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Chapter 1 National Service and Serve Illinois

Serve Illinois Commission


Serve Illinois strengthens communities through volunteerism, national service, and recognition.


We envision an Illinois where the needs of every community are met, and all Illinoisans have the opportunity to give their time, talents, and resources.


Means to Achieving the Vision

The Commission in partnership with BVCS will expand volunteerism throughout the entire state, connecting rural, suburban, and urban communities, and integrating people of all backgrounds, cultures, ages, and abilities. The Commission and BVCS will also embrace and promote the idea that everyone can recognize their ability and responsibility to strengthen our communities through voluntary service.


Serve Illinois Commission:

• Provides guidance and direction to BVCS regarding funding decisions including all AmeriCorps funded programs in Illinois.

• Prepares and updates three-year national service plan for the state of Illinois.

• Prepares a three-year strategic plan in partnership with the BVCS.

• Supports the development of informational materials to increase awareness of volunteers and their organizations.

• Promotes service and volunteerism through awards and other recognition opportunities.

• Supports the coordination of National Days of Service at the state level.

• Promotes awareness of and attendance at training and professional development offerings for volunteers, AmeriCorps Members, and program staff.

• Provides support to the statewide network of volunteer organizations.


BVCS Staff Responsibilities and Support to AmeriCorps State Programs

• Administers federally funded AmeriCorps State programs; this includes selection, oversight, and evaluation of these grant recipients.

• Facilitation of monthly meetings with Program Directors (mandatory for all programs)

• Provision of annual Program Directors trainings (mandatory for all programs)

• Ongoing training opportunities for program directors and support staff

• Provide technical support and assistance to programs on programmatic and fiscal issues

• Provide updates as necessary on emerging program issues and changes

• Program monitoring

For more information and news about the Serve Illinois Commission, and to get a current and complete listing of Commissioners and Staff, go to

Training and Technical Assistance

It is important for volunteer and service programs to succeed and thrive. Critical to the development of the programs is training and access to information that is both timely and comprehensive. The following provides a listing of different levels of training and training resources available for programs.


AmeriCorps Program Trainings

Annual AmeriCorps Program Director Training/Program Orientation

• Held in July/August of each year to coincide with the program start up

• Mandatory for all programs to attend

Monthly Meetings

• Virtual meeting with Illinois AmeriCorps program provider staff (required)

• Sharing of information and opportunity to ask questions

National Service Summit


• Educational component offered for Program Directors, members, and program staff

• Now optional

National Service Criminal History Check eCourse

• The National Service Criminal History Check eCourse has been updated to reflect the May 1, 2021, rule and is now available on Litmos. AmeriCorps grant terms and conditions require grantees to retain the eCourse certificate of completion and assign staff to retake the course annually prior to the expiration of the certificate. Grantees should not allow their training certificate to expire and should ensure they complete the NSCHC eCourse that is available in Litmos. Click here.

ASC Midwest Regional Conference

• ASC provides a conference for AmeriCorps program providers and Commissions annually. The focus of the conference is to improve implementation and goal achievement for AmeriCorps programs in the Midwest. All Illinois AmeriCorps programs are invited and encouraged to attend.

• The date and location of the conference for PY24 is TBD



Litmos is the Learning Management System for the AmeriCorps. For technical support, to request a new account, or assistance accessing these pages using assistive technology email (Password reset only applies to existing accounts). (See the Litmos Getting Started Guide in the Appendix.) The direct link is now

State and Regional Volunteer Conferences

The following opportunities provide volunteer organizations training on capacity building that enhance the skills of volunteer managers, staff, and volunteers. These trainings provide valuable networking opportunities as well as quality professional development opportunities. The following is a listing of those conferences and a link to more information on each. Serve Illinois is a sponsor and part of each of the conference planning committees; however, each event is run independently by a group of individuals. Attendance is not limited by region but intended to be a way to reach more volunteer managers where they are.


Central Illinois Volunteerism Conference (usually in June each year)

• The Central Illinois Volunteerism Conference provides quality professional development opportunities for volunteer managers/administrators that focus on the key areas of a volunteer delivery system including personal readiness, organizational readiness, engagement of volunteers, education of volunteers, and sustainability of volunteer efforts.


Illinois Conference on Volunteer Administration (usually in August each year)

• The Illinois Conference on Volunteer Administration (ICOVA) is a two-day event designed for those who supervise, manage, or otherwise lead volunteers. ICOVA offers professional development and continuing education through conference workshops and keynote speakers focusing on key areas of a volunteer delivery system. ICOVA also provides much needed networking experience with peers in the field.


Northwest Illinois Volunteerism Conference (usually in April each year)

The link for this conference is provided annually as the conference is in the planning stage.

• This is the first volunteerism conference set up for the Serve Illinois Northwest Region which includes Rockford, Freeport, the Illinois Quad Cities and all the areas between. Centrally located in Dixon, this conference was created to provide quality development opportunities and valuable networking experience for anyone who manages, motivates, or mobilizes volunteers to make a difference. Participants will enjoy networking opportunities and a broad variety of learning opportunities with workshop topics that include motivating Baby Boomers, developing meaningful volunteer opportunities, recruiting, and rewarding volunteers, understanding personality traits, and building volunteer disaster preparedness projects.


Southern Illinois Volunteerism Conference

The link for this conference is provided annually as the conference is in the planning stage.

• The Southern Illinois Volunteerism Conference (SIVC) has existed for over 12 years in various forms to provide capacity-building training opportunities to enhance the skills of volunteer leaders and managers in the public, private, and particularly nonprofit, sectors and to provide professional development workshops for volunteers themselves.


Volunteerism National Conference (June 2024, Chicago)

• The Points of Light Conference is a global convening of nonprofit, government business, and civic leaders who connect, collaborate, gain, and share the knowledge and resources needed to galvanize the power of people to create change. It is typically held in the summer timeframe.