AmeriCorps State Grants
Each year Volunteer Iowa grants and administers around $2 million of AmeriCorps State funding in Iowa through a competitive grant process. Programs may be awarded funding at the national level (through competitive funding) or state level (through formula funding). Organizations that wish to operate an AmeriCorps State program solely within Iowa must follow the Volunteer Iowa application procedures.
Understanding the AmeriCorps State Application Process
A four-part training series on how to understand the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) and the AmeriCorps State application process was held in January 2017; links to the recorded webinars are below. Handout materials from all the sessions are available online via DropBox.
- Webinar 1: Understanding AmeriCorps and the NOFO – Determining Organization Fit
- Webinar 2: Developing Your Program Design and Logic Model – The Pre-Application Phase
- Webinar 3: Understanding the AmeriCorps Budget and Budget Narrative
- Webinar 4: Performance Measurements and Submitting the Full Application
Links to resources referenced and used during the webinars are included in the Application Materials section below.
- Volunteer Iowa posts its Requests for Applications for AmeriCorps State on IowaGrants (www.iowagrants.gov) under "Grant Opportunities" or “Funding Opportunities”. This typically happens in late summer or early fall.
- Potential applicants need not register with IowaGrants in order to review the funding opportunity but will have to create an account in order to apply.
- The Corporation for National and Community Service AmeriCorps State and National notices of funding opportunity and application instructions that correspond to the Iowa Request for Applications will also be posted in IowaGrants as supporting materials.
- If there is no Request for Applications posted in IowaGrants, then we are not currently accepting applications. A copy of the most recent Request for Applications and Frequently Asked Questions by AmeriCorps State applicants can be reviewed using the following links:
Requirements of AmeriCorps State Grantees
- Applicants must be an eligible host agency (nonprofit, government agency, etc).
- Program design must propose to engage a minimum of 10 full-time equivalent AmeriCorps members (unless a waiver request is granted).
- Programs must address a demonstrated community need, with CNCS priorities on the areas of capacity building, education, health, economic opportunity, veterans, disaster, and the environment.
- Applicants are required to demonstrate community support and the ability to provide cash and/or in-kind match for a percentage of the grant funds.
- Programs must have a plan to engage community volunteers.
- Late summer/early fall: Review the Request for Grant Applications (RFA) from the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service and the corresponding notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) and application instructions released by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).
- Early to mid fall: Submit your notice of intent to apply and attend technical assistance webinars offered by the ICVS for applicants intending to operate in Iowa.
- Mid to late fall: Submit grant pre-applications to ICVS.
- Late fall to early winter: Pre-applications are reviewed by ICVS staff and organizations are given feedback to revise their proposals and re-submit a final application.
- Late winter to early spring: Final applications are reviewed and scored locally by a grants review committee. Committee members prepare questions for applicants, who appear before the committee to discuss their proposal.
- Late spring: Competitive funding decisions are announced for those who applied the previous fall/winter.
- Late spring/early summer: The ICVS announces which applicants will receive funding from our state formula pool. Programs work with ICVS staff to finalize program details.
- September 1: Typically is the first day of the program year for AmeriCorps State programs.
Each year the grants review process is becoming increasingly more competitive, but Volunteer Iowa encourages organizations to contact our staff to learn how to submit the best application.