AmeriCorps Grants 101 Presentation
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AmeriCorps Grants 101 Presentation

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This is a presentation intended for organizations which are considering applying for AmeriCorps fundin. ...

This is a presentation intended for organizations which are considering applying for AmeriCorps fundin.

During this session you will learn more about the Corporation for National & Community Service and its programs. By the end of this session we hope you will understand more about how AmeriCorps works. We will give you more specific information about how your organization can apply for AmeriCorps resources, and where you can go to find additional support.

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  • Welcome to the AmeriCorps Grants 101 presentation. This is a presentation intended for organizations which are considering applying for AmeriCorps funding. Please watch the presentation on your full screen! Click on the projection screen icon in the lower right side where it says, “full”.
  • During this presentation we will discuss the following eight topics: Session Objectives What this Training Will do and What it Will Not do An Introduction to the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) & AmeriCorps AmeriCorps Members 2011 Notice of Federal Funding Opportunity (NOFO) What are AmeriCorps Grants? Categories of AmeriCorps Funding and Resources
  • During this training session you will learn how communities may benefit from having a local AmeriCorps program, the difference between AmeriCorps grant programs and how the application process works. You will also be referred to additional resources and materials that will help you learn more about the AmeriCorps program and how you can potentially apply for a grant with AmeriCorps.
  • What will this training do & what it will not do: During this session you will learn more about the Corporation for National & Community Service and its programs. By the end of this session we hope you will understand more about how AmeriCorps works. We will give you more specific information about how your organization can apply for AmeriCorps resources, and where you can go to find additional support. This training was created for organizations interested in applying for AmeriCorps State and National grant opportunities and will not inform you of every CNCS grant opportunity. Participating in this training does not guarantee that you will be awarded an AmeriCorps or any other CNCS grant. This session will not discuss how to become an AmeriCorps member. For more information on how to apply to become an AmeriCorps member, please go to the AmeriCorps.gov website and click on the “for individuals” tab.
  • So, what is the Corporation for National and Community Service? CNCS, or “The Corporation” is an independent, federal grant-making government agency whose mission is to support people and organizations in using citizen service as a strategy to meet critical national and community needs and to foster an ethic of civic responsibility. CNCS was created in 1993 through the signing of the National and Community Service Trust Act which expanded opportunities for Americans to serve their communities through national service. CNCS strives to connect Americans of all ages and backgrounds with opportunities to give back to their communities and our nation, and is the nation’s largest grantmaker supporting service and volunteering. For more than fifteen years, the Corporation—through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs—has helped to mobilize a new generation of engaged citizens. This year, more than 1.8 million individuals of all ages and backgrounds will serve with national and community non-profit organizations, faith-based groups, schools, and local agencies to meet needs in education, health, the environment, economic opportunity, veterans, disaster services, and other critical areas. The Corporation promotes United We Serve, a White House initiative to foster a culture of citizenship, service, responsibility, and to help all Americans answer the President's Call to Service. For more information on United We Serve, please visit Serve.gov. And, for more information on the Corporation and the history of national service, please visit this link.
  • In 2009 the Corporation was reauthorized through the signing of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act. The Serve America Act reauthorizes and expands national service programs administered by the Corporation by amending our previous legislation. The Serve America Act charges CNCS and our partners to dramatically expand opportunities for Americans to serve, to focus on critical national issues, to be a catalyst for social innovation, and to support the nonprofit sector. The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act was signed on April 21, 2009 and became effective on October 1, 2009. In the Serve America Act, Congress directed the Corporation to focus national service on unmet needs that service can impact, including improving education, energy conservation, the health of all Americans, and economic opportunity for economically vulnerable individuals; increasing service by and for veterans; and providing disaster services. Please visit the link listed here for more information on the Serve America Act.
  • As a federal agency, CNCS receives funding through the federal budget-making process. As this slide demonstrates, CNCS’ appropriated funds are then distributed between the three main program areas for the Corporation: Learn and Serve America, Senior Corps, and AmeriCorps.
  • This is an organizational chart that shows the Corporation’s three major programs and the programs within AmeriCorps.
  • As you saw on the previous slide, AmeriCorps is an umbrella that consists of 3 programs; AmeriCorps VISTA, the AmeriCorps NCCC program, also known as the National Civilian Community Corps, and AmeriCorps State and National. AmeriCorps VISTA provides full-time AmeriCorps members to non-profits, faith based and other community organizations, as well as public agencies, to create and expand programs that bring low income individuals and communities out of poverty. The AmeriCorps NCCC program is a full-time residential program for men and women, ages 18-24 who engage in short-term service projects across the country. The NCCC operates on a regional basis, with five campus in different parts of the country. NCCC AmeriCorps members serve on teams and complete projects in the geographic region served by their NCCC campus. The NCCC program also leads the CNCS disaster services initiative. AmeriCorps State and National provides grants that support a broad range of service programs that engage thousands of Americans in intensive service to meet critical community needs.
  • What is AmeriCorps State and National? AmeriCorps State and National is a network of local, state, and national service programs that connects more than 67,000 Americans each year in intensive service to meet our country’s critical needs in education, public safety, health and the environment. AmeriCorps State and National p rovides grants to nonprofits, faith & secular community-based organizations, public agencies, Indian tribes, and institutions of higher education. These programs provide Americans, young and old, with opportunities to serve as AmeriCorps members in communities across the country. Since 1994, more than 637,000 men and women have provided service as AmeriCorps members.
  • Recipient organizations design AmeriCorps programs that address locally identified, compelling community needs by engaging AmeriCorps members in service. AmeriCorps State and National grants a llow organizations to better address community needs by utilizing AmeriCorps resources to support existing programs; and/or AmeriCorps allows organizations to reach previously underserved communities and expand their activities beyond what they were able to do without AmeriCorps Please note that AmeriCorps State and National funds do not duplicate, displace or supplant resources that organically exist in a community. AmeriCorps members or grant funds can help meet unmet needs and/or can expand an organizations’ ability to better address community needs, but will not take the place of resources currently existing in a community.
