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cities of service playbook

how to develop a high-impact service plan

ContentS
1 2 3 4 6 10 16 20 22 About Cities of Service Declaration of Service Developing a high-impact service plan: Six steps Step 1: Invest in leadership Step 2: Identify priority need areas and specific challenges, resources, and opportunities Step 3: Develop a clear and concrete set of initiatives Step 4: Define how you will measure the impact of your service initiatives Step 5: Clarify and agree on next steps Step 6: Publish your plan and prepare for launch

about cities of service
every day across our country, millions of americans take time away from their work, their studies, and their families to give back to their communities. Millions more americans would like to help solve local problems, but they are wondering: “How can I get involved? Where can I make a difference?” cities of service is a bi-partisan coalition of mayors from large and small cities across our country who are working together to engage citizens in addressing the great challenges of our time. founded in New York city on september 10, 2009, the coalition and its member cities are responding to the edward M. Kennedy serve america act’s historic call to action by finding new and innovative ways to harness the power of volunteers to help solve pressing local challenges. the coalition aims to accelerate the service movement at the most local level, connecting local needs to the supply of willing volunteers in innovative and impactful new ways, thus creating a new chapter in america’s longstanding history with service. as of May 2010, roughly 100 mayors across the united states have joined the cities of service coalition and signed the Declaration of service, thereby committing to: • Develop a comprehensive service plan and a coordinated strategy focused on matching volunteers and established community partners to the areas of greatest local need. • Work with other mayors and elected officials to advance strategies and best practices that accelerate the service movement and produce measurable results. • encourage other mayors to join this national effort to engage our citizens. • ensure that the voice of cities is heard in federal legislative, policy, and program discussions related to service, which will help the country achieve the ambitious goals of the serve america act. cities of service efforts are further characterized by the concept of “impact volunteering”—volunteer strategies that target community needs, use best practices, and set clear outcomes and measures to gauge progress. in developing impact volunteering strategies, cities will build on and elevate existing efforts while also developing new and innovative “Impact Service Initiatives.” For more information on Cities of Service, visit citiesofservice.org.

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DeclaratioN of service
Whereas america has a proud tradition of service and volunteerism that dates back to the colonial era and today can be found in communities across the fifty states; Whereas the bipartisan edward M. Kennedy serve america act, signed into law by president barack obama on april 21, 2009 builds on this tradition, encouraging all americans to serve their communities in new ways; Whereas cities, home to many of the nation’s most persistent challenges, are positioned to bring new leadership, facilitation, and innovation to the service movement; Whereas the current need for public-spirited residents to help address increased hardship resulting from the global financial and housing crises is clear; Whereas service enriches the lives of americans of all ages, and each new generation of young americans must be engaged to tackle emerging challenges; Now, therefore, we resolve to develop a coalition of mayors from cities large and small to work together to harness and focus the energies of our citizens. cities of service coalition members will support efforts to increase service opportunities in our cities by: Developing a comprehensive service plan and a coordinated strategy focused on matching volunteers and established community partners to the areas of greatest local need; Working with other mayors and elected officials to advance strategies and best practices that accelerate the service movement and produce measurable results; Encouraging other mayors to join this national effort to engage our citizens; and Ensuring that the voice of cities is heard in federal legislative, policy, and program discussions related to service, which will help the country achieve the ambitious goals of the serve america act.

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cities of service playbook

DeVeLoPInG a HIGH-ImPact SerVIce PLan
the first commitment in the Declaration of Service is to develop “a comprehensive service plan and a coordinated strategy focused on matching volunteers and established community partners to the areas of greatest local need.” the aim of the cities of Service Playbook is to provide cities with initial guidance and support as they embark on their own individual planning processes. the intent in writing and sharing the cities of Service Playbook is not to prescribe one “right” approach to developing a service plan, but rather to reduce the planning burden on cities by illustrating an approach and providing a set of sample tools. the sample approach provided here draws largely from new York city’s experience developing nYc Service (nyc.gov/service), mayor michael r. Bloomberg’s citywide plan to increase service, which was informed by best practices in volunteer engagement and input from hundreds of local and national service experts. as more coalition members develop, implement, and learn from their own planning processes, best practices from additional member cities will be collected and shared. the cities of Service Playbook references supporting tools and templates that are included in a separate resource supplement located on the enclosed cD. the following material is divided into six sections: step 1 Invest in leadership step 2 Identify priority need areas and specific challenges, resources, and opportunities step 3 Develop a clear and concrete set of initiatives step 4 Define how you will measure the impact of your service initiatives step 5 clarify and agree on next steps step 6 Publish your plan and prepare for launch

“My hope is that we can spark a new day of activism and service to our City amongst every citizen. It’s going to take people working together not just for their own benefit but also for the good of the whole community.”

