GCSV Board Assembles for State Service Plan 2020-22

Board members of the Georgia Commission for Service and Volunteerism (GCSV), housed at the Department of Community Affairs, assembled at Jekyll Island to discuss their state service plan for 2020-22. The goal was to analyze their current impact and strategize ways for furthering their outreach.

AmeriCorps members from the Georgia Sea Turtle Center (GSTC) hosted the September meeting. As the only center of its kind in the state, AmeriCorps members serve the local community through environmental stewardship.

GSTC is one of the beneficiaries of the AmeriCorps grant, and board members toured the center receiving a behind-the-scenes view of how AmeriCorps members are caring for the endangered species. The team discussed their service experiences and recalled a record-breaking nesting season in aiding Loggerhead sea turtles. This summer, they rehabilitated 13 terrapins (native to the southeastern US) and supported the incubation of 167 eggs.

During the board meeting, GCSV Executive Director Linda Thompson reviewed the financial report and provided status updates for all volunteer organizations connected with the Commission. She also delivered a tentative list of commissioner quarterly meetings for 2020, as well as the Competitive Applicant Recommendations.

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) State Director Amieko Watson presented a CNCS State Office Report, which provided details on restructuring plans to enhance CNCS’s level of support for organizations. Additionally, their state office is continuing to develop AmeriCorps VISTA projects, some potentially along the Beltline, to include a variety of programs focused on homelessness and women’s wellness.

Results from the Georgia State Service Plan Citizen survey were also reviewed in the board meeting. Cole McMahon of McMahon Consulting Group developed it in order to assess Georgians’ experiences in their community and as volunteers or employees within an organization. The GCSV board will incorporate the data from the 532 respondents in its service plan development. Responses revealed the following:

  • Nearly half of those surveyed have served in their country (19% in AmeriCorps or VISTA, 3% in Peace Corps and 30% in U.S. Armed Forces)

  • The top five concerns and priorities for Georgians are: Affordable Housing, Workforce Development, Access to Healthcare and Support Services, Behavioral and Mental Health Care, and Financial Literacy

  • 88% of survey respondents volunteer and 53% would encourage their organizations to seek AmeriCorps funding.

  • Based on the survey results, 54% are familiar with AmeriCorps, but not the GCSV. However, 92.2% agree with the statement, “I support the work of the Georgia Commission for Service and Volunteerism to engage volunteers to solve local, state and national problems.”

The board also used the data in an interactive workshop and brainstorming session. McMahon helped GCSV members identify their strategic targets as commissioners and how they can utilize “connection, influence, capacity and money to further their impact.”

Thompson said, “I’m looking forward to seeing how our strategic plan will impact our efforts over the next few years. We have a great team of commissioners on board and, with our collective input, I am sure we can spread the word about AmeriCorps to reach more Georgians and encourage their participation in the program.”  

Gallery: View photos from the September 2019 GCSV Board Meeting.