  • AmeriCorps State and National awards several different types of AmeriCorps grants. The kind of grant an applicant would apply for depends on what type of organization it is and in how many states it intends to operate its AmeriCorps program. Single state applicants submit requests and are awarded grants by governor appointed State Service or Territory Commissions. Multi state applicants submit requests and are awarded grants directly from the Corporation. Indian Tribes applicants also submit requests to and are awarded grants directly from the Corporation. Tribal grantees can be either single or multi state programs. This graphic demonstrates the three different types of entities (single-state, multi-state and Indian Tribes) that are eligible to request grants, the particular kind of grant that could be requested and distinct program models with specific requirements that fall under a particular kind of grant. For example, under cost reimbursement grants, professional corps is one type of program model you could employ to structure your program; however, the majority of reimbursement grants that implement AmeriCorps programs are not professional corps models. This slide is just an introduction to these concepts; we’ll be discussing these grants and program models in much greater detail as we continue through the presentation.
  • Now that you know what AmeriCorps State and National is, let’s talk a little bit about what AmeriCorps programs do. AmeriCorps programs use service and volunteerism to address a community’s compelling needs through a wide range of activities, such as building affordable housing and responding to natural disasters. AmeriCorps programs engage AmeriCorps members and other volunteers in activities that address otherwise unmet community needs. While AmeriCorps members can play very diverse roles and meet a variety of needs, members cannot take the place of staff or local volunteers. As discussed previously, AmeriCorps resources will not displace, supplant or duplicate any assets that might organically exist in a community.
  • State Service Commissions are an important part of the State and National family. State Service Commissions are boards of 15-25 individuals nominated and appointed by a state’s governor. This appointed board oversees the implementation of national and community service and volunteer initiatives in their particular state or US territory. State Commissions also provide feedback to the Corporation on the multi-state programs operating in their state. State Service Commissions provide Corporation funding to single state AmeriCorps programs through annual grant competitions. Commissions make two kinds of AmeriCorps awards, competitive grants and formula grants. We’ll be discussing commission grantmaking in general, later on in the presentation. To complete all of these activities, most commissions employ a small , professional staff to manage granting, monitoring and evaluating single state AmeriCorps programs. In addition to these responsibilities, state commission staff also often administer special, state specific volunteer initiatives.
  • As we saw on the previous slide, Commissions play a key role in supporting AmeriCorps programs and national service in their state. One of the most significant aspects of state commissions is to distribute AmeriCorps resources to applicants addressing community needs in their states. Single-state AmeriCorps programs are implemented by organizations that are awarded an AmeriCorps grant to address unmet community needs in only one state. So, if your program addresses community needs in a single state, your organization would submit a grant application to your state’s governor appointed State Service Commission for AmeriCorps funding. Please click on the link provided on this slide for contact information for your state’s Service Commission. Because each commission has its own funding priorities and their own deadlines etc. we strongly suggest you connect with your state commission early in your exploration of AmeriCorps State and National. We’ll discuss more about how to apply for AmeriCorps State funds later in the presentation. Next we’ll be talking about multi-state programs. Multi-state programs also need to collaborate with State Commissions. Multi-state programs are required to consult with the state commissions in the states where they will implement their programs. Now, lets discuss multi-state programs in more depth.
  • Multi-State AmeriCorps programs are implemented by organizations that are awarded an AmeriCorps grant to a ddress community needs in at least two states. Multi-State AmeriCorps programs h ave relationships with entities in different states that operate the local programs. As we discussed on the previous slide, multi-state programs must consult with State Commissions in each of the states where they operate programming. During the consultation, programs will need to contact the state commission and discuss their plan to place AmeriCorps members in the state or discuss their current program implementation in that state. AmeriCorps National applicants submit grant applications directly to the Corporation via our on-line eGrants system. We will talk more about applying through eGrants in a later portion of this presentation. Please click on the link at the bottom of the slide to access CNCS’ eGrants system if you’d like to set up an account now.
  • The design or structure of AmeriCorps programs can vary greatly from grant to grant or from program to program across the country. For example: The most common AmeriCorps program design is for the grant recipient to place AmeriCorps members at community organizations. However, some AmeriCorps programs also place members at the organization that receives the AmeriCorps grant. Programs can place members individually at service locations, or in a team at a single project site, or in small groups on various projects. Some programs have members that serve as teachers, health care providers, police officers, engineers, or other professionals in communities where there is an inadequate number of such professionals. Some characteristics of single-state and multi–state AmeriCorps programs are consistent across programs and grants. All single-state programs operate in one state, and all are funded by a state service commission. All multi-state programs must operate in two or more states. Tribes may choose to operate in a single state and are funded directly by the Corporation. It is incumbent on the applicant to design a program that best meets the local, community needs identified in the application. AmeriCorps is not prescriptive about how you develop your program design.
  • As you are thinking about your organization, your partners and the role service can play in addressing needs in your community, keep the following questions in mind: Will the service activities take place in one state or more than one state? Will your organization require funding from AmeriCorps to support members during their term of service? Do you partner with other organizations who can provide the living allowance or other benefits (housing, meals, work study, etc). to members during their term of service? Are you placing members as professionals in a community? As you will learn later in the presentation, how you answer these questions can help define your program design and will determine the type of funding you seek from AmeriCorps State and National.
  • Now we’re going to talk briefly about the benefits of, and eligibility for, serving as an AmeriCorps member. All AmeriCorps programs utilize AmeriCorps members in meeting unmet community needs.
  • So, who are AmeriCorps members? AmeriCorps Members are individuals enrolled for a specific term of service with an AmeriCorps program. The term of service is between 300 and 1700 hours. AmeriCorps members are engaged in National Service and are not volunteers or employees. AmeriCorps members play a specific role in a community or organization to address unmet needs and are eligible to receive an education award upon the successful completion of their term of service. AmeriCorps members serve through faith-based and secular nonprofits, public agencies, institutions of higher education and with Indian tribes. AmeriCorps members receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award upon successfully completing a full-time term of service. The value of the education award is tied to Pell Grants. For full time members member positions approved in fiscal year 2011, the education award’s value is $5,550. Education awards are pro-rated for lesser terms of service. In addition, eligible AmeriCorps members can receive a living allowance, health insurance and child care assistance to support them during their term of service Finally, all members are subject to a criminal history check. Individuals who have been convicted of murder and those who are required to register on a sex offender public registry are not eligible to serve in AmeriCorps.
