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Help Aim Federal Funding at Community Needs

Published October 20, 2011

October 17, 2011
Contact: Pam Zeutenhorst
Phone: 624-6242
Email: pam.zeutenhorst@maine.gov

* * * For Immediate Release * * *
Help Aim Federal Funding at Community Needs

AUGUSTA – The Maine Commission for Community Service seeks well qualified professionals from Maine and other states in the eastern or central time zones to serve as volunteer peer reviewers for its upcoming grant competitions.
The Maine Commission for Community Service builds capacity and sustainability in Maine's volunteer and service communities by funding service programs, developing volunteer managers and service-learning practioners, raising awareness of sector issues, and encouraging an ethic of service. In order to carry out this work, the Commission makes grants largely using federal dollars (occasionally some private funding). Sometimes the grants are for large, multi-year projects and some are micro-sized to support projects in conjunction with days of service.

For example, the AmeriCorps State operating grants range from $150,000 to more than $300,000 and cover a 3-year period. At the opposite end of the size spectrum are $500 grants to support community service projects on Martin Luther King Day of Service each January.

Regardless of the size, all the applications must be evaluated and rated to determine which will receive awards from the pre-determined allotment of funds. Peer Review is the portion of the grant application assessment process that is conducted by a panel of individuals with expertise related to the purpose and/or area of focus for the grant program.

The Commission seeks a diverse group of reviewers whose expertise may be needed in grant competitions conducted in late November 2011 through late March 2012. Based on the anticipated schedule of grant making activity, volunteer reviewers will need expertise in one or more of these areas: disaster services, economic opportunity, education, environmental stewardship, healthy futures, veterans & military families, service-learning, and volunteer management.  One significant benefit of this volunteer opportunity is gaining experience in assessing funding applications that are specifically focused on support to the volunteer sector. Another benefit is expanding one’s professional network in a virtual way because the peer reviews are done using today’s communication technology.

For more information about this volunteer opportunity and how to apply on online, visit http://www.maineservicecommission.gov/grants/peer-overview/.   Applications submitted by November 22 will constitute the pool of potential reviewers for grant competitions in late 2011 and early 2012. To learn more about the Maine Commission for Community Service visit our web-site at www.maineservicecommission.gov.

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