Iowa AmeriCorps State Funding Announcement - 2022-2023 Formula Grants

Date: 
01/12/2022
Document Text Version

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Iowa AmeriCorps State
Funding Announcement
2022-2023 Formula Grants
The Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service (Volunteer Iowa) is pleased to announce a Request for Applications
(RFA) for new and returning Iowa AmeriCorps State programs for program year 2022-2023. The Request for
Applications and supporting materials are posted to the Iowa AmeriCorps State grants page at AmeriCorps State
Grants | Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service (volunteeriowa.org).
What is AmeriCorps State?
Iowa AmeriCorps State is a national service program that involves individuals (“members”) providing service to
address critical needs in their communities. AmeriCorps members also mobilize community volunteers and
strengthen the capacity of the organizations they serve. In exchange for a term of service, members typically
receive a living allowance and other benefits from the sponsor organization while serving. Upon successful
completion of their service, members earn an education award to help pay for education costs at qualified
institutions of higher education, to pay for educational training, or to repay qualified student loans. Individuals
may serve in AmeriCorps from age 17 and up.
Iowa AmeriCorps State engages the energy and idealism of the citizens of Iowa in meeting the most vital
education, economic opportunity, health, environmental, disaster preparedness, public safety, and veterans’
needs in our communities. Iowa’s AmeriCorps State portfolio currently consists of over 20 programs with more
than 800 members serving in full- or part- time positions. These programs operate throughout the state to
address critical community needs.
What is the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service, or Volunteer Iowa?
Volunteer Iowa is the state service commission for the state of Iowa and administers Iowa AmeriCorps State
grants. Volunteer Iowa strives create an Iowa where all citizens are empowered through service to meet
community challenges and make lives better. Volunteer Iowa works to fulfill this vision by funding and
supporting programs, projects, and activities focused on service and volunteerism. These include AmeriCorps
State, the Volunteer Generation Fund, the Volunteer Iowa AmeriCorps VISTA program, and Iowa Mentor (the
Iowa Mentoring Partnership). See more at https://www.volunteeriowa.org/icvs-programs.
Volunteer Iowa partners with the AmeriCorps federal agency (also known as the Corporation for National and
Community Service or CNCS) to fund and administer Iowa AmeriCorps State programs. Established in 1993,
AmeriCorps engages more than a million Americans each year in service to their communities by providing a
way to solve community problems. The federal AmeriCorps agency plays a crucial role supporting the
American culture of citizenship, service, and responsibility. AmeriCorps has three primary national service
initiatives: AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps Senior Corps, and the Volunteer Generation Fund.
Why should my organization apply for an Iowa AmeriCorps State program?
Iowa AmeriCorps State provides the people power you need to carry out your agency’s mission. Funds
provided through Iowa AmeriCorps State support teams of members who provide direct service to improve
communities and strengthen organizations, and they also recruit and manage community volunteers who
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support their efforts. The grants also help you cover the costs of the personnel needed to oversee your
AmeriCorps program and the supplies and expenses involved to onboard your members, provide them with
training and professional development, and evaluate their efforts.
Iowa AmeriCorps State grants cannot be used to replace existing volunteers or staff. Funding is intended for
recruiting, placing, and supporting AmeriCorps members to ‘get things done’ in communities. If there are
needs in your community that you believe can be addressed by national service, this program may be a good
fit.
Volunteer Iowa has established the following priority areas for new program development in its current State
Service Plan: Programs that are part of or utilize a comprehensive community strategy; Programs or strategies
that engage underrepresented populations and those that provide a high return on investment; Programs in
geographic areas that are underserved or have the highest need; Programs that address disparities in rural
communities or with minorities; New service opportunities to develop community capital in state legislative
and national service focus areas or Governor’s priority areas, such as Future Ready Iowa, supporting the Iowa
Energy Plan, childcare and enrichment, digital literacy and education.
Who is eligible to apply?
Nonprofits, local governments, state agencies, educational institutions, and Indian Tribes are eligible to apply for