  • AmeriCorps members must be U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or lawful permanent residents of the United States. They must also be at least 17 years of age at the commencement of their term of service. Lastly, members must be high school graduates, GED recipients, or must be working toward attaining a high school diploma or GED during their term of service. They must agree to obtain either a diploma or GED before using the education award. For complete information on eligibility, please click on this link.
  • And now, the part you’ve all been waiting for… What are AmeriCorps Grants?
  • AmeriCorps State and National grants support the efforts of national and community-based non-profit organizations to recruit and deploy AmeriCorps members and the volunteers with whom they work to tackle unmet needs. AmeriCorps State and National grants are awarded on a competitive basis to eligible organizations that identify a problem(s) and persuasively demonstrate how deploying AmeriCorps members and community volunteers will produce significant impact. All AmeriCorps State and National Grants provide partial funding to support AmeriCorps projects and programs. Grant recipients must contribute match funding to support the project. AmeriCorps grants are solely for program expenses and cannot be used for general organizational operating expenses. AmeriCorps grants include an allotment of AmeriCorps member positions and the funds awarded by CNCS are directly tied the a specific number of members awarded. An applicant for a reimbursable grant (non-fixed-amount) is required to match at 24 percent to support its proposed program. Match can be accounted for either by cash or in-kind support, or a combination of both. All fixed-amount grants are exempt from matching requirements.
  • In establishing a competition for AmeriCorps funds, CNCS releases a Notice of Funding Opportunity or NOFO and application instructions. Organizations must utilize the NOFO and application instructions in structuring their request for funding. Applicants submit grant applications via CNCS’ online eGrants system or to their State Service Commission, depending on whether they intend to operate in one or more states. You can also refer back to slide 12 where we outlined the different grant types. Cost reimbursement applications primarily consist of a description of the identified community need, a plan for how the applicant will utilize AmeriCorps members to meet the community need, descriptions of management systems to support the proposed program, information on the organization’s capacity, and a budget. Budgets might include expenses such as: member living allowance and benefits, member and staff training, personnel costs, supplies, and evaluation. Fixed-amount grants have the same application content as cost reimbursement applications however they require reduced budget content and have reduced financial reporting. Only organizations utilizing full-time AmeriCorps members are eligible to apply for this category of grant. Fixed-amount grants will be awarded based on a fixed-amount per member, rather than reimbursed based on the actual costs incurred by the program. In the description we just provided, we mentioned full-time AmeriCorps members. We’ll be talking about what we mean by “full-time’ members in slide 26. In general, all applicants must demonstrate the capacity to administer and monitor a federal grant in the grant application.
  • Once you submit your application for funding, it goes through the following process. First lets talk about single state programs. Single-state programs apply to their state commission and the commission conducts a review of all of the applications it receives. As we mentioned earlier, state commission deadlines, practices and policies can and do vary from state to state. Once the state completes their initial review, they submit the most competitive grants to CNCS for a national review. Commissions submit applications to CNCS by January 25, 2011; however it is important to note that single state applicants must submit their applications to commissions in advance of this deadline. Therefore it is important to contact state commissions early in the application process. The multi-state programs and Indian Tribes will submit their applications directly to the Corporation by January 25, 2011 at 5pm EST. From the point where applications are submitted to CNCS, the remainder of the process is identical. All applications undergo a compliance check, and then are moved to an external review. The external review is where a panel of reviewers, outside of the Corporation, provide feedback about the quality of the application narrative based on a the selection criteria. The external review process assists the Corporation in determining which applications move on to staff review. During staff review CNCS staff examine applications and perform a rigorous review of applications. Near the end of staff review, CNCS will enter into a period of clarification. During clarifications, applicants could be contacted to provide clarifying information about their submission. CNCS will notify all applicants of the time period for clarifications a few weeks before clarifications begin. Once clarification is complete, CNCS will make final funding determinations and awards will be made. Generally this entire process takes about six months. We are anticipating making awards this year in June 2011. Planning grants undergo a similar process. Single state planning grants will need to submit their applications to their state commission for an initial review. The commission will make a determination about submitting the planning grant request on to the national competition. National planning grants and Indian Tribes submit their applications directly to CNCS on November 4, 2010. Once applications are submitted to CNCS, they undergo a compliance check and then go through an initial screening. During the initial screening, a limited number of CNCS staff conduct preliminary review of the applications for strengths and weaknesses. Once that review is complete, strong applications are moved forward to full staff review. During staff review, CNCS staff examine applications and perform a rigorous review of requests. Similar to implementation grants, a period of clarification follows staff review and precedes final decision making. Once final decisions are made, awards are granted. The planning grant review is slightly shorter then the implementation timeline. We anticipate making awards this year in February 2011. We haven’t discussed planning grants much yet in this training. We’re going to pick them back up later in the presentation specifically on slide 33.
  • Unless you are applying for a Planning grant, your grant will contain a request for AmeriCorps members to address unmet needs in communities where you plan to serve. This chart shows the various terms of service that an applicant organization can use in designing their program. Applicants should consider what types of member service terms best support their program design in addressing critical community needs. Specific terms of service that are tied to actual AmeriCorps members are also referred to as slots. Among AmeriCorps programs and CNCS staff, you will hear the term slot and term of service used often. For our purposes, you can use them interchangeably. You can design a program utilizing one or multiple types of service terms. An example of possible program design that uses 300 hour slots is a program that conducts intensive service activities in the summer. A 900 hour slot might be utilized by a program engaging college students during the academic year in service. 1700 hour slots are equivalent to 35 to 40 hours a week over a 52 week span.
