In an effort to support local organizations leveraging volunteers to meet the many needs across Kansas, the Kansas Volunteer Commission is hosting a series of mini-grant competitions during 2014. Any Kansas public or private nonprofit organization, public or private schools, institutions of higher education and government, operating in the state of Kansas are invited to apply!

(Please note that scheduled funding opportunities are pending final funding approval and are not officially open or offered until the official application is posted and open.)

September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance Mini-Grant Opportunity

The September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance is the culmination of an effort originally launched in 2002 by 9/11 family members and support groups, who worked to establish the charitable service day as a forward-looking way to honor 9/11 victims, survivors, and others who rose up in service response to the attacks.  In 2009, Congress designated September 11th as a National Day of Service and Remembrance and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) with supporting this effort across the country.  With funding from CNCS, the Kansas Volunteer Commission (KVC) is working with organizations across Kansas to engage volunteers in tribute projects.


Butler County Department on Aging
The Butler County Foster Grandparent Program (FGP), RSVP Program, surrounding senior centers and Lincoln Elementary will join together in service to mark the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks for the September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance.  Students at Lincoln Elementary will decorate goodie bags to honor those who serve our community while FGP, RSVP and surrounding senior centers will bake goods and deliver them to first responders.  FGP and RSVP will unite to package the baked goods and deliver them to first responders in Augusta and El Dorado.  EMS as well as Fire, Police and Sheriff's Departments will all be thanked for their service.

Lyons USD 405
The entire Lyons USD 405 school district PK-12 staff (120) and students (800) will participate in a variety of service projects honoring the 9/11 National Day of Service & Remembrance.  There will be approximately 50 different projects students and staff may participate in such as playground clean-up, painting and maintenance; highway clean-up; landscaping; repairing accessible ramps; and more.  An estimated 3,000 hours of service will be completed that day, impacting the entire population of Lyons.

Rosedale Development Association
The Mt. Marty Cleanup Day will engage volunteers in honor of victims, survivors and others who decided to enter into service on or because of the events that happened on September 11th.  Rosedale residents have come to Mt. Marty Park to remember and honor veterans since 1924, when the Rosedale Arch was dedicated.  The Arch honors the men of the Rainbow Brigade, Rosedale residents who served in World War I.  An additional historical marker was dedicated at the Arch in 1993 to honor the soldiers of World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.  The Rosedale Arch now is a place to honor veterans of all foreign wars, including the War on Terror, post 9/11.  During the Day of Service, volunteers will help clean up Mt. Marty Park, and build additional trails to bring more visitors to the park.

Sheltered Living, Inc.
To honor the Kansas National Guard, 200-250 people with disabilities and their families will host an evening softball game and cookout at the Gage Park Accessible Ball Diamond in Topeka, KS.  The evening will start with an Opening Ceremony with a Presentation of the Colors and a 9/11 Tribute on the ball diamond.  Persons served by Sheltered Living will present the Guard members with a commemorative, signed, and framed photo in remembrance of the evening.  Following the ceremony, 15-20 National Guard members will form teams with persons served by Sheltered Living and play softball.  Very rarely do people with disabilities have the opportunity to help plan and carry out a unique event like this.  They will be able to honor Kansas National Guard members, play ball with them, and serve them a picnic meal.  This will help to integrate people with disabilities in the Topeka community.

USO Fort Riley
On September 11, 2014, a "No Dough Dinner" will be hosted by USO Fort. Riley and served by the Vietnam Veterans of America Heartland Chapter 327 out of Kansas City.  The dinner will be held at Fort Riley and falls in line with our Mission of Lifting the Spirits of America's Troops and their Families.  "No Dough Dinners" were designed to help troops and their families stretch their paychecks.  In addition to stretching a soldier's paycheck, a secondary impact and benefit of the dinners is to bring families together with each other and members of the local community who wish to show their support.  In addition to the dinner, USO will be hosting a Veterans Hiring Fair during the National Day of Service & Remembrance event.

United Way of the Plains
United Way of the Plains is working in collaboration with community partners from Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, and the Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas to honor the victims and survivors of September 11th and other military veterans through their September 11th National Day of Service & Remembrance project.  This tribute project will involve community volunteers assembling 125 "honor kits" for distribution to military veterans consisting of: durable, reusable cloth bags, a variety of personal care items, socks, gloves, candies/mints and more.  Honor kits will be distributed to veterans who may be unemployed, homeless or transitioning out of homelessness, have a physical disability and/or those who are dealing with a mental health disability.

YMCA of Greater Kansas City
For the September 11th National Day of Service & Remembrance, the Youth Volunteer Corps is planning volunteer opportunities that focus on environment, military family/veterans, and disaster relief/preparedness.  Volunteers will participate in a letter writing/card making campaign for Operation Gratitude, work on a certified organic farm that produces 25,000 pounds of vegetables each year, and prepare Heart to Heart Care Kits and Ready Relief Boxes in an effort to be ready to respond to disasters.  During each of these projects, volunteers will participate in a service learning activity that focuses on the different ways people can contribute to society.  Youth volunteers will relate this activity to the different roles Americans played on September 11, 2001 through an in-depth discussion. 