an Iowa AmeriCorps State program. Eligible nonprofits include those recognized as nonprofit corporations through
the state of Iowa, those with 501(c)3 status, and those with 501(c)4 and 501(c)6 status that do not engage in lobbying
activities (as defined under the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995).
Can I partner with other organizations to apply for an Iowa AmeriCorps State program?
Yes. You are encouraged to partner with other organizations in your community or throughout the state to
apply for AmeriCorps funding. One organization must serve as the legal applicant. When partnering with other
organizations, Volunteer Iowa encourages you to seek organizations that share a similar mission or focus on
similar issues.
What types of grants are available?
Volunteer Iowa funds several types of operating grants for AmeriCorps programs. Traditional AmeriCorps
grants engage at least eight (8) full-time equivalent AmeriCorps members and may utilize one of two funding
mechanisms: cost reimbursement programs that cover budgeted AmeriCorps program costs on a
reimbursement basis and fixed-amount grants that provide funds based on a per-member award that is earned
as members are enrolled and complete their service terms. New this year, Volunteer Iowa is offering “microgrants”
for smaller programs that support a few full-time members or the equivalent of three (3) full-time
positions. Other AmeriCorps operational grants that are available include the professional corps and education
award only programs. Volunteer Iowa also may award planning grants for organizations that need more time
and funding to develop a plan for an AmeriCorps State program or to build their capacity to run an AmeriCorps
program. See the Grant Types Chart on the Iowa AmeriCorps State grants page for a full list of available grant
types.
Grant awards will cover a period that includes one year of operation or up to one year of planning. Operational
grants may be renewed for one to two additional years, subject to annual review and the availability of federal
appropriations, before it is necessary to recompete.
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What about grant size and matching requirements?
AmeriCorps planning grants have a maximum dollar amount each year, typically $50,000-$75,000. Planning
grants do not include any member costs. Operational grants vary greatly in award amount, but all operational
grants include limits on the maximum amount of funding that can be awarded per member, ranging from
$800/full-time member (for education award-only programs where the grantee covers the bulk of member and
program costs) up to $28,800/full-time member for operational grants that meet certain Volunteer Iowa funding
priorities.
No matter the funding level, substantial cash and in-kind match is required from the applicant. Programs
operating under the cost-reimbursement model must match at least 24% of the total budget during each of
the first three years of funding, with match requirements increasing incrementally after year three, reaching a
50% minimum match level during the 10th year of funding. Programs with fixed-amount funding do not need
to meet or document a specified match percentage, but will also need to contribute match in order to meet
the needs of the program. Other non-AmeriCorps federal funds may be used as match with approval.
What are the responsibilities of operating an Iowa AmeriCorps State program?
• Designating adequate staff time to run the program.
• Recruiting, selecting, placing, onboarding, supervising, and providing professional development to
members.
• Managing HR needs of members, including National Service Criminal History checks, payroll,
benefits, timekeeping, and evaluations.
• Selecting and supporting member service sites and supervisors.
• Submitting start-up forms, progress reports, expenditure reports, semi-annual federal financial
reports, and other reporting as instructed.
• Participating in monthly program director calls, annual program director training, additional annual
training for new program staff, and regional national service training.
• Engaging community volunteers in the AmeriCorps program and supporting Volunteer Iowa
statewide initiatives.
How do I get a copy of the application materials?
The Iowa AmeriCorps State application materials are available on the Volunteer Iowa website at
AmeriCorps State Grants | Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service (volunteeriowa.org. Sign up for the Iowa
AmeriCorps State funding opportunity mailing list at Sign up (e2ma.net) in order to be notified of updates
to the application materials and process.
To apply for 2022-2023 Iowa AmeriCorps State funding, interested applicants must first submit a
Pre-Application for staff review. Pre-Application materials are available on the Iowa AmeriCorps
State grants page and are due by February or March 3, 2022. Final applications from new applicants
are due by April 5, 2022. For more information about Iowa AmeriCorps or the application process,
please contact Jamie Orozco Nagel at jamie.nagel@iowaeda.com.

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