Mayor Kevin Johnson Sacramento, ca

How to DeVeLoP a HIGH-ImPact SerVIce PLan

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1. invest in leadership

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cities of service playbook

step 1
cities of service puts the leadership, resources, convening power, and bully pulpit of local elected executives into the service of the service movement. cities across the country have the potential to demonstrate that service can be a serious municipal strategy with demonstrated impact on pressing local challenges. this is why some level of dedicated leadership and accountability for service efforts within the mayor’s office is critical, though what this looks like will vary significantly from city to city. some cities will choose to appoint a chief service officer to lead their service efforts, while others may choose to assign responsibility to an existing staff role. regardless of who takes on the leadership role, this individual—or group of individuals—is accountable for the overall planning and delivery of service initiatives. Developing a high-impact service plan requires mayoral support, effective outreach and collaboration, innovative thinking, and strong implementation planning. of course, cities may choose to designate one individual as the lead for the planning process with the expectation that responsibility for implementation may shift to another role. key questions: • What is the best structure for the team that will lead this effort? • Who could effectively lead the process of developing our service plan? • Where should accountability for the eventual implementation of our plan reside? • Which agencies and organizations will be critical partners in developing and implementing our plan? the type and number of city agencies, partner organizations, supporters, and champions that actively engage will also vary from city to city. larger cities may wish or need to partner with dozens of agencies and external organizations to achieve their goals, while smaller cities may be able to focus their energies on a handful of critical partners.

rESoUrCES

Please view the enclosed CD for resources available for Step 1: Invest in leadership.
• 1a. example job description, chief service officer

Chief ServiCe OffiCerS
Prior to 2009, two states—California and New York—had cabinet level posts dedicated to promoting service. In 2009, New York City was the first locality in the nation to have a Chief Service Officer, and in 2010 New York will be joined by 20 new Chief Service Officers being appointed by Cities of Service coalition members through Cities of Service Leadership Grants. The Cities of Service Leadership Grant program’s original funder was the Rockefeller Foundation. Bloomberg Philanthropies is now also a supporter.

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2. identiFY priOritY need areas and speCiFiC ChallenGes, resOUrCes, and OppOrtUnities

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cities of service playbook

step 2
a crucial step in developing a high-impact service plan is the identification of “priority need areas” and the specific challenges your city faces within those areas that may be addressed, in part, by citizen service. once the priority need areas have been selected, it is important to engage with a range of potential partners in order to identify specific challenges, resources, opportunities, and areas of collaboration. tapping into the existing energy, creativity, and volunteer management capacity of nonprofits and social entrepreneurs is critical to success, and brings work that would otherwise happen in isolation and without coordination into alignment, creating opportunities for greater impact. engaging your colleagues in local government is important. Keep in mind that service as a serious municipal strategy is a new concept, so you may need to invest resources to educate your colleagues in other departments and offices on its potential for impact in order to generate ideas. You can help them to think creatively about the roles volunteers could play in helping them get their priority work done. in New York city, for example, conversations with the Department of health and Mental hygiene generated an innovative initiative called flu fighters that engaged volunteers to extend the reach of h1N1 vaccination and education efforts. colleges and universities can be valuable partners, and should be engaged early in the process. in addition to being a rich source of volunteers, colleges and universities can help you design the research and evaluation components of your service plan. they can provide training and technical assistance to build the capacity of nonprofits and municipal agencies to use volunteers more effectively. and in some cases, they can help implement your service strategies. colleges and universities appreciate the importance of supporting their host communities and being part of something new. they just need to be asked. engaging funders is also key. local philanthropic foundations, individuals, and corporations in your city can be critical partners in ensuring the viability and sustainability of your service plan. they can also provide much more than funding, and including them in the development of your plan will often result in valuable insight and ensure that they feel a part of the plan as it develops, all of which can contribute to the long-term success of your program. this dialogue with potential partners is an opportunity for you to begin building an engaged network of supporters and champions that will help shape and implement your service plan. in practice, you may choose to host roundtables or focus groups, administer surveys or questionnaires, or simply structure a series of individual interviews in order to gather the input you need. (for sample worksheets and questionnaires see the resource supplement.) this process also gives the mayor an opportunity to signal the city’s increased commitment to and leadership on service.

