We designed and built a network of websites to help cities around the country leverage volunteerism to address local problems and challenges. This network is a Cities of Service initiative, a bi-partisan coalition of mayors of large and small cities from across our country. Over 100 cities are now part of the Cities of Service coalition.
This online framework allows member cities to engage with their local organizations and volunteers. Building a website within the framework is simple. Intuitive tools allow each city to apply their branding and style guidelines to their site.
Each city can craft an overall message regarding service in their communities. Local organizations, once approved, are then encouraged to submit volunteer opportunities, which the city can prioritize in accordance with the city’s identified needs and priorities.
For example, one of Nashville’s service priorities is the environment. The city can now highlight and prioritize submitted volunteer opportunities that align with storm water management and flood mitigation. These volunteer efforts, as envisioned, may prevent a future flood similar to the destructive 2010 floods.
Rather than creating individual sites for each city, a more strategic and cost effective approach was adopted. The Cities of Service Online Network is a multi-site solution in which each city website is an “account.” Updates and changes can be applied easily to all city websites saving time and resources while reducing maintenance and code management costs over time.
trained in CPR
carbon footprint reduction
serving in schools
NYC Service channels volunteers to New York City’s greatest needs. To date, over 1.4 million volunteers have participated in NYC Service initiatives such as helping neighbors and communities affected by the recession to education and public health, emergency preparedness, and sustainability.
of debris removed
of waterways cleared
After the disastrous Nashville floods of 2010 that caused up to 2.5 billion dollars in damage, the city of Nashville made the environment a top service priority. Impact Nashville, a Cities of Service member, strategically used volunteers for the planting of 800 new trees, creation of rain gardens, removal of 65 tons of debris, clearing of 21 miles of waterways, and home energy retrofitting. It is envisioned that these efforts will help the city recover from the flood and mitigate a future catastrophe.
working with young people
high school graduates by 2015
college graduates by 2018
As Mayor of Philadelphia, Michael Nutter has committed his administration to increase the city’s high school graduation rate to 80% by 2015 and to double the percentage of college graduates from 18% to 36% by 2018. To get there, the Graduation Coach Campaign was created.
Serve Philadelphia, a Cities of Service member, has been supporting this campaign by heavily publicizing this initiative on their website and recruiting graduation coaches.
Now a year into the implementation of the plan, over 1,500 Graduation Coaches are working with young people. The campaign wants to double that number in the second year.
trained in CPR
The American Heart Association and the City of Houston Volunteer Initiatives Program have teamed up to create the “Everyone Can Be a Lifesaver” initiative. This initiative’s mission is to teach Houstonians what to do in a cardiac emergency and when and how to administer hands-only CPR. Between March and November of 2011, “Everyone Can Be a Lifesaver” trained 1,500 Houstonians using the American Heart Association’s innovative CPR Anytime curriculum.
The data collected from each of these training events has shown:
Catch the Spirit is an ongoing campaign by the City of Detroit and Believe in Detroit, a Cities of Service member, to reduce urban blight by mobilizing block clubs and neighborhood associations to adopt public spaces and increase neighborhood greenery. On August 6, 2011, Arise Detroit! Neighborhood Day brought together thousands of volunteers in a grassroots effort to beautify the city.