Who We Are

For almost four decades there has been an acknowledgement by the State of Texas of the critical importance of civic engagement to the strength of our communities. From the creation of the Texas Center for Volunteer Action in 1976 to the formation of its eventual successor, OneStar Foundation in 2004, Texas has maintained its support of a strong nonprofit sector. Today, OneStar Foundation is recognized state-wide as the voice of the sector, a neutral convener and a respected business partner to foundations, state agencies, and the business community. We invite you to learn more about our rich history:

1976 – Texas Center for Volunteer Action Created

Governor Dolph Briscoe (D) established the Texas Center for Volunteer Action during the mid-1970s through Executive Order DB-22.


1977 – Governor's Volunteer Leadership Conference Inaugural Year

The Governor's Volunteer Leadership Conference was created by Governor Dolph Briscoe to provide training for volunteer leaders across the state of Texas.


1979 – Governor's Office for Volunteer Services Created

The Governor's Office for Volunteer Services was created by Governor William Clements (R). Governor Briscoe's Executive Order DB-22 was repealed and replaced by Governor Clements' Executive Order WPC-8 in August of 1979. Clements charged the center with such responsibilities as to support, encourage, and assist volunteer efforts in the state; to develop public awareness of its ability to solve problems through volunteer action; to develop and expand the use of volunteers within state agencies and institutions to lessen the burdens of government; to facilitate the sharing of resources, ideas, and information on volunteerism within and between public and private agencies; to work with local communities to determine priorities and mobilize local resources accordingly; and to promote public policy to enhance voluntary action.

The office also ran the Texas Volunteer Council and was divided into several subsections, namely the Runaway Hotline, Pierre the Texas Pelican, the Beautify Texas Council, Texas Volunteers for Immunization Action, Texas Women's Employment and Education, and the Office of Refugee Resettlement (for Indochinese refugees).


1983 – Governor's Volunteer Awards Created

The Governor's Volunteer Awards were created by Governor Mark White (D) to recognize outstanding volunteer service across the state of Texas.


1983-1986 Office of Community Leadership Created

Governor Mark White created the Office of Community Leadership (OCL) as an umbrella organization for a variety of programs already existing within the Office of the Governor. Programs that came under the auspices of the OCL included Volunteer Services, Governor's Commission for Women, Citizens Assistance Program, Texas Crime Victim Clearinghouse, Runaway Hotline, Governor's Juvenile Justice Education Project, Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU), and Communities in Schools.

By 1986, the office had become known as the Governor's Office on Community Leadership/Volunteer Services.


1987 – Continued Work of Governor's Office on Community Leadership/Volunteer Services

William P. Clements (R), during his second term as Governor of Texas, expanded the responsibilities of the Governor's Office on Community Leadership/Volunteer Services to include the following functions: to support, encourage, and assist volunteer efforts within the state; to promote volunteer efforts at the national level; to give greater public recognition and visibility to volunteer efforts and to develop public knowledge of the benefits of volunteerism; to develop and expand the use of volunteers within state agencies and institutions to lessen the burden of government; to facilitate the sharing of resources, knowledge, policy, and best practices related to volunteerism; to encourage collaborative efforts involving volunteers across sectors; to assist with assessing community needs and mobilization of volunteer resources within and between the public and private sector; to work with local communities to determine their needs and to mobilize local resources; to serve as a liaison between the Governor's Office and other sectors surrounding volunteerism; to monitor state and federal legislation affecting volunteers and women; to assist with the coordination of the Texas Volunteer Action Centers; to support and recognize volunteers and volunteer efforts on a statewide level (e.g. co-sponsoring the Texas Volunteer Conference, presenting the Governor's Awards for Outstanding Volunteer Service and awarding Certificates of Appreciation to outstanding volunteers across Texas.)