rESoUrCES

Please view the enclosed CD for resources available for Step 2: Identify priority need areas and specific challenges, resources, and opportunities.
• 2a. focus group materials – Focus group planning worksheet – suggested focus group questions – Focus group insights template • 2b. surveys – survey for volunteer-using organizations (nonprofits) – survey for city agencies – survey for K-12 schools • 2c. examples of cross-cutting service challenges • 2D. starter list of existing research on service • 2e. summary worksheet: step 2

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obJECtivE 1:

obJECtivE 2:

Agree on which need areas are a priority
this objective can often be answered quickly based on the administration’s existing priorities. in tight budget climates, it is particularly important to identify new ways to advance the city’s work on those priorities; service presents a practical, tested, and cost-efficient way to do so. additionally, the federal government is making more service resources available than ever before, so it pays to think seriously about service as a key strategy to address local needs. there is no ideal number of priority need areas and the length of the list will likely be different for different cities. While New York city chose to tackle six separate priority need areas (strengthening communities, helping neighbors in need, education, environment, health, and emergency preparedness), other cities may choose to focus their efforts on one or two. Narrowing your focus in the first year may help you to target resources and meet goals. once your plan and associated infrastructure are in place, your focus can be continually evaluated and adjusted to address emerging challenges and those of widespread public concern. key questions: • What need areas are priorities for our city? • how many priority need areas do we believe we can effectively manage? • is this need area one that can be impacted through service?

Identify specific challenges within each priority need area that are addressable by service
the next objective is to focus your efforts. for example, if you identified education as a priority need area, are there specific challenges and goals toward which you should focus your efforts? in New York city, education was designated as a priority area. and while there is some emphasis on increasing volunteerism in schools generally, there is a more focused effort to increase mentorship. in particular, NYc service aims to find mentors for high-risk students in the most challenged middle schools. by narrowing in on specific challenges, you can develop a clear benchmark for progress and track results against these goals. key questions: • What is our vision of success in this need area? • What work is already underway to address this priority? • What specific challenges are preventing us from achieving this vision of success? • how can we use service to address these specific challenges? • What existing efforts to address these challenges could we expand or accelerate? Who is leading these efforts? how can we use service to expand or accelerate these efforts? • What new efforts could be implemented to address these challenges? • Who are the critical partners that we need to consult with to shape and refine our vision of success and clarify specific challenges? (see resource supplement for further detail.)

draft priOrity need areaS frOm CitieS Of ServiCe LeaderShip Grant reCipient CitieS
– – – – – – – – Basic Needs Community Development Cultural Education Early Learning and School Readiness Economic Recovery Education Education and Out-of-School Time Environment – – – – – – – – Environmental Education and Impact Homelessness Neighborhood Development Neighborhood Restoration Public Safety Transit Youth Development Youth Mentoring

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cities of service playbook

obJECtivE 3:

key questions: • Which organizations, initiatives, or events do you believe have most successfully engaged citizens in service? • What characteristics of those organizations, initiatives, or events were responsible for their success? • What challenges do volunteer-using organizations and city agencies face when trying to offer more service opportunities to more people? What existing programs are in place to help expand volunteer management capacity? • What challenges do citizens face when trying to connect to service opportunities? What existing systems help make these connections? • What challenges do organizations that are key sources of volunteers (e.g., colleges, universities, local companies) face when trying to connect their students or employees to service opportunities? What is working well? • are there any other cross-cutting challenges standing in the way of our overall success? • Who are the critical partners that we need to consult with in order to address these cross-cutting challenges? (see resource supplement for further detail.)

