The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is an independent, federal grant-making government agency whose mission is to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic participation through service and volunteering. For almost 20 years, CNCS—through its programs: Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, Volunteer Generation Fund (VGF), and Social Innovation Fund (SIF)—has helped to engage millions of citizens in meeting community and national challenges through service and volunteer action. CNCS provides grants to national and local nonprofits, schools, government agencies, faith-based and other community organizations and other groups committed to strengthening their communities through volunteering.
Grants are either made directly to an organization or through an intermediary group that handles the distribution of grant funding. Eligibility requirements and funding opportunities vary by program.
AmeriCorps is an umbrella that consists of three distinct programs: AmeriCorps VISTA, the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps program or NCCC, and AmeriCorps State and National.
- To review current program grants, visit the Notices of Funds Availability / Notice of Funding Opportunities page.
- To review previous funding opportunities, visit our Archived Funding Opportunties page.
- To review a list of previously funded programs, visit Results of Grants Competition page.
- For general program information, visit our AmeriCorps, SIF, VGF and Senior Corps program or grant pages.
- To volunteer to review applications for a CNCS grant competition, visit the Become a Peer Reviewer.
AmeriCorps State and National
AmeriCorps State and National is the largest of the three AmeriCorps programs. State and National provides grants to eligible organizations in every state to meet needs in education, health, the environment, economic opportunity, veterans and military families, and disaster services. AmeriCorps State and National grantees include non-profits, faith & secular community-based organizations, public agencies, Indian tribes, and institutions of higher education.
AmeriCorps State and National grants allow organizations to more effectively address community needs by using AmeriCorps resources to reach previously underserved communities and/or expand their activities beyond what they were able to do without AmeriCorps. Grants provide a portion of the funds needed to run an AmeriCorps program; grant recipients must also contribute match funding (cash and/or in-kind) to support the project. AmeriCorps grants include an allotment of AmeriCorps member positions and funds directly tied to the specific number of members awarded. AmeriCorps grants are solely for program expenses and cannot be used for general organizational operating expenses.
- To learn more about applying for a grant, visit Applying for State and National Grants
- For AmeriCorps State programs, contact your State Service Commission
AmeriCorps VISTA Sponsorships & Projects
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 individuals and communities out of poverty.
AmeriCorps NCCC Sponsorships & Projects
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 campuses 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 - FEMA Corps for whom FEMA is the only sponsor.
Non-profit organizations (secular and faith-based), local/state/federal governments, national/state parks, Indian tribes, and schools are eligible to request the assistance of AmeriCorps NCCC teams of 8-12 members in projects that typically last from 6 to 8 weeks, addressing critical needs in environmental stewardship and conservation, infrastructure improvement, energy conservation, urban and rural development and natural and other disasters.
NCCC campus staff help any potential sponsor organization complete a project application, assist in developing a work plan, and help the sponsor prepare for the AmeriCorps NCCC team’s arrival. A team will arrive with their own transportation, are coordinated and supervised by a team leader, adhere to a structured daily/weekly schedule, and execute the planned goals.
Sponsors are asked to provide housing for the team, training, technical supervision, supplies, and service learning support to help the team understand the community’s needs and the organization’s work.
Senior Corps consists of three distinct programs: RSVP, the Foster Grandparent Program (FGP), and the Senior Companion Program (SCP). For more information about Senior Corps programs, see the Senior Corps page. The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act gives CNCS the authority to have grant competitions for RSVP. Established in 1971 and now one of the largest senior volunteer programs in the nation, RSVP offers a diverse range of volunteer activities that serve communities to create measurable impact, benefit volunteers through the service experience, and create community capacity. RSVP volunteers serve with commitments ranging from a few hours to 40 hours per week.
Through this RSVP competition, CNCS seeks to increase the impact of national service in specific communities across the country. RSVP funds grants that support volunteers age 55 years and older in activities that serve community needs and respond to the National Performance Measures in the following focus areas: disaster; education; economic opportunity; environment; healthy futures; and veterans and military families. For more information about RSVP competitions, visit Notices of Funds Availability / Notice of Funding Opportunities
FGP and SCP competition opportunities occur on a very limited basis to allow services to continue to relinquished areas. For information on possible FGP or SCP grants for Senior Corps programs, contact your CNCS State Office.
Other CNCS Grants
The Notices of Funds Availability / Notice of Funding Opportunities page also includes notices for other national service programs.
- For more information about Social Innovation Fund (SIF), see the SIF page.
- To learn more about the Volunteer Generation Fund (VGF) Grants, go to the VGF page.
CNCS uses its own online grant application and project management process, eGrants, for AmeriCorps State and National, AmeriCorps VISTA and RSVP applications. When you decide you want to apply for a CNCS opportunity, you need to register your organization with eGrants and become familiar with how to create an application, a budget, performance measures and other required information.
- Tutorial that explains how to create and manage an eGrants account.
Please visit the eGrants (login) page for the following:
- Submission and tracking grant applications and concept papers;
- On-line grant application peer review;
- Managing grants and cooperative agreements including processing amendments, and continuations;
- Creating, submitting and editing your recruitment listings;
- Selecting applicants and searching for applicants; and
- Financial Status and Progress Reporting.
Program Regulations, Provisions, and Guidance
To plan and manage a CNCS program that is both effective and compliant it is important to understand the grant requirements. Please refer to the Managing Senior Corps Grants or Managing AmeriCorps Grants for the information you need to understand grant requirements.