National Service Agency Announces Changes to Availability of AmeriCorps Planning Grants

Oct 9, 2009

Washington D.C. – Today, the Corporation for National and Community Service announced key changes to the planning grants designed to assist local, regional, and national organizations and Indian Tribes in developing new AmeriCorps programs.

Major changes to the planning grant competition include, 1) the competition is now also open to organizations that want to plan AmeriCorps programs in one state, 2) the total funds available increased by $250,000 to $750,000, and 3) the application deadline has been extended to January 26, 2010.

The purpose of planning grants is to support the development of AmeriCorps programs so applicants are better prepared to compete for an AmeriCorps grant in the following grant cycle.Two competitions are being held.State and National Planning Grants are available for organizations that are interested in applying for AmeriCorps funding for a program that will operate in one or more states. Indian Tribes Planning Grants are available to federally recognized Indian Tribes. Funding is contingent upon appropriations, and is estimated to be $250,000 for the Indian Tribes competition and $500,000 for State and National planning grants.

The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, signed by President Obama in April, authorized a significant expansion of AmeriCorps, setting a goal of increasing AmeriCorps from its current level of 75,000 positions a year to 250,000 positions by 2017. The first phase of this expansion will occur in fiscal year 2010, which began on October 1.

The planning grants will be available to public or private nonprofit organizations, including labor organizations; faith-based and other community organizations; institutions of higher education; government entities within states or territories; Indian Tribes; or partnerships or consortia operating in one or more states are eligible. Community-based organizations, including faith-based organizations and intermediary organizations are encouraged to apply for planning grants.

These grants are awarded for 12 months. They may not be used to support AmeriCorps members, and applicants must not have previously received an AmeriCorps grant from the state commission if they intend to see a planning grant for a program that would operate in a single state. Applicants for a national planning must not have previously received AmeriCorps funding for a multi-state AmeriCorps programs. Applicants for the Indian Tribes planning grant must not have received an AmeriCorps grant in the past.

Applications are due 5:00 ET Tuesday, January 26, 2010. For further information, applications instructions and FAQs, please visit the New Funding Opportunities page on the Corporation's website at /for_organizations/funding/nofa.asp. For a printed copy of the notice, or to ask questions about the program, call 202-606-7508, or e-mail

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