About AmeriCorps State and National Grants

How AmeriCorps State and National Works

Multi-state, state, local and tribal grantees recruit, train and manage AmeriCorps members in direct service and capacity building activities to address unmet community needs in six focus areas:  education, healthy futures, clean energy/environment, veterans and military families, disaster services, and economic opportunity. AmeriCorps members help organizations expand services, build capacity, develop partnerships, leverage resources, create sustainable programs, and recruit and manage other volunteers. Each year, AmeriCorps members serve with thousands of nonprofit, faith-based, and community organizations, helping them expand their reach and better meet their mission.  These powerful service experiences also help AmeriCorps members develop lifelong civic engagement.

AmeriCorps State and National grants PowerPoint presentations:

AmeriCorps State and National Priorities

AmeriCorps grant making priorities are informed by the CNCS strategic plan. Priorities vary somewhat from year to year and are outlined in detail in the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). The CNCS focus areas are: economic opportunity, education, veterans and military families, disaster services, healthy futures, environmental stewardship and capacity building.

Currently available funding opportunities are listed on the Funding Opportunities page. Applicants can also examine a list of past grant awards on the Results of Grant Competition page or in the list of Press Releases published by the CNCS Newsroom.

Research and Plan your Application

Research the community need and successful interventions to address this need. Clearly identify and document a community need (with referenced statistics/data). Determine if AmeriCorps members are the appropriate resource to respond to and address this need, and if so, how and why.

Unless you have impact evaluation data from your own organization and program, you may want to know how other organizations and/or communities have addressed and solved this problem and what research says is the most effective intervention.

Determine your theory of change. Developing the outlines of a logic model can help show how the pieces of the program fit together:  Need -> Intervention -> Outputs -> Outcomes. The theory of change and logic model provide the cause and effect basis of your program design.

Effective program design creates the foundation for a successful application and program implementation. Carefully review the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) and the Application Instructions. Respond to the specific criteria with the exact information that is requested. The NOFO changes from year to year, so be sure to respond to all aspects of the current application criteria and format.

 CNCS Performance Measures

CNCS requires every AmeriCorps State and National applicant to include a set of aligned performance measures that they will use in reporting their progress. CNCS has developed a set a national performance measures that allow CNCS to roll up numbers reported by grantees to develop a picture of the impact of national service programs in some key areas. AmeriCorps performance measures include a set of  agency-wide priority measures and complementary program measures within CNCS focus areas.

Specific performance measure instructions are listed on the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) page for which they apply.

Prepare a Budget

Learn about budget development with a focus on preparing and administering a CNCS grant budget for an AmeriCorps program.

Some federal agencies allow their funds to be used as match for AmeriCorps State and National grants.

Rules and Regulations

To plan and manage an AmeriCorps program that is both effective and compliant, it is important to understand the grant requirements. Manage AmeriCorps State and National Grants includes the federal statute, regulations, grant provisions, and policy related frequently asked questions that govern AmeriCorps grants.


Most existing AmeriCorps State and National grantees need to meet certain evaluation requirements when they recompete for funding (apply for a second 3-year grant). These evaluation requirements can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations (45 C.F.R. §§2522.500 -.540 and .700-.740).

Other Grant Applicant Resources

The National Service Knowledge Network* is the national service hub for sharing training and technical assistance information among CNCS programs. The Knowledge Network has a wealth of resources that could be of benefit to any potential applicant.  

The information and opinions expressed on any sites linked to/from the National Service Knowledge Network are not necessarily those of CNCS. No representation or warranty regarding the accuracy of information or opinions expressed is given, and CNCS is not responsible or liable to any person for any loss, damage, injury, claim, liability, or other cause or character as a result of information or opinions expressed on any of these sites.

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