Identify cross-cutting challenges
in your discussions with stakeholders you will undoubtedly identify challenges that impact more than one priority need area—referred to, here, as cross-cutting challenges. these challenges generally relate to the infrastructure that supports and sustains volunteerism in your city. left unaddressed, these capacity challenges can impact your ability to recruit, match, and retain sufficient numbers of volunteers. in New York, NYc service identified several cross-cutting challenges. one of the most critical was a lack of volunteer management capacity in volunteer-using organizations across the city. because the planning team in New York city wanted to make sure these groups could handle more volunteers, and use existing volunteers more effectively, several strategies were included in their plan to strengthen capacity.

exhibit 1 Select nyc Service priority need areaS and challengeS
Below is an illustration of three NYC priority need areas—education, environment, and health—as well as the specific challenges within each need area and the critical cross-cutting challenges.
NYC Service

ObjeCtive 1 –Agree on priority need areas ObjeCtive 2– Identify specif ic challenges within each priority need area ObjeCtive 3 – Identify cross-cutting challenges

education providing struggling middle school students with needed support

environment reducing the city’s carbon footprint expanding and increasing green space throughout the city

health ensuring vulnerable populations get flu shots securing sufficient numbers of blood donors reducing obesity levels

volunteer-using organizations don’t have the capacity they need to manage volunteers and are forced to turn away volunteers it is not as easy as it should be for New Yorkers to find a service opportunity

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3. develOp a Clear and COnCrete set OF initiatives

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cities of service playbook

step 3
Now that you have engaged a range of stakeholders and identified priority need areas and challenges, the next step is to start the process of deciding on service initiatives to address these challenges. these service initiatives will form the heart of your service plan. Most likely, existing initiatives and new ideas will have started to surface during step 2. each city will likely have a unique set of service initiatives, many of which will fall into one of two categories: • initiatives that impact specific challenges within priority need areas, known as Impact Service Initiatives; and • initiatives that address cross-cutting service challenges, known as Infrastructure Initiatives. as mentioned earlier, one of the most exciting aspects of cities of service is the ability to channel volunteer activities to the priority need areas and specific challenges that are most important to your city. Mayors are immersed in local problems and the business of service delivery every day, which means that cities of service coalition members are uniquely positioned to prove that service can be a serious strategy employed by municipalities to achieve measurable impact in existing and emerging priority areas. both Impact Service Initiatives and Infrastructure Initiatives can be: • expansions of existing efforts that already align with your priority need areas and specific challenges; and • implemented through partnerships with nonprofit organizations and city agencies. cities will also develop new ideas and initiatives by soliciting ideas and proposals from a range of stakeholders.

rESoUrCES

Please view the enclosed CD for resources available for Step 3: Develop a clear and concrete set of initiatives.
• 3a. initiative proposal template • 3b. sample criteria and assessment matrix • 3c. initiative plan template • 3D. information on state service commissions and corporation state offices • 3e. summary worksheet: step 3

“America’s cities face similar challenges trying to balance budgets while providing needed services for their citizens. Not only is volunteering the right thing to do, encouraging volunteerism is the smart thing for mayors to do.”

Mayor JohN pEytoN JacKsoNville, fl

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StEp 3a:

Methods of gathering ideas: • collect ideas, thoughts, and suggestions from the focus groups and the surveys/questionnaires in step 2 and follow up with organizations or individuals to develop proposals. • hold one or more brainstorming sessions of your project team focused on specific or cross-cutting challenges. • circulate a call for existing initiatives and new ideas to city agencies and any other relevant organizations, attaching the proposal template and providing a submission deadline. • review existing successful programs to determine whether they could be scaled up or adapted to increasingly meet priority needs and service challenges. • hold targeted brainstorming sessions with city agencies that are leaders in your priority need areas (e.g., Department of education on education) and/or with volunteer-using organizations that specialize in your priority need areas. • connect with other cities of service members. • check out the initiatives in the NYc service plan at nyc.gov/service.