1993 – AmeriCorps and Corporation for National and Community Service Created

President Bill Clinton (D) signed the National Community Service Trust Act of 1993 (Act). This legislation merged existing entities addressing national service, ACTION, and the Office of National Service in the White House, into a new agency called the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). The Act also, for the first time in our country's history, attached an Education Award to national service through a new program, AmeriCorps. At its inception, the CNCS was directed to manage the following programs: AmeriCorps, which incorporated the longstanding VISTA program; the newly created Senior Corps, which incorporated the existing Foster Grandparents, Retired and Senior Volunteer, and Senior Companion Programs; the new National Civilian Community Corps program which had been established as a demonstration program in 1990; and Learn and Serve America, formerly known as Serve!America. Prior to passage of the Act, national service funding was applied for collaboratively in 1992 by the Texas Education Agency, the Texas Department of Commerce, and the Texas Department of Health under the Serve!America program.


1994 – Governor RichardsTexas State Commission for National and Community Service Formed

In response to the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993, Governor Ann Richards (D), by Executive Order AWR 94-15, established the Texas State Commission for National and Community Service to enable the state to apply for federal funds for AmeriCorps*State programs. The Texas State Commission for National and Community Service was designated to serve as the state's administrative vehicle under the Act, and to oversee Texas' participation in programs authorized and appropriated by the Corporation for National and Community Service. Later, the name of the Commission was changed to the Texas Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service (TxCVCS).


1995 – House Bill 1863

The Texas Legislature, through House Bill 1863, required that federal volunteer programs be administered by the Texas Workforce Commission.


1996 Texas Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service moved into the Texas Workforce Commission

In response to House Bill 1863, Governor George W. Bush (R), through Executive Order GWB 96-9, moved the TxCVCS into the Texas Workforce Commission, and placed it under the authority of the Division of Workforce Development.


1996 – Governor's Advisory Task Force on Faith-Based and Community Service Groups Created

Governor Bush created an Advisory Task Force on Faith-Based and Community Service Groups in May 1996 to (1) survey Texas' legal and regulatory landscape to identify obstacles to faith-based groups, and (2) recommend ways Texas can create an environment in which these groups can thrive, free of regulations that dilute the "faith factor." The task force was comprised of 16 clergy and volunteer leaders from across Texas. This diverse body diverse theologically, denominationally, ethnically and geographically presented a written report, Faith in Action and recommendations to Governor Bush.

In December 1996, the Governor issued Executive Order GWB 96-10 directing state agencies to begin aggressive implementation of President Bill Clinton's (D) landmark "charitable choice" provision of the federal welfare law, which invites private and religious charities to deliver welfare services while at the same time guarding the religious integrity of participating groups and religious freedom of beneficiaries.


1998 – Governor's Mentoring Initiative Established

In 1998, Governor George W. Bush signed an Executive Order establishing the Governor's Mentoring Initiative (GMI) and placed it under the direction of the Texas Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service. Mentoring was one of the Governor's five targeted initiatives for youth. GMI's primary purpose was to promote, develop and support high-quality mentoring programs in Texas.


1999 – Expansion of Texas Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service

In 1999, Governor George W. Bush, through Executive Order GWB 99-1, continued and expanded the work of the Texas Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service within the Texas Workforce Commission's Division of Workforce Development. The Commission was charged with:

Serving as the state's liaison to the Corporation for National and Community Service, applying for funding under the Act, and overseeing Texas' participation in the relevant programs;

Providing technical assistance, education, information, and other support to Texas' extensive volunteer community and to build the capacity of Texas' volunteerism and community service infrastructure;

Promoting innovative programs and best practice initiatives that address Texas' educational, public safety, human, and environmental needs;

Collaborating with faith-based and private charities, community-based groups, voluntary associations, educational entities, and other organizations to promote volunteerism and community service, and;

Assuming the functions of the Governor's Office of Volunteerism; preparation and presentation of the annual Governor's Volunteer Leadership Conference and Governor's Volunteer Awards; coordination of the statewide activities of the Texas Pledge – Keeping America's Promise; coordination of the statewide Texas Mentoring Initiative; promotion of activities related to the Lone Star Leaders initiative; promotion and support of youth service and youth service leadership through youth service councils; and the support of volunteerism-related efforts throughout Texas.