  • The size of AmeriCorps grants are directly related to the number of Member Service Years (MSY) an applicant requests. One member service year or MSY is equivalent to one Full-time AmeriCorps member. Let’s talk through how this works using an example. Lets say, the 2011 maximum cost per MSY is $13,300. If an organization planned to use 20 full-time AmeriCorps members to meet its identified community need, the applicant would multiply the 20 full-time members by the cost per MSY and the total, up to $266,000, would be the maximum amount the organization should request from CNCS. Cost per MSY is considered as a competitive factor during the grant application review process. If your organization did not intend to use full time members, you would break MSY into the different slot types listed on the previous slide. Programs should incorporate the type of slot that makes the most sense to help them meet the community need. The number and kind of slot configuration determines the number of MSY that you request. For instance, if you are approved for 10 full-time members, 10 half-time, and 12 quarter time, you are approved for 32 slots and 18.18 MSY. The application instructions will help you calculate the number of MSY you’ll request if you plan to utilize less then full time or a combination of slot types. The maximum cost per MSY varies by grant type between our fixed-amount, cost reimbursement grants, from professional corps, EAP and other grant types. The various maximum cost per MSY amounts can be found in Application instructions and NOFO and are on slide 37.
  • There are many exciting features in this year’s NOFO. They including Establishing funding priorities in the AmeriCorps State & National and Planning grants competition. Asking applicants to demonstrate how AmeriCorps is a highly effective solution for the problem being addressed. Adding a focus on the member service experience and how it leads to continued civic participation beyond the term of service. new character limits for implementation and planning grant applications. And increased guidance around coordination among State Commissions and Multi-state applicants Please follow this link to find the 2011 NOFOs to which organizations can apply. It is critical that you read and understand the NOFO and application instructions for the competition to which you are applying.
  • There are several categories of AmeriCorps grants that your organization could apply for. They include AmeriCorps State and National Competitive State & National Planning Grants State & National Education Award Program (EAP) Indian Tribes Program & Planning Grants States and Territories without Commissions Full-time fixed-amount Grants and State & National Professional Corps Be sure to carefully read the description of these categories in the 2011 NOFO.
  • First, we’re going to cover State and National Competitive grants. As we discussed earlier, applicants that intend to operate in only one state will apply for AmeriCorps State funding. There are two different types of AmeriCorps State grants – State Formula Grants and State Competitive Grants. In order to apply for either grant, t he vast majority of AmeriCorps state applicants will submit applications directly to their state’s Service Commission. Please review the link we mentioned on slide 15 for Commission’s contact information. Let’s discuss what a formula grant is. The Corporation allocates formula dollars to each state with a State Commission. As you’ll remember, state commissions are governor appointed bodies that are responsible for distributing AmeriCorps funding in their state. The Commission has the authority to grant Formula funds to programs that operate in their state at their discretion. The Corporation does not play a role in determining which programs receive formula funds. A state’s formula allocation is based on the state’s population, so California will have a larger formula allocation than lets say, Rhode Island. Applicants seeking formula funding will submit their application to their State Commission for a state-wide competition. If you recall from slide 12, the graphic indicated that formula funding can be distributed through both fixed-amount grants or through cost reimbursement grants. This distinction is made by each individual commission. Because formula funding is allocated to each state annually and the state commission had complete control over formula funding decisions – state formula competitions are not included in the 2011 NOFO. Next, lets talk about competitive grants. These are the grants included in the 2011 NOFO. Competitive grants are put forward to the Corporation by State Commissions to participate in a nationwide competition. T hese recommended programs compete with other applicants nationally and ultimate funding decision are made by the Corporation. Competitive grants are awarded out of the pool of funding described in the NOFO; this is anticipated as $311 million available for 2011. In order to compete for the competitive dollars, single state applicants must first submit applications through their State Commission. The Commission will host a competitive process and recommend only the strongest applications to the Corporation for the larger, nationwide competition Next, let’s talk about AmeriCorps National grants. These are grants that are operational in multiple states. Applicants funded through AmeriCorps National submit their application directly to CNCS. AmeriCorps National grant programs address community needs in at least two states. With an AmeriCorps National grant, the grantee has relationships with entities in different states that will operate the local programs. Prior to submitting an application to the Corporation, a multi state applicant is expected to consult with the State Commission of the states in which it intends to operate. Applications must include a description of the manner and extent to which the organization consulted with each State Commission in which the applicant intends to operate, and the nature of the consultation. The Corporation will solicit the views of State Commissions regarding applications received for programs operating in their states. Both state and national cost reimbursement grants have matching requirements. The NOFO and application instructions include information about required matching amounts for applicants. For the most part, we are referring to cost reimbursement grants when we explain this slide. Cost reimbursement grants fund AmeriCorps programs where costs are reimbursed based on the grantee’s expenditures. As you get further along in designing your program and your program's budget, the concept of cost reimbursement will become second nature to you. For now, just think of it as a way to distinguish one type of grant from another.
  • The purpose of planning grants is to support the development of an AmeriCorps program so that the applicant is better prepared to compete for an AmeriCorps operational grant in the following competitive cycle. To be eligible for an AmeriCorps State Planning Grant, applicants may not have previously received an AmeriCorps State or National grant. To be eligible for an AmeriCorps National Planning grant, applicants must not have previously received an AmeriCorps National grant. Indian Tribes are also eligible for planning grants and may use the grant to plan a program which will operate in one or multiple states; depending on what makes sense for their community. Like state or national applicants, Indian Tribes planning grant applicants may not have received an AmeriCorps grant in the past. There is mo re detail on Tribal grants coming up on slide 33. Planning grants can be awarded for up to $50,000 for one year only and do not support AmeriCorps members. During the planning period, the applicant designs an AmeriCorps program which addresses a need in their community or communities. Single state planning grant applicants should contact their state commission about the planning grant requirements in their state. Multi-State and Tribal planning grants submit applications directly to the Corporation. When awarded a planning grant, grantees are assigned a program officer to guide them through the planning year and receive program development assistance and training and technical assistance.
  • Single or multi state organizations are eligible to apply for an Education Award Program grant. These EAP awards are often small grants, in which the applicant organization uses their own or other resources to support members’ living allowance and program costs. Applicants can apply for up to $800 per MSY. There is no match requirement for EAP grants. EAPs receive minimal financial support from the Corporation and have fewer fiscal reporting requirements. Because of the minimal financial support, EAP grants are best suited for pre-existing service programs or for organizations with other sources of funding, for whom becoming part of AmeriCorps will add value to their program. For instance, partnering with AmeriCorps allows an existing program to recruit more service participants or serve more beneficiaries. EAP awards are fixed amount grants. The distinctions between regular EAP grants and the EAP Fixed-Amount Pilot grants is that regular EAP grants can include any kind of member slot type they choose and that regular grants are not subjected to the other requirements that accompany the pilot of fixed-amount awards. We’ll be discussing more about our full-time fixed-amount grants on slide 35. Multi state EAP programs are funded directly by the Corporation. EAP programs that intend to operate in only one state must apply for a grant from their State Commission.