Generate ideas and gather proposals
based on the specific and cross-cutting challenges identified in step 2, you can now start the process of soliciting and developing a set of service initiatives to address these challenges. if useful, you can capture each existing, new, or adapted idea in the initiative proposal template included in the resource supplement. at the end of this step, the goal is to have a number of feasible proposals that address each of the specific challenges and cross-cutting challenges that you have identified. ideally you will want to collect more proposals than you plan to implement, so that you can analyze the proposals and identify the initiatives with the highest potential impact (using step 3b to select and prioritize).

exhibit 2 Select nyc Service initiativeS
Below left reiterates three NYC Service need areas and challenges identified in Step 2. Below right is an illustration of corresponding NYC Service Initiatives based on the need areas and challenges identified in Step 2.
NYC Service

ObjeCtive 1 –Agree on priority need areas ObjeCtive 2– Identify specif ic challenges within each priority need area ObjeCtive 3 – Identify cross-cutting challenges

education providing struggling middle school students with needed support

environment reducing the city’s carbon footprint expanding and increasing green space throughout the city

health ensuring vulnerable populations get flu shots securing sufficient numbers of blood donors reducing obesity levels

volunteer-using organizations don’t have the capacity they need to manage volunteers and are forced to turn away volunteers it is not as easy as it should be for New Yorkers to find a service opportunity

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cities of service playbook

StEp 3b:

starter list of assessment criteria: • feasibility – Financial, human, and political capital required. – ease of execution. – length of time required to achieve impact. – proof of concept (i.e., existing initiative that has demonstrated success). – Clear and committed owner. • impact – Clear link to impact on priority need areas, helping the mayor or city manager make progress against existing or emerging priorities. – potential to reach significant scale. – level of innovation. – ability to attract new volunteers. starter list of filters: • risk – legal risk—if we decide to go ahead, are there any legal risks connected with the initiative? – execution risk—if we decide to go ahead, what is the risk of failure? • time to impact – Will the impact of this initiative likely be achieved in the short-term or long-term? • balance of initiatives – does my portfolio of initiatives have an appropriate balance from each of the city’s priority need areas?

Set criteria, assess and select initiatives
once you have solicited and developed a number of ideas and suggestions, the next step is to begin to assess and narrow down your set of potential service initiatives. at the end of this step, you will have evaluated and selected a set of initiatives based on the criteria you choose. a starter list of assessment criteria is provided here. these initiatives will still only be described at the level of detail required in the proposal template; chosen initiatives will be developed in greater detail in step 3c. You can manage the process of evaluating and prioritizing initiatives in any number of ways. one approach is to circulate initiative proposals to a decision-making group and ask them to map each initiative onto a 2 x 2 assessment matrix that compares feasibility and impact (based on the agreed-upon criteria). a starter list of assessment criteria is included here and a sample matrix is included in the resource supplement. in most cases, you will prioritize initiatives that are both highly feasible and likely to achieve high impact. after completing this exercise, but before you finalize your portfolio of initiatives, you should also apply filters such as the amount of risk involved in particular initiatives, the distribution of initiatives among your priority need areas, the balance of initiatives that have short-term versus long-term impact, and so on. a starter list of filters is included here.

NYC Service

priOrity need areaS impaCt ServiCe initiativeS

education Middle school Mentors

environment NYc cool roofs

health flu fighters blood Drive

Million trees NYc shape up

infraStruCture initiativeS

civic corps

central service website and volunteer 311

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StEp 3C:

Provide further detail on chosen initiatives
in this step, you develop your chosen initiatives in greater detail. the initiative plan template provides one format for collecting additional information. cities will need time to fully develop their initiative plans and work out particular sticking points. for initiatives that aim to expand on existing efforts, you will often be working with the existing operator to figure out what is needed to grow the impact of the work. for new ideas, you will essentially be writing a short business plan in order to figure out how the initiative will get off the ground and continue to operate. there will be a lot of meetings in this phase and a lot of new learning, so do not be afraid to abandon or add initiatives if necessary. a key element of this part of the work is identifying the “owner” of an initiative. in some cases, the service office or point person will assume responsibility for developing, executing, and measuring the impact of an initiative. in most cases though, a partner—another city agency or nonprofit organization—will be the owner. the owner will need to be clear on their responsibilities and the reporting mechanisms by which they will share initiative information with the mayor’s office. the corporation for National and community service can be an invaluable resource as you develop your initiatives. the corporation engages more than five million americans in service each year through its americorps, senior corps, and learn and serve america programs. as the nation’s largest grantmaker for service and volunteering, the

