Posts Tagged ‘Global Service Fellowship Act’

Volunteers for Prosperity (VFP)

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which got its final passage through the Senate on Tuesday, authorizes the Volunteers for Prosperity (VFP) initiative (recently discussed in this space here) at USAID and provides “matching grants for service stipends to deploy highly skilled professionals to address issues such as extreme poverty, clean water, preventable diseases, universal education, and business and information technology through participating nongovernmental organizations.” From what I gather, it all works like this:

  1. Go to the Global Giving website (Global Giving being a private foundation that helps administer VFP) and create yourself an account.
  2. Search the list of VFP partner organizations (full list after the jump, for your convenience).
  3. Contact tour VFP partner of choice and with them develop a volunteer assignment (the meaning of “develop,” I’m sure, is relative to each organization).
  4. Complete the online application for a VFP grant.
  5. Fundraise to qualify for a grant.

A few important points to note: VFP grants are for skilled professionals only—I’m sure what that means, exactly, is at least somewhat fluid, but the list of skills quoted above are a good starting point to know if you might qualify; VFP grants are for those who have a volunteer assignment through a designated org—you cannot develop an independent volunteer plan and then apply for VFP funding to pay for it; and you are required to do do local fundraising: “Grants match at least an equal amount of funds raised by volunteers locally.”

The VFP grant program is much more specific than I realized (not that this is a bad thing, it is just for a more specific group of professionals), though the Global Service Fellowship Program, introduced by Sen. Feingold this year, seems to be targeted at a much broader audience of potential international volunteers. It’s currently making its way through Congress, so I’ll report as soon as I know more.

Don’t forget, after the jump, VFP partner orgs…