2003 – OneStar Foundation Established

In 2003, the 78th Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 1183, which removed the requirement that federal volunteer programs be administered by the Texas Workforce Commission. In response to this, on December 22, 2003, Governor Rick Perry (R) established, by way of Executive Order RP-30, "that the Texas Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service be dissolved and the OneStar National Service Commission (OSNSC) be designated as the state's commission under the Act." The newly formed OSNSC was placed under the administration of the OneStar Foundation, a Texas nonprofit corporation with the purpose of "furthering volunteerism and community service in the State of Texas."

The Governor's Mentoring Initiative, Governor's Volunteer Leadership Conference and Governor's Volunteer Awards were placed under the authority and administration of the OneStar Foundation. The Governor's Faith-Based and Community Initiative was newly added to the state's focus on volunteerism and community service.


2004 – OneStar Assumes Authority

On January 1, 2004, OneStar Foundation assumed authority and administration of the State of Texas' programs and initiatives supporting volunteerism and community service.


2006 – The Legacy Lives

In 2006, Texas celebrated a thirty-year legacy of our state government's support of volunteerism and community service. Social sector organizations, the majority of which rely on volunteers to fulfill their mission, provide vital services within local communities to meet the health and human resource needs of many of our neighbors. OneStar's mission expanded to include the strengthening the social sector by identifying, connecting and equipping people, organizations and government with resources to more effectively respond in times of emergencies and disasters.


2008 – OneStar's Evolution

In 2008, OneStar reorganized into four focus areas and evolved into OneStar Foundation: Texas Center for Social Impact to more efficiently continue its legacy and commitment to strengthen nonprofit organization. Service and Volunteerism managed Texas' national volunteer programs and engaged them to create community-wide approaches to address social issues. Nonprofit Organizational Excellence implemented strategies on improving operations, performance and end results. Studies created and provided by Research, Evaluation and Learning reported valuable information about nonprofit sector best practices and policies. Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship encouraged nonprofits to establish long term strategies and creative approaches to accomplishing their missions.


2009

During the 81st Regular Session, the Texas Legislature passed and the Governor signed HB 492. This ground breaking legislation made Texas the first state in the country to actively create a collaborative and cooperative environment between state agencies and faith-based and community organizations (FBCO). The law required an Interagency Coordinating Group (ICG) of representatives from 15 state agencies to collaborate on partnership opportunities between state agencies and faith-based and community organizations. OneStar was named as a member of the ICG chaired by the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC). The legislation also established a new state account, known as the Renewing Our Communities Account, to fund grants and training to strengthen the capacity of nonprofit organizations.


2011

Serious state budget cuts in the 82nd Legislature prompted a reorganization; however, OneStar used our research on the sector to strategically position the organization to take a leading role in strengthening the nonprofit sector. The multi-phase study, Analysis of the Texas Nonprofit Infrastructure and Capacity-Building Resources, by Angela Bies, Ph.D., Bush School of Government & Public Service, Texas A&M University, May 2011, identified a resounding need for “formal networks and alliances to increase coordination and communication across the sector; creating an online data base for information sharing; expanding nonprofit infrastructure provision in underserved areas; and advocating for nonprofit sector funding.” As a result, our work with individual nonprofits was refocused as we began to fill a greater need to connect, promote and convene across the sector. During this realignment, OneStar also embraced a new mission and vision: OneStar Foundation connects partners and resources to build a stronger nonprofit sector in Texas; OneStar Foundation envisions Texas having the strongest, most effective nonprofit sector in the country. In alignment with this new mission, the Legislature passed HB 1965 during the 82nd Regular Session which added an additional 10 agencies to the Interagency Coordinating Group, with 25 state agencies total, and named OneStar as the chair.


2012

OneStar Foundation officially launches the Nonprofit Management Alliance of Texas (NMAT) with support from the Meadows Foundation. NMAT was born out of the mutli-phase Bush School Study to support the coordination of nonprofit management support organizations (MSOs) in Texas. The Texas Connector on-line geo-mapping tool is launched as a resource to nonprofits, government, foundations and others interested in strengthening the nonprofit sector. After year one, this social enterprise is expected to generate revenue to support upgrades, the inclusion of new data sources, and research on the nonprofit sector.