corporation builds the capacity of america’s nonprofit sector and expands the reach and impact of volunteers in addressing pressing social problems. beyond its program support, the corporation offers training, research, and volunteer recognition programs. the corporation supports collaboration among national, state, and local entities through its state offices and in partnership with state service commissions. corporation state offices can provide technical assistance as well as help you access national service funding. for example, to create the NYc civic corps—NYc service’s largest initiative—New York city partnered with the corporation for National and community service to place americorps vista members in nonprofits and public agencies that wanted to use more volunteers, more effectively. corps members were dispatched in teams to help organizations develop sustainable volunteer programs that aligned with New York’s priority need areas. accessing federal funding was crucial to the development and implementation of this initiative. state service commissions are another great resource. located in every state but south Dakota, state service commissions are charged with promoting service and volunteering in their states. among other things, they provide grants to americorps and other national service programs and they offer training and technical assistance to build the capacity of the volunteer sector. a complete list of corporation state offices and state service commissions is included in the resource supplement.

“Mayors are answering the President’s call to service—from every corner of the country, on both sides of the aisle, and in exciting numbers. Mayors, who work at the front line day in and day out addressing local challenges, represent a new force at the front lines of the citizen service movement.”

Mayor MiChaEl r. blooMbErg NeW YorK, NY

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exampLeS Of nyC ServiCe initiativeS
The full set of NYC initiatives in the NYC Service plan can be found at nyc.gov/service.

priority need area: Environment Specific challenge: Reducing the city’s carbon footprint example initiative: NYC Cool Roofs—Homes and buildings are responsible for roughly 70% of New York City’s carbon footprint. Painting a dark roof white or silver can reduce roof temperatures by as much as 60 degrees and indoor temperatures by 10 to 20 degrees. That means big energy savings for owners and reduced greenhouse emissions. Through the Cool Roofs program, NYC Service works closely with building owners and other partners to plan and coordinate efforts for roof painting. To date, 100,000 square feet have been painted.

priority need area: Education Specific challenge: Providing struggling middle school students with needed support example initiative: Middle school mentors—The middle school years are a critical time for youth, and mentors are a proven intervention to help these students remain connected to the classroom. The Department of Education is establishing a program that will connect volunteer mentors with at-risk students in many of the highestneed middle schools.

croSS-cutting challenge: Making it easier for citizens to find meaningful service opportunities example initiative: Central Service website—A new website (nyc.gov/ service) was developed to serve as a one-stop shop for volunteers to locate and access volunteer opportunities. It includes enhanced search and matching capabilities, and elevates and actively promotes opportunities that address specific priority need areas. Since its launch, the website has attracted more than 400 new organizations and connected thousands of volunteers to new opportunities.

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4. deFine hOW YOU Will MeasUre the iMpaCt OF YOUr serviCe initiatives

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cities of service playbook

step 4
as part of step 3, you identified what you would measure for each individual service initiative. this step outlines one approach to bringing those measures together to form a measurement plan. efforts to track the impact of volunteerism are often inconsistent. traditionally, tracking has focused on inputs: the number of volunteers involved or the number of volunteer hours contributed. cities of service seeks to take that work to the next level by focusing on the impact of the volunteer activity, such as the number of middle school students with a mentor or the number of trees planted in city parks. translating effort into impact is an important and valuable exercise. tracking information about impact will allow you to: • Determine whether your cities of service efforts are having a real impact on city needs and challenges, giving you the information required to adjust and adapt your approach effectively. • communicate your successes and challenges in specific, fact-based terms such as this example from NYc service: “in just the past few months, NYc service volunteers have painted 100,000 square feet of city roofs white as part of an effort that will eventually transform more than one million square feet of city roofs and have a significant impact on the city’s carbon footprint.” • Make a compelling case to funders and partners that are interested in solving a specific problem in the city (e.g., improving education outcomes, reducing homelessness) and increasingly interested in outcome measures. • appeal to the corporation for National and community service and its appropriate state offices for national service funding. a full list of these offices is included in the resource supplement. • expand the evidence base for effective volunteer engagement strategies. in developing a measurement plan, cities should consider three types of metrics: • Impact metrics for Impact Service Initiatives (e.g., number of at-risk sixth to eighth graders with a stable mentor relationship). • Participation metrics for Impact Service Initiatives (e.g., number of volunteers participating in a mentoring initiative). • Other relevant metrics for Infrastructure Initiatives (e.g., traffic level on a volunteer-matching website). further detail on these types of metrics is provided on the following page.

