What We Do
- Community Resilience (Emergency Preparedness): Provide critical support to the city’s official emergency response effort in the first 72 hours of a crisis. Serve DC recruits and trains District residents to respond and assist during emergencies – ensuring residents play a major role in making their communities safer, stronger and better prepared to address threats of terrorism, crime, and disasters.
- National Service: Serve DC awards more than $4 million in AmeriCorps grants to District-based nonprofit organizations, schools, and universities to strengthen organizational capacity and create and expand programs that fight poverty and advance economic opportunity and academic achievement.
- District Donations Management: Provide technical assistance and donations management training to District agencies subject to the Mayor’s authority to ensure their compliance with the Rules of Conduct Governing Donations to the District Government
- Grant Services: Serve as the DC Government's central clearinghouse of information and support related to new competitive District, Federal, and Foundation grant opportunities.
- Capacity Building: Provides capacity-building training and technical assistance to District of Columbia agencies, nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporations, as well as community and faith-based organizations
Meet the Chief Service Officer
Ayris T. Scales
Chief Service Officer
Office of Volunteerism and Partnerships
Ayris T. Scales is a tri-sector leader with a knack for quickly assessing structural challenges and navigating organizations through periods of rapid change, re-alignment and operational expansion. Her record of weaving public-private partnerships has positioned her to raise over $50M and award over $100M in grants and subsidies for underinvested communities in Savannah, Atlanta, Chicago and DC.
In 2018, Ayris was appointed by DC Mayor Muriel Bowser to lead public-private partnerships and has formally served as the Chief Service Officer for the District of Columbia since 2019. In this capacity, she leads ServeDC, the Mayor's Office on Volunteerism and Partnerships, coordinating multi-sector relationships and city-wide service initiatives to amplify civic engagement. Ayris is active in the community and serves an advisory council member for both Wells Fargo’s Where We Live and Lyft’s City Works initiatives. She is also the chartering President of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. Metropolitan Washington DC Chapter.
Her previous roles include Vice President of Economic Growth and Jobs for World Business Chicago and Executive Director of the DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative. She has been a featured speaker and panelist for a variety of influential organizations across the country, and in the United Kingdom. Most recently, she delivered the keynote address for the U.S. Department of Justice's Annual Women's History Month celebration, focusing on implicit biases and policy creation. Last summer, she co-authored Making Freedom Ring For Black Women on Blackher.us. Ayris' work has also been highlighted on ABC, NBC, Telemundo, Fast Company, Ebony Magazine, The Washington Post, Black Noire and more.
She attended Clark Atlanta University, Kent State University, and Baruch College where she was a National Urban Fellow.
The Mayor’s Office on Volunteerism & Partnerships (Serve DC) is the District of Columbia Government agency dedicated to promoting service and strategic partnerships as an innovative, sustainable solution to pressing social challenges. Serve DC engages District communities by building partnerships and organizational capacity, leading local and national volunteer and service initiatives, and providing and promoting meaningful service opportunities. Serve DC supports communities across the District through federal grant funds from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Serve DC promotes volunteerism and service across the city with strategic community outreach and engagement. Serve DC manages a portfolio of service days, connects residents with meaningful volunteer opportunities, and establishes partnerships and collaboration among community- and faith-based organizations, the private sector, and local and federal government. Serve DC is the DC Commission on National and Community Service, one of more than 50 State Service Commissions that administer federal Corporation for National and Community Service funds and coordinate national service initiatives in the District. Serve DC manages the AmeriCorps State national service program, which provides ongoing service opportunities and addresses critical community needs.