Click here to skip navigation

Professional Development Fund

professional development iconThe Maine Commission for Community Service supports professional development of managers of volunteers by awarding funds to cost-share their educational or training activities.

Examples of supported activities are online courses, educational conferences, seminars, workshops, or preparation for professional certifications that relate to the Competencies for Managers of Volunteers.

Under a cost-share award, recipients must cover at least 25% of the expenses and the maximum award is $750. Funds awarded may not be used to provide the recipient with a stipend, living allowance, or reimburse an employer for salary. Recipients may direct the Commission to pay the award to either their organization as reimbursement or as partial payment to the institution or business conducting the activity. In any case, funds cannot be paid directly to an individual.

Application Cycle:  Professional Development Fund applications may be submitted at any time.  Applicants should bear in mind that the educational or training activity as well as the requirement to share with other managers of volunteers must be completed by the end of the calendar year in which the award is made.

2016 Key Dates:
Submission deadline
 - May 2, 2016
Award notifications - May 31, 2016
Activity Completion Deadline: December 31, 2016 

Eligibility Criteria:  To be eligible for consideration, an individual must be:

  1. employed by a Maine unit of local government, public or private nonprofit, or Maine affiliate of a national charity that engages citizens as volunteers in Maine communities 
    OR 
    serve in a pro bono capacity in the volunteer program of such organizations with responsibilities that are equivalent to those of an employee (e.g., training, supervision, assessment of volunteers performing service).  
  2. have at least two years of experience as a volunteer coordinator or in volunteer program management. 
  3. have a supervisor-approved professional development plan that identifies specific skills, knowledge, or abilities related to volunteer management that require formal training or education. 
  4. able to complete proposed professional development activity by December 31 of the year in which the award is made. 
  5. share information and learning from the professional development activity by  conducting a session at the state volunteerism conference OR contributing an educational article to the statewide newsletter (Maine VolunteerFare), or conducting a webinar hosted by the Commission.

Selection:   
All applications will be reviewed by a task force of the Maine Commission for Community Service. Recommendations for awards will be presented to the full Commission for approval before any recipients are notified. The task force or Commission are not obligated to award any funds and may make awards that are less than the amount requested.

Selection decisions will be made using the following criteria:

  • Relevance of the activity to Competencies for Managers of Volunteers.
  • Relevance of the activity to an individual's professional development plan.
  • Likelihood the activity will lead to betterment of the volunteer program.
  • Preference given to managers of volunteers (paid or pro bono or volunteer) who
    -  have not received Professional Development Funds within the 12 months.  
    - are located in counties without a volunteer center.  These counties are Androscoggin, Aroostook, Hancock, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Oxford, Piscataquis, Sagadahoc, Somerset, Waldo, and Washington.  
    - are not supported by Corporation for National & Community Service funds.  
  • Regulatory directives on allowable uses of funds if the funding source is public.

Application Instructions:
A complete application consists of

1)     an application submitted online with all information filled in and all narrative responses completed. Applicants can use THIS TEMPLATE (PDF format) to prepare. When information is ready, use THIS LINK to open the online form.
2)     a letter of support from the applicant's supervisor that certifies the individual's work includes responsibility for volunteer management;
3)     a letter of support from a colleague or agency leader that provides insight on how the professional development will benefit the individual and the program or educational setting; and,
4)     the agenda, course content, or other description of the professional development activity. This is submitted using 2 fields in the online form.

NOTE:  Incomplete applications will not be considered for funding.

Submission Instructions:  
All applications must be submitted on line. Use THIS LINK to open the online form.
Support letters must be received by the application deadlines. Scanned letters may be emailed to Professional.Development@volunteermaine.org OR faxed to the Commission at (207) 221-0874.

The Maine Commission for Community Service is the state government partner of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and Volunteer Generation programs.

The Commission builds capacity and sustainability in Maine's volunteer and service communities by funding programs, developing managers of volunteers and service-learning practitioners, raising awareness of sector issues, and promoting service as a strategy to solve local problems.