rESoUrCES

Please view the enclosed CD for resources available for Step 4: Define how you will measure the impact of your service initiatives.
• 4a. Measurement plan worksheet • 4b. summary worksheet: step 4

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exhibit 3 Select nyc Service metricS
Below is an illustration of NYC Service metrics based on initiatives developed in Step 3.
NYC Service

priOrity need areaS impaCt metriCS fOr impaCt ServiCe initiativeS

education Number of at-risk sixth to eighth graders with a mentor

environment square feet of roof painted

health Number of New Yorkers receiving flu shots Number of blood donors

Number of trees planted Number attending shape up classes

metriCS fOr infraStruCture initiativeS

Number of new volunteer opportunities created by NYc civic corps members

Number of unique visitors to nyc.gov/service

impact metrics for impact Service initiatives impact metrics align with each chosen initiative. a number of examples from NYc service are included in the table at the top of page 19. generally, the owner of each initiative would be responsible for tracking metrics and regularly reporting on progress to the chief service officer or equivalent staff. participation metrics for impact Service initiatives for each Impact Service Initiative, cities may also want to track participation by initiative and/or for their efforts overall. these figures will give a sense of how many volunteers are engaged in addressing priority need areas through cities of service. tracking volunteers, rather than volunteer hours, may result in some counting of duplicate volunteers (e.g., if the same volunteer participates in multiple initiatives). however, cities are asked to use their best judgment as to which participation metric is best suited to their purposes and tracking abilities. cities may want to ensure that whatever participation metric they do choose is consistent across initiatives so that they can be aggregated into one overall participation metric. example participation metrics include: • Number of volunteers participating in each Impact Service Initiative. • Number of volunteer hours contributed to each Impact Service Initiative. • Number of volunteers involved in all Impact Service Initiatives—aggregate number for the overall cities of service effort.

• Number of volunteer hours contributed to all Impact Service Initiatives—aggregate number for the overall cities of service effort. again, the owner of the initiative would generally be responsible for tracking metrics and regularly reporting on progress to the chief service officer or equivalent. Metrics for infrastructure initiatives cities will often want to include metrics for Infrastructure Initiatives as well, in order to measure their success and support decisions about their expansion or closure. a few sample metrics for NYc service are included on the next page. in many cases, the initiative owner can either track the metrics directly or do so by administering a brief survey. again, metrics are a critical part of what distinguishes cities of service efforts. Which specific metrics each city chooses to track will of course vary from city to city, and cities should also give due consideration to how frequently they want to track and/or publish the metrics they agree upon. it is worth noting that this guide does not mention tracking overall levels of participation in volunteering or the number of hours contributed to service citywide beyond the reach of cities of service initiatives. the indicators outlined here reflect the central goals of cities of service, namely that volunteer efforts should increasingly focus on priority need areas and should be able to demonstrate positive impact on those needs. for those cities that do wish to track overall participation numbers, some will be able to leverage the volunteering in america report (volunteeringinamerica.gov), which tracks participation data for select cities across the u.s.

