Federal Volunteerism Policy and the States: An Analysis of Citizen Corps

In his 2002 State of the Union message, President George W. Bush announced the creation of an umbrella citizen service initiative, the USA Freedom Corps, intended to dramatically increase volunteerism. Under this initiative, the Citizen Corps has the central responsibility for mobilizing local volunteers in emergency preparedness and response. Interviews of state officials who will implement Citizen Corps suggest a framework for understanding the success of federal volunteerism initiatives devolved to the state and local levels. Five factors appear important to implementation success: goal clarity, resource availability, promotional activity, management capacity, and the strength of the implementation network.

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About the Authors
Jeffrey L. Brudney, Ph.D., is professor of public administration and co-director of the Institute for Nonprofit Organizations at the University of Georgia. He has written extensively on volunteerism, service delivery and public management.

Beth Gazley, MPA, is a doctoral candidate at the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs. Her research interests include public policy, volunteerism and nonprofit-government relations.

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