  • Next we’re going to talk about Indian Tribes grants. Per CNCS’ legislation, a minimum of 1% of funds for AmeriCorps programs is required to be set aside for Tribal applicants. Tribal AmeriCorps programs are sponsored by Indian tribes and may be either single or multi state in nature. Indian tribes can also submit applications for other grant programs, but they must meet the eligibility requirements for those grants. If a program is sponsored by an Indian tribe, the tribe may request funding from AmeriCorps through our AmeriCorps Tribes NOFO and may choose to operate a multi or single state program. Tribal applicants may request a planning grant. See Slide 31 for planning grant information. Indian tribes can submit applications for any of the other grant programs that they choose. However, by applying to the specific Indian tribes NOFO and Tribes planning grant NOFO, tribal applicants are competing separately for the 1% of funding set aside for tribes.
  • Organizations located in or operating solely in South Dakota, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands should apply directly to the Corporation in lieu of having a Commission. Applicants from these localities are eligible to apply for funds for member support and program costs. State or Territory government entities are not eligible to apply.
  • Next let’s talk about Full-time Fixed-amount grants. Fixed amount grants are the only grant type where CNCS mandates that you use a particular slot type. As we just mentioned to be eligible for a fixed amount grant, your application can only utilize full time members. Fixed-amount grants allow programs to apply for a fixed dollar amount per member. The fixed amount awarded per member is significantly less than the cost of running an AmeriCorps program and the applicant must raise the additional revenue necessary to operate the program. An AmeriCorps program that receives a fixed-amount grant is like any other AmeriCorps program except that, unlike the more typical cost-reimbursement grant, the fixed amount grant does not require: Compliance with OMB Cost Principles. Detailed, line-item budgets. Corporation Federal Financial reports (FFRs). Match or documentation of match. Within the fixed price grant category, there are several different grant types with different cost per MSY. These grant types are the full-time fixed-amount, fixed-amount EAP and fixed amount professional corps grants. The maximum costs per Member Service Year (MSY) varies depending on the different grant types: Full Time Pilot = $13,000 EAP = $800 Professional Corps = $2,000 Approved applicants must agree to particip ate in evaluations the Corporation conducts to measure success of full-time grants in reducing burden on the recipients.
  • The AmeriCorps State and National professional corps program model places AmeriCorps members as teachers, health care providers, police officers, engineers, or other professionals in communities where there is an inadequate number of such professionals. If you remember back to slide 12, several different funding categories allow for professional corps grants. Applicants can apply for up to $2,500 per MSY, are eligible to apply for funding for a portion of program costs, and should use their own or other resources to pay the members’ living allowance and additional member costs. The cost per MSY is low with professional corps programs because the cost of supporting the members is essentially paid by the organization that hires the individual member. AmeriCorps professional corps grant funds do not cover the living allowance or heath care costs. For example, if a member is hired by a professional corps teacher program to be a full time teacher in a school; the school would actually pay the member a salary and cover other support expenses, like heath care, exactly the same way that they would for any new employee. Multi-state applicants may also apply for up to $50,000 to support start-up costs for a new Professional Corps program. An organization proposing a Professional Corps program that operates in more than one state applies directly to the Corporation. A Professional Corps program that operates in only one state must apply for a state competitive or formula grant from the State Commission of the state in which it intends to operate.
  • This chart will help you consider the maximum Cost/MSY for the various grant categories. As we discussed on slide 27, the amount of your grant is directly related to the number of MSY you request. The calculations in this chart are based on 18.18 MSY, from the last example given on slide 27.
  • Lets say, you’ve been successful in submitting your application and your grant has been awarded. Here are some of the things you need to consider as you endeavor to implement your program. If you are awarded AmeriCorps state funds, the awarded program legally becomes a sub-grantee of the state commission from which it received its funding. As a sub-grantee, the program must: ensure the recruitment, orientation and training of members; track, and ensure the accuracy of, member hours and activities, and progress toward meeting approved performance measures; participate as requested in Commission activities, and; act as liaison between the Commission and your program sites and members. If you are awarded funds directly from the Corporation, you, as the grantee or parent organization, have overall legal, administrative, and fiscal responsibility for the entire scope of the program, even if the funds are sub-granted. As a grantee of the Corporation you must: Develop strong fiscal and program management systems; monitor financial management, program performance and member activities at operating sites and service locations; You must train and provide technical assistance to staff at parent organization and at sites; You must ensure the recruitment, orientation and training of members; track, and ensure the accuracy of member hours and activities, and track progress toward meeting approved performance measures; And finally, you must act as the liaison between CNCS and other elements of your program. As you implement your program CNCS will be here to help you, but your organization must be adequately prepared to take on the responsibility of running an AmeriCorps program.
  • For more resources, including the 2011 NOFO and state and national specific information, please visit the websites listed here.
  • To access eGrants, please click on the top link. For additional technical support as you complete your application, please join us on a technical assistance call. Please click on this link for the call schedule and registrations info. You can now connect with us on Twitter at twitter.com slash grow underscore AmeriCorps. GROW_AmeriCorps stands for Grant Resources & Opportunities with AmeriCorps. On Twitter, we’ll publicize information on AC funding opportunities and let you know about additional technical assistance & support.
  • Additional information and resources are available on the National Service Resource Center at the web address listed on this slide. This site contains useful information for current AmeriCorps grantees as well as those interested in starting a new program. It is recommended that you review the program start-up web tool as you develop your program design. Additionally, you can review the AmeriCorps Budget development tutorial to learn more about building a budget to support an AmeriCorps program. Lastly, a link is provided for you to review information about establishing performance measures for AmeriCorps programs and to find out about the National Performance Measures created by CNCS.
