AmeriCorps grants are awarded to eligible organizations proposing to engage AmeriCorps members in evidence-based or evidence-informed interventions 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 earn a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award from the National Service Trust to pay for higher education expenses or apply to qualified student loans.
Serve Washington (Serve WA) administers a Request for Grant Applications (RFGA) process to solicit applications from eligible organizations. To receive notice of grant opportunities, join the grant e-mail list. Notice of funding opportunities are sent in the fall of each year and occasionally in the spring.
There are two opportunities for applicants to be funded through AmeriCorps. Approximately one-third of AmeriCorps funds are granted by the Corporation for National and Community Service via competitive grants, and two-thirds of grant funding goes to Governor-appointed state service commissions, which award formula grants in their states. Both of these application processes originate with Serve WA. Regardless of the type of funding an applicant receives, the state commission is responsible for fiscal and programmatic monitoring.
AmeriCorps grants generally provide funding for a three-year grant period, assuming demonstrated success toward achieving program and fiscal compliance and the completion of an annual continuation request.
Specific information about the number of members an eligible applicant can request will be outlined in the RFGA instructions. Typically, Serve WA AmeriCorps programs are required to request a minimum of twenty (20) MSYs (Member Service Years). An MSY is similar to the concept of an FTE (full-time employee).
Serve WA typically supports only those programs with 20 or more MSYs. However, if you are interested in hosting one or more AmeriCorps members, you may wish to contact an AmeriCorps program in your area or a statewide intermediary to determine if a partnership may be feasible. Refer to the AmeriCorps Program Directory for a listing of programs in your county.
You could contact the AmeriCorps program closest to your location to see if all or some of their members would be available for a short-term service project. Another resource might be the AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) program. NCCC projects must be team-based with adequate work to support a group of 10-15 members for a period of six weeks. Project sponsors need to provide members with food and safe housing during the project. For more information about NCCC, contact NCCCPacific@cns.gov.
The funding is based on how many Member Service Years (MSYs) requested and the type of grant you apply under – either fixed amount grant or cost reimbursement grant. In Federal Fiscal Year 2017, the limit is $13,430 per MSY for a fixed amount grant and $13,830 for a cost reimbursement grant. For example, if you request 20 MSYs (full-time members), your maximum grant will equal $268,600 ($13,430 x 20 MSY) under the fixed amount grant, or $276,600 ($13,830 x 20 MSY) under the cost reimbursement grant. Member support costs, including a minimum living allowance of $12,630 for full-time members, take up a majority of the federal funding available. Programs must provide a substantial cash and/or in-kind match to operate a successful program. Federal AmeriCorps grants are not intended to fully fund program operations.