Washington, D.C. — The Corporation for National and Community Service today kicked off its 2011 AmeriCorps grant competition by releasing two funding notices for organizations interested in using national service as a solution to critical problems facing our communities and our nation.
The competition will carry out the goal of the landmark bipartisan Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act to both expand AmeriCorps and target it on a common set of national challenges. The competition also reflects the Corporation's strategic direction of using service as solution, expanding opportunities to serve, embracing innovation, and building the capacity of individuals, organizations, and communities to solve problems.
“Every year, AmeriCorps becomes more effective at meeting local needs,” said Patrick A. Corvington, CEO of the Corporation. “As more organizations discover the extraordinary added value that AmeriCorps members bring to their work, the competition for AmeriCorps grants becomes more rigorous. We're looking for high-impact organizations across America to submit their strongest applications for how to use AmeriCorps members to address pressing social problems.”
The total funding available will be set by Congress through the appropriations process now underway. If the President's fiscal year 2011 budget request is fully funded, the agency anticipates approximately $311 million to be available for new, recompeting, and continuation grants in all of the AmeriCorps State and National grant categories, and $1 million for AmeriCorps planning grants.
The funding notice outlines how the funding will make a focused investment in the six national issue priorities identified in the Serve America Act of 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.
Within these six focus areas, the Corporation will give additional priority to those applications that propose to meet the Corporation's strategic objectives.These strategic objectives will be included in an amended notice which will be issued following approval of the Corporation's five-year strategic plan later this fall.Additional information on the development of the strategic objectives and the strategic plan can be found on the Corporation's website here.
The 2011 competition will continue the Serve America Act program features put in place last year to increase impact, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. Among those are standardized national performance measures, simplified application procedures, and fixed-amount grants to lessen record-keeping burdens. The funding opportunity will also streamline and simplify the criteria by which programs are evaluated for funding as outlined in the rulemaking enacted by the Corporation earlier this month.
Public or private nonprofit organizations, including labor organizations, faith-based and other community organizations; institutions of higher education; government entities within states or territories (e.g., cities, counties); Indian Tribes; partnerships and consortia; and intermediaries planning to subgrant funds awarded are eligible to apply. The Corporation encourages organizations that have never received funding from the Corporation or AmeriCorps to apply for these grants.
Applications to the Corporation are due January 25, 2011, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, and successful applicants will be notified in early June 2011. Potential applicants are encouraged to read all the information posted on the Corporation's New Funding Opportunities web page. For questions regarding multi-state or Indian Tribe applications to be submitted directly to the Corporation, please call (202) 606-7508 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions concerning a single-state application, e-mail email@example.com or contact the State Commission in your state. A list of all State Commissions can be found here.
AmeriCorps Planning Grants
The Corporation also announced the availability of $1 million in AmeriCorps State and National and Indian Tribes Planning Grants. The grants support the development of AmeriCorps programs so applicants are better prepared to compete for an AmeriCorps grant in the following grant cycle. Organizations applying for planning grants must not have previously received an AmeriCorps grant.
Planning grant applications are due November 4, 2010 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Successful applicants will be notified in February, 2011. The 2011 AmeriCorps Planning Grants funding notice is available here:
Questions about the planning grant competition can be submitted to the email addresses listed above.
AmeriCorps was established in 1993 as a way for Americans to give back to their communities and country and earn money for college in return. More than 637,000 AmeriCorps members have given 774 million hours of service since the program's inception. AmeriCorps members serve with thousands of nonprofit, faith-based, and community groups each year, helping them expand their reach and better meet their mission. Last year AmeriCorps members mobilized or managed 2.4 million volunteers for the organizations they serve.