance target?

Applicants MUST opt into the given performance measures provided, however if they chose to increase their performance measures they may do so.

Why must I get a background check?

Applicants will be required to complete a three part background check process consistent with the standards of the Corporation for National & Community Services Volunteer Generation Fund National Criminal History Check Requirements.

This includes a National Sex Offender Predator Registry (NSOPR) clearance, State of Florida (and State of Residence as applicable) and FBI fingerprint check on all staff members assigned to grant through federal or match funds.

View the National Service Criminal History Check (CNCS Requirements) here.

Is it possible to receive any of the money in advance?

No. Volunteer Generation Fund is a federal, reimbursement grant.

Is there a certain way you would like us to keep records of volunteers and hours?

Yes. All grantees will receive training which will cover all aspects of the grant, including, reporting, budgets, finances and Strength-Based Assessment and Neighboring techniques.

Can grants be used for salaries? Is there a limit to how much of the money can be devoted to salary?

Yes, grant funds may be used for salaries. (Conversely, salaries and fringe benefits may also be used for your “match”.) There is not a limit to how much may be budgeted for salaries.

May I send you a hard copy in the mail? 

No, proposals must be submitted electronically via our grants management system.

The on-line application system can be found here.

How do I find my Region Number?

You can find your region number by visiting the Florida Division of Emergency Management’s Region page.

Are agencies and programs already funded through CNCS eligible to apply for this additional funding? 

Yes! Agencies and programs that already receive funding through CNCS are still eligible for this VGF funding.

Can the funds be used to purchase a data management system for our organization?

Yes, funds can be used to purchase a data management system, however Volunteer Florida would like to the purchase made at the beginning of the grant cycle, so it can be used to help with volunteer recruitment and retention.

How much does a background check cost?

It varies. Background checks can run between $30 – $100 dollars.

Can we use the grant to train volunteers to manage other volunteers?

Yes! You can use the grant to train skills based volunteers to manage other skills based volunteers

How are grantees expected to report their volunteers and volunteer hours?

We are tentatively expecting grantees to complete a mid-year and end of year report.

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