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.






The Rural and Indigenous Communities mini-grant is designed to help rural and indigenous communities develop or enhance volunteer, mentor and civic engagement initiatives. Projects may enhance initiatives already in place or develop new ones. 

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

 Examples of such projects include, but are not limited to:

  • Coalition building or mobilizing residents to take action on community issues
  • Leadership programs that identify, develop, and mobilize new community leaders
  • Supporting youth engagement or volunteerism
  • Community sessions to better understand local government and how to get involved
  • Volunteer and mentor recruitment and retention campaigns
  • Establishing a Citizen Emergency Response Team to respond to natural disasters
  • Conducting a needs assessment/mapping of your community

All entities must have an Employer Identification Number (EIN), Unique Entity Identification (UEI) Number AND must have an active registration in the System for Award Management (SAM) prior to applying.

Questions? Email:

Click here to apply!








Give Back Kansas Challenge Logo with Sunflower


The 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.


There is no cost to participate, and the challenge is open to ANY employer in Kansas (for-profit, non-profit, education system, and government.)


If you have questions, please contact the Kansas Volunteer Commission at or (785) 296-3163.









SE Certification Seal 2019


Contact Us:

900 SW Jackson St Ste 653

Topeka, KS 66612-1212

Phone: (785) 368-7436


The Kansas State Department of Education does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs and activities and provides equal access to any group officially affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America and other designated youth groups.

Copyright by Kansas State Department of Education