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As federal funding for nonprofit agencies has become increasingly uncertain, RSVP projects, which operate under the aegis of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) Senior Corps family, are placing heightened emphasis on uniform reporting standards.

These National Performance Measures (NPM’s) are designed to give legislators, when considering awarding federal funding, an accurate idea of the impact that RSVP projects have on the communities they serve, regardless of their geographic location.

NPM’s are set by CNCS, as are the range of projects that they measure. All project work plans have outputs which track unduplicated RSVP volunteers or volunteer hours, depending upon the activity.

Selected projects report outcomes as well as outputs. Outcomes have become an area of extra attention and are often derived from surveys measuring relative client satisfaction with services provided by RSVP volunteers.

These prime RSVP projects are evaluated, in part, by metrics coming from Outcome-based projects. Currently, more than 100 of the 230 RSVP-Racine volunteers are projected to serve in at least one of three work plans with definable outcomes.

The programs that utilize RSVP-Racine volunteers to promote senior independent living are outcome-based projects under CNCS’ “Healthy Futures — Aging in Place” category: Meals on Wheels, Senior Companion Program Inc. and the Volunteer Center’s MyRIDE senior transportation program.

Since RSVP matches 55-plus volunteers with assignments designed to address documented community challenges such as sustaining independent living, attrition of volunteers, as well as clients, is a constant challenge.

That is why RSVP-Racine is continually recruiting new volunteers, especially for the three independent living projects that concentrate on meal delivery, companionship and senior transportation.

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