Recognizing the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 by issuing a challenge to organizations to bring Americans together in the same spirit of compassion, unity, & service.


Beginning in 2002, family members who lost loved ones in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and support groups began to seek a forward-looking tribute to honor the sacrifice of those lost and pay tribute to those who rose in service in response to the tragedy. By encouraging Americans to participate in service and remembrance activities on the 9/11 anniversary, family members wanted to provide a productive and respectful way to honor those who perished and rekindle the spirit of unity and compassion that swept our nation after 9/11 to help meet the challenges we face today.

Because of their efforts to build support for this idea, September 11 has been designated a National Day of Service and Remembrance. The 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance was established into law by the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act in 2009, and is consistent with President Obama’s overall call to service, United We Serve.

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is recognizing the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 by issuing a challenge to organizations to bring Americans together in the same spirit of compassion, unity, and service as so many have after the attacks. The Corporation challenges organizations to effectively engage individuals in service to their communities during the National Day of Service and Remembrance. Service activities should honor those who died and those who have served because of the tragedies of 9/11, and include a time of reflection and remembrance. Projects should be implemented on or near September 11, 2011 and clearly be linked to the observance of the September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance.

Eligible organizations are encouraged to submit a Concept Paper (described below) that details their plans for the September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance including how they will challenge their community to join them in service on 9/11/2011. Based upon the number of volunteers engaged by applicants during their 2011 events, selected organizations will receive awards to be used to promote and implement greater levels of engagement in future September 11 National Days of Service and Remembrance (2012 – 2014). The Corporation will award a total of approximately $500,000 through approximately 10-15 awards ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 to organizations that achieve the highest level of volunteer engagement within an established competitive pool (to be determined by the Corporation based upon approved submissions). Awards under this challenge are NOT for the purpose of financing or reimbursing programs for September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance activities in 2011.

Eligibility:

The challenge is open to organizations which meet the definition of a “nonprofit” under section 198S(a)(3) of the National and Community Service Act, (42 U.S.C. 12653s(a)(3)).This includes most charitable organizations, states, local governments (and other political subdivisions), tribes, as well as certain faith-based organizations and educational institutions. State Service Commissions are not eligible.

Eligibility and Review Criteria:

Submissions will be evaluated to ensure that the submitting organization is eligible for this challenge and that the Concept Paper complies with the Specifications of this challenge.  Compliant Concept Papers will be evaluated on the appropriateness of the commemorative nature of their service project, and the soundness of their proposed method of documenting volunteer engagement.

The Corporation will divide all approved Concept Papers into 10 -15 competitive pools, based upon the anticipated scope of volunteer engagement and the locations of the service activities.  Each competitive pool will be assigned a challenge award amount.  In establishing the pools, the Corporation will seek to maximize the number of geographic locations receiving challenge awards, ensure that pools are appropriately competitive, and to match the amount of challenge awards with the levels of volunteer engagement achieved. 

View full rules

Prizes

$10,000 Challenge Recipient (5)
$10,000

$10,000 grant to support expansion and growth of September 11 Day of Remembrance and Service Projects.

$25,000 Challenge Recipient (4)
$25,000

$25,000 grant to support expansion and growth of September 11 Day of Remembrance and Service Projects.

$50,000 Challenge Recipient (3)
$50,000

$50,000 grant to support expansion and growth of September 11 Day of Remembrance and Service Projects.

$100,000 Challenge Recipient (2)
$100,000

$100,000 grant to support expansion and growth of September 11 Day of Remembrance and Service Projects.

Judges

Panel of CNCS Officials.

Panel of CNCS Officials.

Judging Criteria

  • Selection Criteria:
    Final prize determinations will be based on the number of volunteers engaged with the competitive pools, as verified by the Corporation.

How to enter

Eligible entities are required to submit a Concept Paper of up to 1000 words that describes their September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance activities planned for 2011. Concept Papers that exceed 1000 words will not be accepted. Concept Papers must be submitted in the narrative field.  Projects will be evaluated solely on their Concept Papers. 

The description of the activities to be implemented should include:

  • The names of all organizations that will be involved in the service activity;
  • How the service activity will:
    •  address a community need or challenge and
    • commemorate the losses on September 11, 2001 and honor the service and sacrifices of those who have responded since that day;
  • The number of volunteers expected;
  • What volunteers are expected to accomplish through their service;  and
  • Information about how you will promote the Day of Service and Remembrance.

The narrative must also clearly and concisely describe how the organization will track and document the number of volunteers who served in this project (excluding those who perform only a nominal level of service activity). Documentation must be maintained in a manner that would allow the Corporation to verify the numbers of volunteers. Qualifying submissions/organizations will be asked to submit the number of total volunteers who served with their project(s) by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on September 14, 2011. 

Eligible entities must specify their organizational name and type of organization [examples include, but are not limited to: 501(c)(3); school, college or university; local, county, state or municipal government; faith based, nonprofit or foundation].  All organizations must enter their EIN in the appropriate field of Challenge.gov.

 

Specifications:

Submit a Concept Paper of up to 1000 words. The narrative must include:

  • The names of all organizations who will be involved in the service activity;
  • How the service activity will:
    • address a community need or challenge and
    • commemorate the losses on September 11, 2001 and honor the service and sacrifices of those who have responded since that day;
  • The number of volunteers expected;
  • What volunteers are expected to accomplish through their service;  and
  • Information about how you will promote the Day of Service and Remembrance.

Appropriate commemorations show respect and deference to the sacrifice of those lost on 9/11/2001 and pay tribute to those who have risen in service in response to the tragedy.  Commemorations may also include a time of reflection to discuss how the country came together in that time of national tragedy and how your community or organization are addressing local issues through service.  

Volunteer activities for this Day of Service and Remembrance challenge may NOT include: 

  • Providing religious instruction, conducting worship services, or engaging in any form of proselytization;
  • Assisting, promoting, or deterring union organizing;
  • Any activity designed to influence the outcome of an election to Federal office or the outcome of an election to a State or local public office;
  • Impairing existing contracts for services or collective bargaining agreements;
  • Having the sole purpose of referring individuals to Federal assistance programs or
  • State assistance programs funded in part by the Federal Government.

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Technical Assistance Conference Call information:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011
4:00 PM, EDT
Phone: 888-324-7568
Participant pass code: 5192909
 
Replays are generally available one hour after completion of call
Replay phone: 866-511-1889
                Replay end date: August 20, 2011