Purpose of AmeriCorps fundingAmeriCorps grants are awarded to eligible organizations engaged in evidence-based or evidence-informed (e.g.
performance data, research, theory of change) interventions that use AmeriCorps members to strengthen communities.
An AmeriCorps member is
an individual who engages in community service through an approved national service position.
Members may receive a living allowance and other benefits while serving.
Upon successful completion of their service, members receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award from the National Service Trust.
For nearly two decades, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has invested in community solutions across the nation -- working hand in hand with local partners to improve lives, expand economic opportunity, and engage millions of Americans in solving problems in their communities.
With its unique structure as a public-private partnership and its cost-effective model of engaging citizens and leveraging outside resources, national service offers a quadruple bottom line return on investment:
benefiting the recipients of service, those who serve, and local communities and our nation.Through all its programs, CNCS expands economic opportunity helping Americans acquire the skills, education, and training they need for productive employment.
By helping more Americans graduate, purse higher education, and find work, national service provides immediate and long term benefits, by expanding individual opportunity, building family stability, and creating more sustainable, resilient communities.Through AmeriCorps and other programs, CNCS brings vital leadership, resources, and coordination to some of the most pressing challenges facing America:
educating students for jobs of the 21st century, supporting individuals, families, and neighborhoods on the road to economic recovery; addressing the needs of military families and a new generation of veterans returning from war; helping communities rebuild after natural disasters; strengthening energy efficiency and improving at-risk ecosystems; and providing healthy futures.CNCS believes that all Americans should have opportunities to participate in national service, including those communities that have been traditionally underrepresented in national service, such as rural residents, veterans and military families, Native Americans, and Opportunity Youth, the one in six young people (ages 16-24) who are disconnected from school or work.
CNCS recognizes that service can create powerful pathways to education and employment for these populations, transforming their communities and creating broad economic benefit for the country.
In order to carry out Congress intent and to maximize the impact of investment in national service, CNCS is targeting AmeriCorps funding in the following focus areas:Disaster Services:Grant activities will: Increase the preparedness of individuals. Improve individuals readiness to respond. Help individuals recover from disasters. Help individuals mitigate disasters.
Economic Opportunity:Grants will provide support and/or facilitate access to services and resources that contribute to the improved economic well-being and security of economically disadvantaged people.
Grant activities will help economically disadvantaged people to: Have improved access to services and benefits aimed at contributing to their enhanced financial literacy.
Transition into or remain in safe, healthy, affordable housing. Have improved employability leading to increased success in becoming employed.
Grants will provide support and/or facilitate access to services and resources that contribute to improved educational outcomes for economically disadvantaged individuals, especially children.
CNCS is particularly interested in program designs that support youth engagement and service-learning as strategies to achieve improved academic outcomes.
Grant activities will improve: School readiness for economically disadvantaged young children. Educational and behavioral outcomes of students in low-achieving elementary, middle, and high schools. The preparation for and prospects of success in post-secondary education institutions for economically disadvantaged students.
Environmental Stewardship:Grants will provide support for direct services that contribute to increased energy and water efficiency, renewable energy use, or improving at-risk ecosystems.
In addition, grants will support increased citizen behavioral change leading to increased efficiency, renewable energy use, and ecosystem improvements particularly for economically disadvantaged households and communities.
Grant activities will: Decrease energy and water consumption. Improve at-risk ecosystems. Increase behavioral changes that lead directly to decreased energy and water consumption or improved at-risk ecosystems. Increase green training opportunities that may lead to decreased energy and water consumption or improved at-risk ecosystems.In addition, the Administration is exploring ways to provide service, training, education, and employment opportunities for young Americans through protecting, restoring and enhancing public and tribal lands.
CNCS is exploring potential programs along the lines of a 21st century Civilian Service Corps that can facilitate conservation service work on public lands and encourage a new generation of natural resource managers and environmental scientists, particularly in low income and disadvantaged communities.
Healthy Futures:Grants will meet health needs within communities including access to care, aging in place, and childhood obesity.
Grant activities will: Improve access to primary and preventive health care for communities served by CNCS-supported programs. Increase seniors ability to remain in their own homes with the same or improved quality of life for as long as possible.
Increase physical activity and improve nutrition in youth with the purpose of reducing childhood obesity.Veterans and Military Families:Grants will positively impact the quality of life of veterans and improve military family strength.
Grant activities will increase: The number of veterans and military service members and their families served by CNCS-supported programs. The number of veterans and military family members engaged in service through CNCS-supported programs.
Capacity Building:In addition to the six focus areas described above, grants also will provide support for capacity building activities provided by national service participants.
As a general rule, CNCS considers capacity building activities to be indirect services that enable CNCS-supported organizations to provide more, better, and sustained direct services in CNCS six focus areas.
Capacity building activities cannot be solely intended to support the administration or operations of the organization.
Examples of capacity building activities include: Recruiting and/or managing community volunteers. Implementing effective volunteer management practices. Completing community assessments that identify goals and recommendations. Developing new systems and business processes (technology, performance management, training, etc.) or enhancing existing systems and business processes.Encore Programs:Congress set a goal that 10 percent of AmeriCorps funding should support encore service programs that engage a significant number of participants age 55 or older.
CNCS seeks to meet that 10 percent target in this competition and encourages encore programs to apply.
National Performance Measures:The SAA emphasizes measuring the impact of service and focusing on a core set of issue areas.
CNCS five-year Strategic Plan establishes an ambitious set of objectives that support the mission and goals to implement the SAA.
These strategic goals guided the development of sixteen agency-wide Priority Measures.
National Performance Measures allow CNCS to demonstrate aggregated impact of all its national service programs, including AmeriCorps State and National.
They are divided in two categories:
Priority Measures and Complementary Program Measures.
