How to Partner with AmeriCorps Programs

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AmeriCorps State

AmeriCorps VISTA
(Volunteers in Service to America)

AmeriCorps NCCC
(National Civilian Community Corps)

PROGRAM FOCUS AmeriCorps State offers grants to organizations/agencies that support a broad range of local service programs that engage thousands of Americans each year in intensive service to meet critical community needs. Organizations and agencies use their AmeriCorps funding to recruit, place, and supervise AmeriCorps members. Members commit to providing primarily direct service activities on a full or part-time basis. AmeriCorps VISTA is the national service program designed specifically to fight poverty. VISTA supports efforts to alleviate poverty by encouraging individuals from all walks of life to engage in a year of full-time service with a sponsoring organization to create or expand programs designed to bring individuals and communities out of poverty. AmeriCorps NCCC is a full-time, residential, national service program that combines the best practices of civilian service with the best aspects of military service. The mission is to strengthen communities and develop leaders through team-based national and community service. Each year, hundreds of 18 to 24 year olds serve as NCCC members. Based at campuses in several states, teams take on projects throughout their regions.
SERVICE AREAS Programs address critical needs in the fields of Education, Veterans, Economically Vulnerable Populations, Health, Disaster Services, Environmental Stewardship, Green Corps and Summer Youth Corps. AmeriCorps members also mobilize community volunteers and strengthen organizational capacity. VISTA focuses primarily on anti-poverty, community empowerment, sustainable solutions, and capacity building. NCCC teams serve on projects in the areas of disaster services, environment, infrastructure improvement, energy conservation and urban and rural development.
ELIGIBILITY Applications are accepted from nonprofit organizations, community and faith-based organizations, educational institutions, and state and local governments. Project sponsors may be federal, state, or local agencies; or private, non-profit organizations (i.e. faith based agencies, educational institutions, etc.). NCCC teams are available to help community and faith-based organizations, national nonprofits, schools, local municipalities, national and state parks, and Indian tribes.
PROJECT CRITERIA Applicants generally must include a minimum of 10 MSY (full-time equivalent) members per grant and they must have the capacity to manage funds and supervise members. Programs must address compelling needs; have demonstrable, measurable goals; engage members in meaningful service; provide opportunities for member development, involve community, and have a plan for sustainability. To be considered for a VISTA Program the applicant must reflect the VISTA poverty mission, address one or more CNCS strategic initiatives, clearly articulate defined goals with measurable impact, demonstrate understanding of national service programming, and state organizational capacity to support VISTA members. NCCC projects must meet the following criteria: address a compelling community need; have clearly stated and well planned tasks and objectives; have demonstrable measurable goals; engage all team members in meaningful service; provide opportunity for member development, involve community, and have a plan for sustainability after team completes service.
LENGTH OF PROJECT Budget periods are one year starting September 1 through August 31. Programs apply each year for continued funding or may be selected for 3-year funding. VISTA members serve with a sponsoring organization for a full year. VISTA resources are normally allocated to a sponsoring organization for one program focus area for up to three years. Projects are normally six to eight weeks in duration but will vary depending on the requirements of the project. Projects must be capable of using at least one full team of 8 to 12 members effectively.
PROJECT LOCATIONS AmeriCorps State programs are located throughout Iowa. Programs may be local, regional, or statewide. VISTA programs are located throughout the state. Programs are designed to serve one local community or service area. NCCC teams serve on projects throughout their campus region. The North Central Region covers Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
Programs follow Office of Management and Budget Circulars, federal regulations and provisions for financial management of the program. Programs must report on project accomplishments and participate in statewide training and service projects. VISTA program sponsoring organizations do absorb most of the costs related to project supervision and logistical support. Investment by the sponsoring organization and community is fundamental to the VISTA program. Project sponsors are required to provide materials, specialized tools, orientation, training, and technical supervision. When teams are based off campus, project sponsors work with NCCC to help arrange housing, kitchen facilities, and other logistical needs.
WHEN/HOW TO APPLY Organizations wishing to apply submit a proposal in the fall to the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service electronically in eGrants for funding starting the following fall. Check for the online Request for Grant Proposals. Applications are accepted on a rolling deadline through the CNCS eGrants System. The process consists of two steps. 1) Complete and Submit a Concept Paper 2) Complete and Submit an Application for Federal Assistance. The application process for a NCCC team has two steps. The first step is to complete the service project concept form. The second step is to submit the full project application. NCCC has 3 service project application deadlines. Please contact Jody Burns for the specific deadlines.
CONTACT Please contact Jamie Orozco Nagel, Program Officer, at 515-725-3096 or Also, visit the Commission’s website at Please contact the CNCS Iowa State Office at 515-284-4816 or Please contact Jody Burns, Deputy Director for Programming, to receive a project application at 319-472-9660 or Also, visit our website at (800) 942–2677 TTY (800) 833-3722


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