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cities of service playbook

exampLe metriCS fOr impaCt ServiCe initiativeS, nyC ServiCe
nyc Service initiative
Block Beautification Legal Services Provide resources to encourage New Yorkers to transform their blocks and neighborhoods Engage lawyers in volunteer opportunities to provide New Yorkers in need with pro-bono legal services across a range of issues Identify new mentors to pair with at-risk middle school students Drive greater volunteer participation in Million Trees NYC to help meet goal of one million new trees in NYC by 2017 Launch program to engage volunteers in lowering energy bills and decreasing the city’s carbon footprint Recruit and train volunteers to educate and encourage their friends and neighbors to get flu shots, and to staff vaccination clinics Encourage volunteers to donate blood to ensure that hospital needs can be met Expand existing CPR training programs through volunteer CPR trainers to reach more New Yorkers

metricS
Number of city blocks transformed Number of New Yorkers in need that receive legal counseling Number of at-risk sixth to eighth graders with a mentor Number of trees planted

Middle School Mentors Million Trees NYC

NYC Cool Roofs Flu Fighters

Square feet of roof painted

Number of New Yorkers receiving flu shots

Blood Drive

Number of blood donors

CPR Training

Number of new New Yorkers trained in CPR

exampLe metriCS fOr infraStruCture initiativeS, nyC ServiCe
nyc Service initiative
NYC Civic Corps Train teams of AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers to create and manage impact volunteer programs for nonprofits and public agencies throughout the city Provide technical assistance to principals to help develop and execute plans for incorporating service in schools Launch a new and improved nyc.gov/service website with increased functionality and search capabilities

metricS
Number of new volunteer opportunities created by NYC Civic Corps members Number of schools with service plans Number of unique visitors to nyc.gov/service

Service in Schools New service website

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5. ClariFY and aGree On neXt steps

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cities of service playbook

step 5
this step aims to help ensure that everything is in order for the rollout of your service initiatives and service plan. a template for a high-level action plan is provided in the resource supplement and includes components to track your final set of initiatives as well as a number of critical pieces of information such as the owner responsible for driving each initiative forward, expected start dates, required resources, and so on. this is the summary sheet you can use to capture everything your city has agreed to do and provide a rough map for the road ahead. once completed, this action plan can form the basis of more detailed implementation plans and budgets as needed. Most cities will require these more detailed plans and budgets at some point in their process, but since formats and requirements for these will vary from city to city, we have not provided templates for those in the cities of service playbook.

rESoUrCES

Please view the enclosed CD for resources available for Step 5: Clarify and agree on next steps.
• 5a. action plan template

“Small acts of everyday heroes bring communities together and help individuals through difficult times. If Americans, and especially our young people, do their part and answer the call to service, cities across this country will support their efforts and help them contribute to the greater good.”

Mayor aNtoNio villaraigoSa los aNgeles, ca

hoW to Develop a high-iMpact service plaN

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6. PUBLISH YOUR PLAN ANd PREPARE FOR LAUNCH

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cities of service playbook

step 6
Now that you have completed the work of defining your service initiatives, you can pull it all together into a service plan that you can share with your city, as well as with other Cities of service. While all Cities of service plans will differ in their content and layout, a sample service plan outline is included to serve as a starting point for your discussions. Once your plan is complete, it will be the guiding document for your mayor’s service efforts. the NYC service plan is available for download at nyc.gov/service and as other member cities publish their plans, Cities of service looks forward to sharing links to their service plans at citiesofservice.org. In order to build momentum around service, cities may also choose to host a public launch event once the service plan is complete. this can serve to draw attention to service needs, highlight city organizations and agencies that have been partners in creating the service plan, and energize new and existing volunteers. the coalition looks forward to hearing about many of these events over the course of the coming months and years.

RESOURCES

Please view the enclosed CD for resources available for Step 6: Publish your plan and prepare for launch.
• 6A. sample service plan outline

“Thanks to the precedent set by President Obama and my colleagues in the Cities of Service coalition, the momentum behind service is reaching unprecedented heights.”

MayOR adRian FEnty WAshINgtON, D.C.

hOW tO DevelOp A hIgh-ImpACt servICe plAN

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cities of service is committed to supporting

its member cities in the development of their service plans, and the coalition looks forward to expanding the range of tools and examples available on citiesofservice.org over the coming months and years. please feel free to share any feedback or new tools, ideas, and examples by contacting the coalition at: info@citiesofservice.org.

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cities of service playbook

DESIGN : SUK A, NY / SUK ACRE ATIVE.COM

info@citiesofservice.org