Rural & Indigenous Communities Mini-Grant Here! Application Period Closes 7/01/2024!


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Community volunteerism is the ultimate form of civic engagement. When community members give back to the community in which they live and volunteer their time to improve the lives of their neighbors, it demonstrates a genuine commitment to civic progress and community growth. Establishing volunteer and mentor opportunities in communities is an essential step in stimulating engagement and deepening the connection between residents and the community. (Source: How to Start a Volunteer Program in Your Community -


The Rural and Indigenous communities mini-grant is designed to help Rural and Indigenous communities develop or enhance volunteer, mentor, and/or civic engagement initiatives. Also, this grant is intended to help Rural and Indigenous communities address and overcome the unique challenges they may face in engaging community members. Projects may enhance initiatives already in place or develop new ones.


For this grant, “rural communities” applies to locations that have a census population of less than 10,000 and “indigenous communities” applies to locations that are connected to federally-recognized Native American tribes.


Apply Now: here

Questions? Email:










The Kansas Volunteer Commission professional development fund is for volunteer, mentor and/or AmeriCorps staff to access reimbursable professional development around volunteerism and mentoring. This opportunity is only available to individuals who work in Kansas for a Kansas-based organization focused on volunteerism, youth mentoring or AmeriCorps national service. 

Interested individuals will fill out the Professional Development Fund Request Form. Request Forms must be submitted no later than two weeks before the professional development opportunity begins. Submission of this form does not constitute approval of the request. Applicants will receive an email from the Commission approving or disapproving the request within two business days.

Applicants may receive reimbursement for one professional development opportunity per calendar year. A maximum of two individuals will reimbursed from each organization per professional development opportunity. 

This is a cost-reimbursement fund. Approved participants will pay for their travel and registration costs up front. These expenses must be paid for with non-AmeriCorps funds. After the event, participants will submit receipts to the Commission for 50% reimbursement of SOME of their expenses. A check will be mailed within two weeks following the submission of receipts and shared learnings (see below).

Reimbursable expenses include: 

  • Airfare and baggage fee
  • Car rental
  • Rideshare (Uber, Lyft) to and from the airport
  • Lodging
  • Registration fees (CVA includes regular exam fee and renewal exam fee - Does not include retest fee)
  • Materials (only applies to Volunteer Administration: Professional Practice textbook for CVA exam)

Reimbursable expenses DO NOT include mileage or per diem (no food cost covered) or any other expenses not specified above. 

Only the following Professional Development opportunities may be reimbursed:

  • 2024 Points of Light conference, June 11-14 in Houston, TX
  • 2024 Certification in Volunteer Administration (CVA) Fall Exam, October 1-14 virtually
  • 2025 National Mentor Summit, January 29-31 in Washington DC

The deadline to apply for these professional development opportunities is as follows: 

  • 2024 Points of Light is May 28, 2024. 
  • 2024 Certification in Volunteer Administration fall exam is September 17, 2024
  • 2025 National Mentor Summit is January 15, 2025

Following the professional development opportunity, participants will be required to share what they have learned with the Commission. These remarks and any submitted photos may be used in newsletters and social media promotions. 


If you have any questions or need clarification, please reach out to







gbk logoThe Give Back Kansas Challenge is an eight-week challenge that engages Kansans in employer-supported volunteering, both during and outside the workday. The Kansas Volunteer Commission and Volunteer Kansas are excited to co-partner in this challenge because much research shows the connection between employer-supported volunteering and improved employee engagement, employee wellness, organizational commitment, job satisfaction, and retention. There is also research connecting employee engagement with increased profitability and productivity.

Employers will be divided into three categories based on the number of entries received and company size (large, medium, and small). Winners will be selected by determining the average number of volunteer hours per employee completed during the challenge period (total volunteer hours ÷ total employees). The leaderboard will be updated every Thursday. Employers achieving the highest average in each size category will be awarded a $1,000 donation to a nonprofit of their choice.

Follow the challenge on our social media channels or the leaderboard page.





Family of Five with child holding


Civic Engagement is composed of individual and collective actions to identify and address issues of public concern. Civic engagement can take many forms, from individual volunteerism to organizational involvement to electoral participation. It can include efforts to directly address an issue, work with others in a community to solve a problem or interact with the institutions of representative democracy. Civic engagement encompasses a range of specific activities such as working in a soup kitchen, serving on a neighborhood association, writing a letter to an elected official, or voting. Indeed, an underlying principle is that an engaged citizen should have the ability, agency, and opportunity to move comfortably among these various types of civic acts.

Source: Michael Delli Carpini, Director, Public Policy, The Pew Charitable Trusts (


Mentor Man with Boy on Stairs Smiling


Mentoring is a consistent and stable relationship between youth and a caring role model(s) that involves regular, ideally face-to-face contact and is focused on building the character, capabilities, and confidence of the mentee(s). Mentoring can be formal in the form of one-to-one, group, peer, community, school, faith-based, or mentoring that happens informally daily. Mentoring is one way for individuals to give youth another person who cares about them, who assures them they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges, and someone who makes them feel like they matter.

Source: MentorKansas


Three AmeriCorps Members Women Laughing and Smiling


America was founded on a promise of opportunity. When we build stronger communities, we help make this promise a reality for everyone to succeed. Especially in times of adversity, we find the courage to unite and overcome. We are supporting our communities, helping them prosper, head-on and together. It is what AmeriCorps is built for: bringing all Americans together—working alongside each other to improve every community—ensuring that everyone gets the help they need and the opportunities they deserve. AmeriCorps is your chance to be a part of something bigger.




Woman in Pond picking up trash


People the world over engage in volunteerism for a great variety of reasons: to help to eliminate poverty and to improve essential health and education, to tackle environmental issues, to reduce the risk of disasters, or to combat social exclusion and violent conflict. In all these fields, volunteerism makes a specific contribution by generating well-being for people and their communities. Volunteers are motivated by values like justice, equality, and freedom. A society that supports and encourages different forms of volunteering is likely to be one that also promotes its citizens' well-being.




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Al!ve Service Enterprise Acredited 24-27 Badge


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Topeka, KS 66612-1212

Phone: (785) 368-7436


The Kansas State Department of Education does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies: KSDE General Counsel, Office of General Counsel, KSDE, Landon State Office Building, 900 S.W. Jackson, Suite 102, Topeka, KS 66612, (785) 296-3201.

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