For more information, please refer to the National Performance Measure Instructions.B.
2013 AmeriCorps Funding Priorities In the FY 2013 AmeriCorps competition, CNCS seeks to prioritize the investment of national service resources in economic opportunity, education, veterans and military families, disaster services, and the Governor and Mayor Initiative (described more fully below).
CNCS will continue to focus on national service programs that improve academic outcomes for children, youth, and young adults.
This focus reflects the extensive experience and past success of national service programs in education, and aligns with the efforts of the Department of Education.
In addition, CNCS seeks to increase its investment in programs that serve veterans and military families or engage veterans and military families in service.
CNCS will also focus investment in programs that increase community resiliency through disaster preparation, response, recovery, and mitigation.CNCS will focus investment in programs that increase economic opportunities for community and AmeriCorps members.Applicants proposing programs that receive priority consideration are not guaranteed funding.
CNCS will seek to build a diversified portfolio across the focus areas, and other considerations outlined below in Section V.
Furthermore, programs must demonstrate significant program focus, design, and impact to receive priority consideration.
CNCS will give priority consideration to applicants in the following Tiers, in descending order of preference:Tier 1:
Programs that select: Complementary Program Measures in Economic Opportunity (Programs that select O12, O14, O15, O17 must also select an additional Priority or Complementary Program Measure from Tier 1, 2, or 3 that measures community impact), or Priority Measures in Education and serve in schools that received awards under the School Improvement Grants (SIG) program and are implementing one of the SIG school intervention models and/or Priority Schools identified by a State educational agency (SEA) that has received approval from the Department of Education of its request for Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) flexibility, or Priority Measures in Veterans and Military Families, or Priority Measures in Disaster Services, or Governor and Mayor Initiative.
Programs that fit these Priority or Complementary Program Measures are required to use these measures.
These measures can be found in Section IX, Tier 1. Applicants whose members will be serving in schools that received awards under the School Improvement Grants (SIG) program and are implementing one of the SIG school intervention models and/or Priority Schools identified by a State educational agency (SEA) that has received approval from the Department of Education of its request for Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) flexibility must check the box on the Performance Measure tab in eGrants SIG/Priority Schools to be considered for Tier 1. The NCES School ID will need to be entered in the service location information at the time the members are enrolled.
Programs that select Priority Measures in: Education that are not serving in schools that received awards under the School Improvement Grants (SIG) program and are implementing one of the SIG school intervention models and/or Priority Schools identified by a State educational agency (SEA) that has received approval from the Department of Education of its request for Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) flexibility, or Environmental Stewardship, or Healthy Futures, or Capacity Building.
Programs that fit these Priority Measures are required to use these measures.
These measures can be found in Section IX, Tier 2. Tier 3:
Programs that select Complementary Program Measures.
These measures can be found in Section IX.
Tier 3. Tier 4:
Programs in the Focus Areas with self-nominated measures.Tier 5:
Programs outside the Focus Areas with self-nominated measures.
Continuation requests for expansion will receive priority consideration and preference in the same manner as described above.Governor and Mayor Initiative:CNCS will be piloting the Governor and Mayor Initiative and it will be given priority consideration in Tier 1. CNCS sets as a goal that 10% of the available funds for this years grant competition will support this initiative.CNCS will accept one application per state.
The application must address a pressing challenge the Governor wishes to solve in her or his state.
A Governor must apply with one Mayor in his or her state and a minimum of two nonprofits.
In conjunction with the Mayor, the Governor will be responsible for identifying and selecting those nonprofits that are best able to achieve a demonstrated positive impact on the problem.
The application should include letters of commitment from selected partnering nonprofit entities, or describe the process that the Governor and Mayor will use to select the nonprofit entities.
The application, submitted to the State Commission, will respond to the application criteria and explain how several nonprofits working together, with the Governors office serving as a convener, will effectively deploy AmeriCorps members for a collective impact.
For example, a Governor and a Mayor in her state could conclude the most pressing challenge facing the state is its high school graduation rate.
Together, they could decide to focus on the elementary, junior high, and senior high schools in the Mayors town.
The Governor and/or Mayor would submit one application describing: How the partnership will be organized and AmeriCorps resources will be allocated between the partnering entities (State, locality, and nonprofit entities). The proposed theory of change and program model.
If the program model has not yet been fully developed, this should outline the approach that the consortium will take to ensure that implementation can begin within 90 days of grant award. How they will utilize an identified consortium of four nonprofits that are well positioned to impact outcomes for those three schools using their theory of change.
For example, nonprofit A operates an AmeriCorps program whose members are focused on increasing literacy gains.
Nonprofit B operates an AmeriCorps program whose members are focused on school readiness.
Nonprofit C operates an AmeriCorps program whose members are focused on increased food security.
Nonprofit D operates an AmeriCorps program whose members recruit community volunteers.
In geographic locations where other city, state, and place-based initiatives are under way, CNCS encourages Governors and Mayors to partner with these public/private partnerships supported by non-profits, faith-based and community organizations, the private sector, local and state elected leadership, as well as city or neighborhood focused federal initiatives.
Programs that operate in the summer and engage middle school youth in building skills would be an appropriate program design for this Initiative.
Applications submitted as part of the Governor and Mayor Initiative must check the Governor and Mayor Initiative box in the Performance Measure tab and email a letter of endorsement cosigned by the Governor and Mayor, as well as signed letters of commitment from partnering nonprofits to firstname.lastname@example.org in order to be considered for this Initiative.
The subject line of the email must include [Your State] Governor and Mayor Initiative.Note:
Only the Governor, Mayor, or their designated government office may apply for grants under the Governor and Mayor initiative.
Applications from other entities will be deemed unresponsive.
AmeriCorpsCorporation for National and Community Service