  • If you think you know about AmeriCorps already but are still unsure of which grant type might be right, use the fitfinder to determine what kind of funding is best for your organization. This interactive tool will walk you through the different grant types mentioned in this presentation. This page shows you how to access the fit finder.
  • For more information please contact CNCS via internet or phone at these addresses. Thank you for participating in this presentation!

AmeriCorps Grants 101 Presentation Presentation Transcript

  • 1. AmeriCorps State and National presents… AmeriCorps Grants 101 A presentation for organizations considering applying for AmeriCorps funding 1 Please watch the presentation on your full screen. Click on the projection screen icon in the lower right side where it says, “full”.
  • 2.
    • Session Objectives
    • What this Training Will do and What it Will Not do
    • Introduction to the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) & AmeriCorps
    • AmeriCorps Members
    • 2011 Notice of Federal Funding Opportunity (NOFO)
    • What are AmeriCorps Grants?
    • Categories of AmeriCorps Funding
    • Resources
    Agenda 2
  • 3. Session Objectives
    • Understand how communities may benefit from AmeriCorps
    • Distinguish between the different AmeriCorps grant programs
    • Know how the application process works
    • Know how to access resources and materials
    3
  • 4. What this Training Will do & What it Will Not do
    • Will…
    • Tell you about CNCS and our programs
    • De-mystify AmeriCorps
    • Give you more specific information about how your organization can apply for AmeriCorps resources
    • Give you information on where to find additional support & answers
    • Will Not…
    • Tell you how to become an AmeriCorps Member
    • Ensure that you are awarded an AmeriCorps or any other CNCS grant
    • Inform you of every CNCS funding opportunity
    4
  • 5. Corporation for National & Community Service (CNCS) 5
    • was created in 1993 through the signing of the National and Community Service Trust Act which expanded opportunities for Americans to serve their communities through national service.
    • is the nation’s largest grantmaker supporting service and volunteering
    • engages millions of Americans of all ages and backgrounds in service each year through AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and Learn and Serve America
    • promotes United We Serve – www.Serve.gov
    • For more info on CNCS and the history of National Service please visit - http://www.na tionalservice.gov/about/role_impact/history_timeline.asp
  • 6. CNCS Continued Signed on April 21, 2009 The Serve America Act went into effect on October 1, 2009. More information on the Serve America Act can be found at: http://www.nationalservice.gov/about/serveamerica/index.asp Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act 2009 6
  • 7. How does AmeriCorps get its funding?
    • CNCS receives funding annually through the federal budget making process.
    7 President's Budget Request House Budget Senate Budget Reconciled Appropriations = The Federal Budget The Corporation for National and Community Service Learn and Serve America AmeriCorps Senior Corps
  • 8. 8
  • 9. AmeriCorps
    • AmeriCorps VISTA: provides full-time AmeriCorps members to community organizations and public agencies to serve in high-poverty, low-income communities.
    • AmeriCorps NCCC: a full-time residential program for men and women, ages 18-24 who engage in short-term service projects across the country.
    • AmeriCorps State and National: provides grants that support a broad range of service programs that engage thousands of Americans in intensive service to meet critical community needs.
    is an umbrella that consists of 3 programs: 9
  • 10. What is AmeriCorps State and National?
    • A network of local, state, and national service programs that connects more than 67,000 Americans each year in intensive service to meet our country’s critical needs in education, public safety, health and the environment.
    • Provides grants to nonprofits, faith & secular community-based organizations, public agencies, Indian tribes, and institutions of higher education.
    • Provides opportunities for individuals – AmeriCorps members – to serve communities across the country.
    • Since 1994, more than 637,000 men and women have provided service as AmeriCorps members.
    10
  • 11. AmeriCorps State and National Cont.
    • Recipient organizations design AmeriCorps programs that address locally identified, compelling community needs by engaging AmeriCorps members & other volunteers in service.
    • Allows organizations to better address community needs by utilizing AmeriCorps resources to support existing programs
    • Allows organizations to reach previously underserved communities
    • Funds do not supplant resources that organically exist in a community.
    11
  • 12. Single-State Fixed-amount Grants PC Direct, Multi-State Cost Reimbursement Grants Planning Grants Planning Grants EAP Fixed-amount Grants EAP Program Model Key: EAP = Education Award Programs PC = Professional Corps Programs FT = Full Time Fixed-amount Competitive Formula PC Cost Reimbursement Grants PC PC PC FT Indian Tribes Planning Grants Cost Reimbursement Grants FT 12
  • 13. What do AmeriCorps State and National Programs Do?
    • Use service and volunteering to address compelling community needs through activities such as:
    • Engage AmeriCorps members and other volunteers in activities that address a community need.
    13
    • Building affordable housing
    • Recruiting and managing volunteers
    • Responding to natural disasters
    • Cleaning parklands and managing natural resources
    • Re-engaging court-involved youth and adults
    • Tutoring and mentoring youth
    • Improving health services
    • Job training and placement
    • Supporting arts in schools
    • Teaching computer skills
    • Coordinating events and activities for individuals with disabilities
    • Running after-school programs
  • 14. State Service Commissions
    • Are comprised of boards nominated and appointed by a state’s governor who oversee the implementation of national/community service and volunteer initiatives in their state.
    • Provide feedback to the Corporation on the multi-state programs operating in their state.
    • Provide Corporation funding to single state AmeriCorps programs through annual grant competitions.
    • Most employ staff that manage, monitor and evaluate single state AmeriCorps programs. Staff can also administer state specific volunteer initiatives.
    14
  • 15. Single-State AmeriCorps Programs
    • Submit grant applications to governor-appointed State Service Commissions.
    • Engage AmeriCorps members in providing direct service to address unmet community needs.
    • If your program wishes to address community needs in only one state, your organization would apply to your states State Service Commission for AmeriCorps funding.
    • http://www.americorps.gov/about/contact/statecommission.asp
    • Multi-State programs must collaborate with Commissions
    15
  • 16. Multi-State AmeriCorps Programs 16
    • Address community needs in at least two states.
    • Have relationships with entities in different states that will operate the local programs.
    • Consult with State Commissions in each of the states where they operate programming.
    • Submit grant applications directly to the Corporation via our on-line grant system called eGrants.