View the Press Release
Final Report Form- Due October 3, 2014



The Kansas Volunteer Commission (KVC) will provide mini-grant funds available under the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) to help programs build their capacity through the development of a pro bono or skill-based volunteer initiative, ultimately engaging more Kansans in meaningful service opportunities.  Research supports the idea that many of the highest performing nonprofits leverage skilled volunteers to increase their capacity and achieve their mission.  The Capacity Building through Volunteer Engagement Mini-Grant will aim to help organizations identify key opportunities to expand through the use of pro bono or skill-based volunteers and develop standard practices for engaging skill-based volunteers within the organization.  Mini-grant funding will allow local organizations to develop their own pro bono or skill-based volunteer projects/initiatives.


Children First: CEO Kansas, Inc.
Children First will use grant funding to help increase the utilization of pro bono volunteers within the organization through capacity building work that includes: (1) develop strategies for recruiting new pro bono volunteers by contracting with a marketing/sales professional to write the project and job descriptions with a clear scope of work, (2) recruit, screen, and train highly skilled volunteers by attending targeted networking events and following up on leads, (3) create a pro bono volunteer recognition and reward program by hosting a focus group to develop and implement the program and, (4) increase the Executive Director's competency in working with pro bono volunteers through training.  This work will supplement existing efforts of the organization in order to improve and expand the program.

Families Together, Inc.
Families Together, Inc., Kansas' Parent Training and Information Center, provides training, resources and individual assistance at no cost to parents who have children with disabilities and/or special health care needs.  For more than 30 years, our workshops and individualized assistance have helped parents understand the complex systems of special education, healthcare, and community services.  Our Parent-to-Parent program provides an opportunity for parents who need emotional support to connect with a volunteer supporting parent who has walked in similar shoes.  Parent-to-Parent support is the intentional connection between a trained volunteer supporting parent and a parent seeking information, resources, guidance and support from an experienced parent.  Families Together, Inc. is a member of the Parent to Parent USA Alliance.

The Grassland Heritage Foundation
As part of our mission to educate Kansans about their tallgrass prairie heritage, and to preserve remnant tallgrass prairies in northeast Kansas, the Grassland Heritage Foundation seeks to build its volunteer base by improving its ability to attract, train, and manage volunteers interested in contributing to our mission.  To do this, the Grassland Heritage Foundation received funding to help (1) complete work on volunteer training and management materials, and to make those materials accessible online and in print, (2) host volunteer and board training events to improve efficiency, (3) work with a legal professional to evaluate program practices.

Harvey County Health Department
The Medical Reserve Corps Recruitment and Sustainability Initiative project to be implemented using Capacity Building through Volunteer Engagement Mini-Grant funds will identify current volunteers' skills and seek out additional skill-based volunteers who can lend their talents to the Medical Reserve Corps of Harvey County.  When needed in times of emergencies a Point of Dispensing is opened by the Harvey County Health Department and these volunteers will have specific roles and functions.  The majority of these volunteers will have medical/clinical training and their skills will be leveraged to best serve the public.  Reviewing current volunteers in the database and identifying their skills before an emergency arises will be key to engaging these individuals in the most effective way.  With current staff we have not been able to devote the energies to fully complete the task of recruitment and sustaining of volunteers.  These funds will assist us to implement strategies to do both which in turn will create a strong volunteer base in times of emergencies.

Jewish Family Services
For more than 110 years, Jewish Family Services of Greater Kansas City has served the metropolitan area by providing high-quality programs and services that address the needs of individuals and families dealing with crisis and the everyday challenges of life.  Annually, we serve over 5,000 individuals regardless of religion, race or economic status.  Funds from this mini-grant opportunity will help to develop a program that integrates skill-based volunteers into the Older Adult Care Management Program.  Skill-based volunteers will serve as a bridge to support older adult clients after they have achieved their goals, and are discharged from the care management program.  Volunteer recruiting for this project is focused on skill-based volunteers in the health care and social service fields.

RSVP of the Flint Hills, Inc.
For 40 years, RSVP of the Flint Hills has engaged volunteers ages 55 and above in volunteer opportunities in the Manhattan area.  With the success of the RSVP program, we have been receiving an increasing number of requests from individuals under the age of 55, for volunteer opportunities.  To keep up with the new era of volunteerism, we must be forward-thinking in how we will continue to meet community needs.  A new Youth Volunteer Corps will be introduced to the public in early August which will add to the dynamic of a new volunteer center structure.  All of these changes lead us to the great need of incorporating a new volunteer center name and marketing strategy.  In order to be successful in this new transition, we will rely heavily on pro bono and skill-based volunteers to guide us, help build our capacity, leverage volunteers of all ages, and leverage new community partners.

