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Identifying and Recruiting Host Sites

The first step in making good matches is to know what you're looking for, before you start recruiting sites. Consider drawing up a list of selection criteria (PDF) to use as an internal guidepost.

If you are a VISTA program or have both VISTA and AmeriCorps members, make sure your potential host sites understand the difference between direct service and capacity building (PDF).

Then, draft a memo to potential sites (PDF) briefly outlining what resources you're offering and what you're asking in return. Schools of Hope, a VISTA program in Madison, Wisconsin, says they share this letter with their site-based VISTAs "so all involved have a clear understanding of the specific details that guide the collaboration."

An overview of roles, expectations, and communication tips (PDF) can help ensure site supervisors are prepared when their members arrive.

It's also a good idea to supply a "site supervisor checklist (PDF)" so new sites get a complete picture of what you'll require of their designated staff member.

If sites express interest, you'll want to provide more in-depth information about your program, CNCS, and member requirements and responsibilities. This can be done through written materials or in person, as the site begins the application process.


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