    • http://www.nationalservice.gov/egrants/
  • 17. AmeriCorps Program Design
    • Members provide their service with the organization receiving the AmeriCorps grant.
    • Members are placed at community organizations by the grant recipient.
    • Members serve as a team on a single project.
    • Members are placed individually or in small groups on various projects.
    • Members serve as teachers, health care providers, police officers, engineers, or other professionals in communities where there is an inadequate number of such professionals.
    The design/structure of AmeriCorps programs vary. Examples: 17
    • Single-State
    • Programs operate in a single state
    • All are funded by a state service commission
    • Multi-State
    • Operate in multiple states
    • Funded directly by the Corporation
    • Indian Tribes
    • May choose to operate in one state
    • Funded directly by the Corporation
  • 18.
    • A Few Things to Consider:
    • Will the service activities take place in one state or more than one state?
    • Will your organization require funding from AmeriCorps to support members during their term of service?
    • Do you partner with other organizations who can provide the living allowance or other benefits (housing, meals, work study, etc). to members during their term of service?
    • Are you placing members as professionals in a community?
    AmeriCorps Program Design Cont. 18 You design a program that best meets identified local, community needs
  • 19. AmeriCorps Member Benefits and Eligibility AmeriCorps Members 19
  • 20. Who are AmeriCorps Members?
    • Individuals enrolled for a specific term of service with an AmeriCorps program.
    • Members are not volunteers or employees.
    • Some AmeriCorps members receive a living allowance, health insurance and child care assistance to support them during their term of service.
    • AmeriCorps members receive the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award upon successfully completing a term of service.
    • All AmeriCorps members are subject to criminal history checks
    20
  • 21. Member Eligibility
    • Members must be:
    • U.S. Citizens, U.S. Nationals or Lawful Permanent Residents of the United States
    • At least 17 years of age – no upper age limit
    • High school graduates or GED recipients (or working towards this goal during their term of service)
    • http://www.americorps.gov/for_individuals/ready/eligibility.asp
    21
  • 22. AmeriCorps Grants
    • And now, the part you’ve all been waiting for…
    • What are AmeriCorps Grants?
    22
  • 23. AmeriCorps State & National Grants
    • provide partial funding to support AmeriCorps projects/programs. Grant recipients must contribute cash or in-kind match funding to support the project
    • are solely for program expenses and are not for general organizational expenses
    • include an allotment of AmeriCorps member positions and funds are directly tied to a specific number of members
    • A new applicant for a reimbursable grant (non-fixed-amount) is required to match at 24% to support its program. F ixed-amount grants are exempt from matching requirements.
    23
  • 24. AmeriCorps Grants Applications
    • NOFO and application instructions are provided by CNCS.
    • Organizations submit grant applications to the Corporation via online eGrants system or to their State Service Commission’s competition.
    • Applications consist of a description of the community need, a plan for how the applicant will utilize AmeriCorps members to meet the need, descriptions of management systems to support the program, information on the organization’s capacity and a budget.
    • Budgets: member living allowance and benefits, member and staff training, personnel costs, supplies, and evaluation.
    • Fixed-amount grants.
    • Applicants must demonstrate the capacity to administer and monitor a federal grant.
    24
  • 25. How are AmeriCorps Applications Processed 25 Compliance check External review Internal Staff review Clarification Award - about June 2011
    • Planning Grants
    • Submitted to CNCS or State commission by 11.4.2011
    • Compliance check
    • Initial Screening
    • Full Staff review
    • Clarification
    • Award - about February 2011
    • Single State
    • Apply to State Commission (deadlines vary)
    • Commission conducts review of applications
    • Submit grants to CNCS for funding on 1.25.11
    • Multi State & Tribes
    • Submit application to CNCS 1.25.11
  • 26. Member Terms of Service 26 Member Term Minimum Hours Served Maximum Length of Term Full Time (FT) 1,700 12 months Half Time (HT) 900 24 months (usually 12) Reduced Half Time (RHT) 675 12 months Quarter Time (QT) 450 12 months Minimum Time (MT) 300 12 months
  • 27. What Amount Can I Request from CNCS?
    • The size of AmeriCorps grants are directly related to the number of
    • Member Service Years (MSY) an applicant requests.
    • 1 MSY is equivalent to 1 Full Time member (1700 hours)
    • For example, if 2011 maximum cost per MSY = $13,300.
        • You intend to request 20 FT AmeriCorps members
        • 20 MSY x $13,300 = $266,000 = the CNCS grant request
    • The number and kind of slot configuration will determine the number of MSY requested by the program.
    • 10 FT, 10 HT, 12 QT = 32 slots and 18.18 MSY.
    • The application instructions help you calculate the number of MSY
    • Maximum cost per MSY varies by grant type
    • Cost per MSY is a competitive factor during grant review
    27
  • 28. The 2011 NOFOs
    • Important features in the current NOFO include:
    • Funding priorities for the AmeriCorps State & National implementation and planning grants
    • Placing an emphasis on the ability of AmeriCorps to be a highly effective solution to the identified community need
    • Focusing on a program’s ability to provide a powerful member service experience that leads to continued civic participation
    • New character limit for applicants
    • Increased guidance around coordination among State Commissions and Multi-state applicants
    • Expanding the national performance measures in 5 of the 6 Focus Areas
    • http://www.americorps.gov/for_organizations/funding/nofa.asp
    28
  • 29. Categories of AmeriCorps Funding
    • State & National Competitive
    • State & National Planning Grants
    • State & National Education Award Program (EAP)
    • Indian Tribes Program & Planning Grants
    • States and Territories without Commissions
    • Full-time Fixed-amount Grants
    • State & National Professional Corps
    29
  • 30. State and National Competitive What does cost reimbursement mean? 30
    • State = Single-State
    • Submit applications to their state’s Service Commission.
    • Formula - Each state is allocated funds to grant to programs operating in their state. A state’s formula allocation is based on the state’s population. (Can also be fixed-amount grants).
    • Competitive - grants are put forward to the Corporation. These recommended programs compete in a national competition
    • Single state programs must contact their State Service Commission to apply for AmeriCorps funding.
    • National = Multi-State
    • Applicants funded through AmeriCorps National submit their application directly to CNCS via our online eGrants system.