YWCA- Girls on the Run of Topeka
Girls on the Run operates with one paid staff and an ever expanding team of volunteers.  In order to maintain uniformity of program delivery to guarantee quality and gather feedback from coaches about their support needs, the Council Director conducts site visits and provides on-site support to all of the Girls on the Run teams.  Site visits have proven to be a great opportunity for site volunteer coaches to give and receive feedback as well as support.  This makes it less likely for the volunteers to feel isolated and detached from the program.  Due to the rapid growth it is not possible for the Council Director to continue to provide consistent site visits to all teams.  Therefore, Girls on the Run of Topeka will establish a "Team Adelaide" which has proven to be successful in other councils of similar size and demographics.  Team Adelaide is a group of highly skilled volunteers who assist with coach trainings, site visits and serve as substitutes for Girls on the Run.  This is a great role for volunteers who are looking for a way to support Girls on the Run and spend time in the field with our Girls on the Run teams.


View the Press Release
Final Report Form- Due January 10, 2015
Reimbursement Form- Due December 10, 2014
Pre/Post Assessment


Each year, millions of children and youth around the world work together with schools, youth organizations, nonprofits, community and faith-based organizations, volunteer and national service programs, government agencies, faith communities, and other individuals to address the world's most critical issues and change their communities on Global Youth Service Day (GYSD).  GYSD is the only day of service focused on mobilizing and training youth as leaders who identify and address community needs through service and service-learning and educate the public, the media, and policymakers about the year-round contributions of young people as community leaders.  The Kansas Volunteer Commission is looking for volunteer projects taking place during Global Youth Service Day, April 11-13, 2014 that are inspired and led by youth.


Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City is hosting a Literacy Night as part of the GYSD initiative.  Teen club members (13-18 year olds) will coordinate a book giveaway and reading contest for elementary school Club members.  Each Club member will have the opportunity to choose an age-appropriate book and learn about the importance of reading in their lives.  This event will be the kick-off for a reading contest during which Club members will read their books and complete a book report to win a large prize.  Following Literacy Night, teen Club members will have a service kick-off party to discuss their individual goals and the impact they can make in their community through service.  One outcome from the kick-off party will be the chance for teens to create more service opportunities for themselves and other Club members.

CHWC, Inc.
The Community Alley Restoration program is a youth leadership program that engages volunteers (ranging from 14-18) to install murals, solar lighting, and work to clean urban core alleyways.  Kansas City, KS alleyways are full of trash and gang scripting.  Youth Leaders from our program are organizing a project to clean up the 300 block alleyway between 15th and 16th Streets.  They are recruiting youth volunteers to participate in the project which is taking place on GYSD.  They will be creating two murals with solar lighting, in addition to picking up trash and clutter from the alleyway.  The end product will be a safer, cleaner, colorful and creative alleyway for kids to play and ride their bikes.

KidsTLC, Inc.
Funding from this grant will benefit the Be the Change, Homeless Awareness Event benefitting middle school and high school students in an effort to empower them to advocate for those in need in our city and around the world.  There are four activity stations at this event where kids will be packaging 15,000 meals, packing backpacks full of clothing and hygiene items (to be dispersed to Olathe School District), creating a collaborative and interactive art piece together, and learning about the homeless youth population in Johnson County while brainstorming ways to combat homelessness.

McPherson Family Life Center, Inc.
McPherson Family Life Center is hosting a GYSD event on Saturday, April 12th through a series of service projects at our center and in the community for youth to participate in.  Projects were developed and organized by youth in our community.  Service projects include:
-Cleaning and sanitizing toys in Play Therapy room
-Pulling weeds, raking rocks and planting flowers
-Picking up trash and branches in city park;
-Building shelves and organizing storage areas;
-Deep cleaning lights;
-Making thank you cards and cookies for local Fire and EMS Departments

Stafford Schools- USD 349
The USD 349 Stafford Schools STARS After-School program provides an opportunity for each student in grades K-8th to "Shine through Academics and Relationships at Stafford" while teaching them to become productive, healthy, responsible citizens in our community.  Every day activities include reading and math tutoring, homework assistance and enriching through project learning and hands-on activities.  The students in the STARS program are organizing volunteers to clean out and plant flowers in the 32 brick boxes that line Main Street in Stafford, KS.  The previous two years, there has not been an organization in charge of this project, and the boxes have been left unattended giving the community and unkempt appearance.  Our students wanted to change that and are providing a solution to the problem with funding from this mini-grant!
Women Empowerment, Inc.
Youth volunteers from Eisenhower Middle School, Highland Park High School and the Leadership Institute are hosting a community night, and two-day event at Ross Elementary School and the High Crest Neighborhood in Topeka, KS.  Information about healthy behaviors and local resources, healthy food and fun, innovative exercise activities will take place during the two-day event.  Goals of the events include: encouraging healthy eating by educating students, engaging more students in service-learning projects, increasing leadership skills among students planning activities, and increasing childhood obesity awareness.

2014 Mini-Grant Series

Global Youth Service Day
Competition Closed
Awards Announced

View the Press Release
Final Report Form

Capacity Building through Volunteer Engagement
Competition Closed
Awards Announced

View the Press Release
Final Report Form
Reimbursement Form

Kansas Mentors Recruitment & Retention
Competition Closed
Awards Announced

View the Press Release
Final Report Form

9/11 Day of Service & Remembrance
Competition Closed
Awards Announced
View the Press Release
Final Report Form

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