Washington, D.C. — The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) today kicked off its 2012 AmeriCorps grant competition by releasing three funding notices for organizations interested in using national service as a solution to critical problems facing our communities and the nation.
The grant competition carries out the goals of the bipartisan 2009 Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act and the agency's 2011-2015 Strategic Plan to achieve greater impact by targeting resources on a core set of challenges and using performance measures to assess and demonstrate impact.
“AmeriCorps members are improving the lives of millions of citizens and having a positive and lasting impact on the toughest challenges facing our communities,” said John Gomperts, Director of AmeriCorps. “As more organizations discover the extraordinary added value that AmeriCorps members bring to their work, the competition for AmeriCorps grants becomes more intense. We're looking for high-impact organizations across America to submit their strongest applications for how to use AmeriCorps members to meet pressing community needs.”
The 2012 competition will target AmeriCorps grantmaking on the six national focus areas identified in the Serve America Act and the agency's five-year Strategic Plan: disaster services, economic opportunity, education, environmental stewardship, healthy futures, and veterans and military families. To maximize its return on investment, CNCS is seeking to fund programs that use an evidence-based approach to meeting community needs.
Within the six focus areas, CNCS especially seeks to focus 2012 AmeriCorps investments in three areas: improving academic outcomes for children, youth, and young adults; serving veterans and military families or engaging veterans in service; and increasing community resiliency through disaster preparation, response, recovery, and mitigation. In addition, grants will also provide support for capacity building activities that enable organizations to provide more, better, and sustained direct services, such as volunteer recruitment and management, community assessments, and enhancing systems and business practices.
The 2012 competition implements the third year of the National Performance Measures Pilot. The AmeriCorps State and National performance measures reflect a broader set of agency-wide Priority Measures that will be central to the way CNCS assesses its performance and impact going forward. The Priority Measures, which resulted from a year-long collaborative effort with the national service field and the public, are an expression of the key goals of CNCS' Strategic Plan: increasing community impact in six focus areas; strengthening the participant experience; building grantee and community capacity; and strengthening accountability and effectiveness. Other CNCS programs will develop program specific measures based on the agency-wide Priority Measures that will be reflected in upcoming competitions and guidance. The emphasis on performance measurement is consistent with cutting edge practice in the nonprofit and philanthropic world, and mirrors of many in the national service field.
“AmeriCorps members and the millions of volunteers they mobilize are a vital resource to help local leaders meet immediate community needs and make a lasting difference,” said Robert Velasco, II, Acting CEO of CNCS. “By targeting our resources and using standardized performances measures, we will be able drive greater impact on critical needs facing local communities.”
Public or private nonprofit organizations, including faith-based and other community organizations; institutions of higher education; government entities within states or territories; labor organizations; Indian Tribes; partnerships and consortia; and intermediaries planning to subgrant funds awarded are eligible to apply. Organizations that have never received funding from CNCS or AmeriCorps are encouraged to apply for these grants.
CNCS anticipates awarding new, recompeting, and continuation AmeriCorps grants for fiscal year 2012. The actual level of funding will be subject to the availability of annual appropriations, which have not yet been made. In awarding funds, continuation grants are considered first, followed by new and recompeting grants. CNCS anticipates that this AmeriCorps grant competition will be highly competitive.
Applications are due January 18, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time and successful applicants will be notified by May 31, 2012. Potential applicants are encouraged to read all the information, including the Notice of Federal Funding Opportunity, the Application Instructions, the National Performance Measures Instructions (coming soon), and AmeriCorps regulations 45 CFR Sections 2520 – 2550.
For further information or for a printed copy of this Notice, call (202) 606-7508. The TTY number is 202–606-3472. For questions regarding multi-state or Indian Tribes applications submitted directly to CNCS, please call (202) 606-7508 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions concerning a single-state application, contact State Commissionin your state.
The Corporation for National and Community Service will hold two public conference calls to provide background and answer questions about the 2012 AmeriCorps funding opportunity. The first call is on Thursday, September 8, 2011 from 11:30 – 12:30 p.m. at 888-391-7041 and passcode 3730892. The second call is on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. at 888-391-7041 and passcode 1412326.
AmeriCorps Planning Grants
CNCS also announces the availability of funding for AmeriCorps State and National and Indian Tribes Planning Grants. Planning grants support the development of AmeriCorps programs so applicants are better prepared to compete for an AmeriCorps grant in the following grant cycle. The actual level of funding will be subject to the availability of annual appropriations, which have not yet been made. Applicants may apply for up to a maximum of $50,000. Organizations applying for planning grants must not have previously received an AmeriCorps grant.
Planning grant applications are due January 18, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Successful applicants will be notified in mid-April, 2012. The 2012 AmeriCorps Planning Grants funding notices are available here. Questions about the planning grant competition can be submitted to the email addresses listed above.