Funding Alert! 2022 AmeriCorps State and National Grants

AmeriCorps

Does your organization engage staff and volunteers in evidence-based practices or interventions that strengthen your community? Have you considered recruiting and training one or more AmeriCorps member(s) to help with these efforts? AmeriCorps recently released their notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) for their Fiscal Year 2022 AmeriCorps State and National Grants program. This program supports eligible entities in establishing approved national service positions through which AmeriCorps members can engage in community service activities. Awardee entities recruit, train, and oversee the members and provide them with a living allowance and other benefits during the members’ year of service. The national deadline for this opportunity is January 5, 2022; however, most applicants serving a single state will apply through their respective state AmeriCorps commission, and the individual state deadlines may be coming up sooner.

Who is eligible to apply?

Eligible applicants are nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education, local governments, states, Indian tribes, and federally recognized tribal organizations. Note that tribes and tribal organizations are also eligible to apply directly to AmeriCorps under the specific Fiscal Year 2022 AmeriCorps State and National Tribal Grants opportunity.

Applicants serving single states apply through their respective governor-appointed state or territory commission. Applicants proposing to serve multiple states, those located in states or territories without commissions (South Dakota, American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands), tribes, and tribal organizations apply directly to AmeriCorps.

What are the program details?

AmeriCorps seeks applicants that use evidence-based or evidence-informed interventions to address at least one of the following key focus areas:

  1. Disaster Services – supporting disaster preparedness, response readiness, recovery efforts, and mitigation and adaptation activities;
  2. Economic Opportunity – improving access to services and resources (e.g., financial literacy, affordable housing, and employment) for economically disadvantaged individuals;
  3. Education – improving educational outcomes, school readiness, and post-secondary preparation for students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds;
  4. Environmental Stewardship – supporting natural habitat conservation, clean air and water, public lands maintenance, sustainable forestry and reforestation, etc.;
  5. Healthy Futures – addressing the opioid crisis, supporting independent living for seniors, and promoting physical activity and nutrition to reduce obesity; and
  6. Veterans and Military Families – improving the quality of life and well-being of veterans and military families and serving and engaging more service members and their families through AmeriCorps programs.

AmeriCorps offers two types of awards to support these activities: cost reimbursement and fixed amount grants. However, fixed amount grants are limited in availability to certain applicants, and new applicants are generally not eligible to apply for them. Applicants may request funding to support AmeriCorps members at full-time, three-quarter-time, half-time, or other capacities, with prescribed minimum living allowance amounts based on these capacities. The maximum amount an organization may request per member service year (MSY) is $21,600.

Cost reimbursement grants require matching funds in the amount of 24% of the project request for years 1, 2, and 3 (most grants awarded will be three-year grants). This match amount increases incrementally for subsequent years, eventually reaching 50% by years 10 and later. The NOFO includes a chart of these match amounts on page 9.

What makes a project a good fit?

Applicants may receive priority consideration if their proposed project addresses one of AmeriCorps’ funding priorities:

  • COVID-19 community response and recovery;
  • Educational opportunity and economic mobility in communities with persistent unemployment or underemployment, and for students experiencing homelessness or who are in foster care;
  • Promoting civic engagement and/or social cohesion;
  • Evidence-based interventions listed on the AmeriCorps Evidence Exchange;
  • Veterans and military families, caregivers, and survivors;
  • Organizations acting as rural intermediaries;
  • Environmental stewardship and climate change;
  • Faith-based organizations; and
  • Economic Mobility Corps.

Applicants must demonstrate that the chosen priority area is a significant part of the proposed program and outcomes.

What if I am ready to apply? To move your application forward, take the following action steps ASAP:

  • Read through the program description page for more information regarding the program goals, project types, performance measures, and contacts.
  • Find the contact information for your state AmeriCorps commission, so you can determine the proposal deadline and any other requirements for your state.
  • Watch the pre-recorded webinars regarding best practices in performance measures, demonstrating evidence, developing budgets, and evaluation, or sign up for the live technical assistance webinar coming up on Thursday, October 14.
  • Learn more about how and what it means to partner with AmeriCorps.
  • Make sure your System for Award Management (SAM) registration is active and be sure you have agov profile. You can check your SAM status here: https://sam.gov/content/status-tracker.

What if I need help with this application?

Contact Assel Grant Services (AGS) today! Our team can help with all aspects of preparing the application and managing the grant if you are awarded. If you would like to discuss this possibility, please contact AGS as soon as possible. Rosie Brennan, Community Engagement Specialist will be happy to talk with you about this opportunity and provide you a quote for grant services.

What if I am not ready to apply this year?

Start preparing for next year! AmeriCorps offers annual funding opportunities. The agency website provides resources regarding other grant programs, partnerships, and funding opportunities, as well as examples of previously funded AmeriCorps projects.

How do I learn more about federal grant proposal writing, so my application is more likely to be successful?

AGS is excited to offer a new Federal Grants Training Series throughout 2021! The series is designed to support nonprofit leaders and faculty at institutions of higher education before and during the application process. AGS also offers several on demand webinars on a variety of topics to support the full grant cycle. Check out our website to learn more and sign up for our training newsletter.

AGS blogs, funding alerts, and trainings are aligned with the Grant Professional Certification Institute’s Competencies and Skills

Competency #1: Knowledge of how to research, identify, and match funding resources to meet specific needs

Skill 1.2: Identify major trends in public funding and public policy

Skill 1.6: Identify fundable programs and projects for specific organization

Skill 1.7: Determine best matches between funders and specific programs