    • AmeriCorps National grant programs address community needs in at least two states.
    • With an AmeriCorps National grant, the grantee has relationships with entities in different states that will operate the local programs.
    • Must consult with the State Commission of the state in which it intends to operate.
  • 31. State and National Planning Grants
    • The purpose of these grants is to support the development of AmeriCorps programs.
    • Applicants cannot have previously received an AmeriCorps grant.
    • Indian Tribes are eligible for planning grants and may plan to operate in one or multiple states.
    • Grants are for up to $50,000 for one year only.
    • During the planning period, grantees are assigned a program officer and receive program development assistance.
    • Please see our slideshare planning grant presentation and
    • the 2011 AmeriCorps planning grant NOFO and application instructions.
    31 Multi-State and Tribes - submit applications directly to the Corporation Singe-State - contact state commission about the planning grant requirements in their state
  • 32. State & National Education Award Program (EAP)
    • Receives minimal financial support from the AmeriCorps grant and has fewer fiscal reporting requirements.
    • Maximum cost per MSY - $800
    • Best suited for pre-existing service programs to which AmeriCorps will add value.
    • For instance, partnering with AmeriCorps allows an existing service program to recruit more service participants or serve more beneficiaries.
    • Are fixed-amount grants. Separate from Full-time Fixed-Amount grants.
    • Funded directly by the Corporation or through state commissions.
    32
  • 33. Indian Tribes Program & Planning Grants
    • These AmeriCorps programs are sponsored by Indian tribes.
    • Per CNCS’ legislation, a minimum of 1% of funds for AmeriCorps programs is set aside for Tribal applicants
    • Applications for funding can be submitted directly to the Corporation via eGrants
    • Tribal applicants may request a planning grant. See Slide 31 for planning grant information.
    • Indian tribes can also submit applications for any of the other grant programs.
    33
  • 34. States and Territories without Commission
    • Applicants from these locations can apply directly to CNCS
        • South Dakota
        • CNMI
        • US Virgin Islands
    34
  • 35. Full-time Fixed-amount
    • A fixed-amount pilot grant is like any other AmeriCorps program except that, unlike the more typical cost reimbursement grant, the fixed amount grant does not require:
        • Compliance with OMB Cost Principles.
        • Detailed, line-item budgets.
        • Corporation FFRs.
        • Match or documentation of match.
    • The maximum costs per MSY varies:
      • Full-time Fixed-amount = $13,000
      • Fixed-amount EAP = $800
      • Fixed-amount Professional Corps = $2,000
    35
  • 36. State & National Professional Corps
    • A program model that recruits and places qualified participants in positions as teachers, nurses and other health care providers, police officers, engineers, or other professionals providing service to meet educational, public safety, human, or environmental needs in communities with an inadequate number of such professionals.
    • Professional Corps maximum cost per MSY - $2,500
    • Multi state applicants may also apply for up to $50,000 to support start-up costs for a new Professional Corps program.
    • Programs can operate in one more states and should apply to a commission or to CNCS accordingly.
    36
  • 37. State & National Cost per MSY Chart 37 Funding Opportunity Maximum Cost/MSY Total CNCS Funding Request ( based on 18.18 MSY ) State & National Competitive, Indian Tribes & Fixed-Amount Full Time Pilot Member Programs $13,300 $241,794 State & National Professional Corps Programs $2500 $45,450 Fixed-Amount Pilot Professional Corps Programs $2000 $36,360 State & National EAP and Fixed-Amount Education Award Programs $800 $14,544
  • 38. Operating an AmeriCorps Program 38
    • Indian Tribes or National : Multi-State
    • The grantee has overall legal, administrative, and fiscal responsibility for the entire scope of the program, even if the funds are sub-granted.
    • The grantee must:
    • develop strong fiscal and program management systems; monitor financial management, program performance and member activities at operating sites and service locations;
    • train and provide technical assistance to staff at parent organization and at sites;
    • ensure the recruitment, orientation and training of members; track, and ensure the accuracy of member hours and activities, and track progress toward meeting approved performance measures;
    • act as liaison between CNCS and other elements of your program
    • State : Single-State
    • The program legally becomes a sub-grantee of the state commission.
    • The sub-grantee must:
    • ensure the recruitment, orientation and training of members; track, and ensure the accuracy of, member hours and activities, and progress toward meeting approved performance measures;
    • participate as requested in Commission activities
    • act as liaison between the Commission and your program.
  • 39. Resources 39
    • www.americorps.gov
    • http:// americorps.gov/for_organizations/apply/index.asp
    • Click on: How to Apply / Eligibility
    • Which takes you to:
    • Link to state competition information:
    • http:// www.americorps.gov/for_organizations/apply/state.asp
    • Link to national competition information:
    • h ttp:// www.americorps.gov/for_organizations/apply/national .asp
  • 40. More Resources
    • Link to eGrants
    • http://www.nationalservice.gov/egrant s/
    • Link to AmeriCorps technical assistance call schedule
    • http://www.americorps.gov/pdf/10_1005_nofa_ac_tta.pdf
    • Connect with us on Twitter at GROW_AmeriCorps http://twitter.com/GROW_AmeriCorps
    • GROW_AmeriCorps stands for –
    • G rant R esources & O pportunitie W ith A meriCorps.
    • Please continue to look on slideshare for AmeriCorpsOutreach ’s
    • presentations to tell you more about how to access AmeriCorps resources.
    40
  • 41. Even More Resources
    • Link to The Resource Center:
    • http://www.nationalserviceresources.org/
    • Link to Program Start-Up Resources:
    • http://s3.amazonaws.com/resource_center_video/taag/program-start-up/index.html
    • Budget Tutorial for AmeriCorps Programs http://www.nationalserviceresources.org/online-courses/preparing-the-grant-budget-for-americorps-programs
    • Performance Measurement Resources http://www.nationalserviceresources.org/star/ac
    41
  • 42. Which AmeriCorps Grant Program is Right For You? www.americorps.gov/fitfinder/index.html 42
  • 43. For More Information 43 www.AmeriCorsp.gov/about/contacts/statecommissions.asp [email_address] Or 202.606.7508 Getting Things Done for America