Does AmeriCorps Fit Your Organization

Interested in hosting AmeriCorps members? New to the AmeriWorld?

Use the following guide to determine how AmeriCorps fits with your organization and to determine what type of AmeriCorps program fits best.

Is your organization eligible? Eligible organizations:

  • State and local nonprofit organization
  • Community and faith-based organization
  • State, local, and higher education institution
  • State and local government

Is your organization focused on one of the following?

Education / natural disaster response & recovery, economic opportunity within communities/environmental protection/ health services/or veterans-military family support? Then, the AmeriCorps State & National program, which supports intensive direct service activities, may be the right fit for you.

AmeriCorps members tutor and mentor youth, operate before and after school programs, build affordable housing, help veterans, respond to disasters and promote food security, employment, education opportunities, housing access, and legal services.

For more information, review How AmeriCorps Fits Your Organization and contact Oklahoma AmeriCorps at: info@okamericorps.com

What is your project duration and how many members does your organization require?

If your mission falls under one of the focus areas listed above and your organization has the capacity to manage a minimum of 10 members along with the ability to manage the administrative, programmatic, and fiscal aspects of an AmeriCorps program, please contact the Oklahoma AmeriCorps office at: info@okamericorps.com

If your organization is interested in hosting one or a few members, you can apply to be a host site for the Oklahoma Serves or Oklahoma In Action program through the Red River Community Corps. Visit http://rrccok.org/ or contact Patricia Christensen at pchristensen@okamericorps.com.

Or, you can contact the Corporation for National and Community Service State Office, which manages AmeriCorps*VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) and Senior Service Corps programs (e.g., Retired Senior Volunteer Program). For more information, contact Abbey Klepper at (405) 231-5201 or aklepper@cns.gov

If you only want the help of a group of members for a short-term project, you can contact the AmeriCorps program closest to your location to see if all or some of their members would be available for a short-term service project. And/or you can contact the North Central Region Campus of the AmeriCorps*National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC), located in Denver, CO. Contact Crystal Kelley at crkelley@cns.gov. NCCC projects must be team-based with adequate work to support a group of 10-15 members for a period of 6 weeks -approximately 40 hours of work per week per member. Project sponsors need to provide members with food and safe housing for member during the project. For more information: http://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/americorps/americorps-nccc

If you are planning a multi-state program? Then apply as a National Direct: http://www.nationalservice.gov/ASNgrants

For information on all National Service Programs, visit: http://www.nationalservice.gov/programs

What is AmeriCorps?
AmeriCorps, the domestic Peace Corps, gives citizens the opportunity to engage in full or part-time service to their community. Working through a grassroots network of more than 1,000 national and local nonprofit and faith-based organizations, AmeriCorps members meet critical community needs in the areas of education, food security, economic opportunity, disaster services, health, environmental stewardship, and service to veterans and military families.
When was it created?
A bipartisan majority in Congress created AmeriCorps in September 1993. It continues to receive strong bipartisan support today. Since AmeriCorps follows the model of the GI Bill – rewarding those who serve – after completing a year of service, AmeriCorps members receive an education award to help pay for college or training.
What do AmeriCorps members do?

AmeriCorps Members strengthen nonprofits and the clients they serve! They help community and faith-based organizations expand services, build capacity, raise funds, develop new partnerships, and create innovative, sustainable programs.

Working with organizations such as the American Red Cross, City Year, Habitat for Humanity, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and Boys and Girls Clubs and Teach for America as well as many other national, state, and local nonprofit organizations and public schools, AmeriCorps members recruit and train volunteers, tutor and mentor at-risk youth, provide economic opportunity through job placement programs, work in food security programs, build and rehabilitate homes, clean rivers and restore parks, help seniors live independently, provide health care in underserved rural and Native American communities, and provide emergency and long-term assistance to victims of natural disasters, among other things. AmeriCorps members serve in communities across America, in both urban and rural areas.

How many AmeriCorps members are serving in Oklahoma?
Over 830 individuals participating in AmeriCorps*State programs will be given the opportunity to spend a year serving in Oklahoma communities. They will earn over $4 million in education awards in exchange for over 2,000,000 hours of service.
Where do AmeriCorps members serve?
Members can serve with nonprofit organizations, state and local governments, public schools, institutions of higher education, and Indian tribes.
Who can be an AmeriCorps member?
An individual must be at least 17 years old, although some service opportunities require an individual to be at least 18, a U.S. citizen, national, or legal permanent resident alien of the U.S. to be an AmeriCorps member. There are no upper age limits. Some programs have specific skill requests in certain areas, and others look for a bachelor’s degree or a few years of related volunteer/job experience. For others, an individual’s motivation and commitment may be the primary requirement.
Who can apply for AmeriCorps funds?
AmeriCorps funds can be awarded to nonprofit organizations, state and local units of government, institutions of higher education, community and faith-based organizations and Native American tribes in Oklahoma.
Who makes the funding decisions?
Two-thirds of all AmeriCorps program funds come from the Corporation for National and Community Service at the federal level and flow directly to the states to a “state commission.” The Oklahoma Community Service Commission (OCSC) is the non-profit organization that administers the AmeriCorps funding in Oklahoma. The Commission is governed by at least 15 but no more than 25 bipartisan, governor appointed Commissioners. The Commission selects, monitors and provides training and technical assistance to AmeriCorps programs.
What does an AmeriCorps grant pay for?

There are three kinds of AmeriCorps grants: Operating Grants, Fixed Cost and Education Award Program grants.

Operating Grants pay for member living allowances and benefits, member training, staff costs, operating costs, evaluation and administration. The Corporation for National and Community Service will pay for a certain portion of these costs, while the local agency hosting the program is responsible for the remaining portion through matching funds.

Fixed Cost Grants: grantees do not have an approved budget in their grant award and do not have specific restrictions on the use of the grant funds because the amount of the grant will be significantly less than the cost of conducting the program. For the AmeriCorps fixed-amount awards grantees will receive an award for a specific amount per MSY.

An Education Awards Program grant provides up a maximum amount per full-time member to help support program operations. Agencies interested in applying for Education Awards Program grants must already have the majority of their operating expenses covered by other funding sources. In addition to both kinds of grants, the Corporation for National and Community Service makes education awards available to members who complete their terms of service.

How much do AmeriCorps members get paid?
Members serving in full-time positions for 10-12 months receive $13,730 in living allowance payments. Members also serve in part-time and summer positions. Members serving in a full-time capacity may be eligible for health care coverage if they do not have health insurance and child care if they qualify. After they complete their term of service, full-time members receive an education award in the amount of $5,775. Other members receive an education award commiserate with the type of term they serve. The award can be used to pay for the costs of attending an institution of high education or to pay back qualified student loans. Members who already have student loans may qualify for postponement, or forbearance, of the repayment of loans during their service, and the education award will help them pay off qualified student loans when they are finished.
How much does it cost to run an AmeriCorps program?
The cost is in part is determined by the amount of funding that you are able to request and receive from the Corporation for National and Community Service. The size of an AmeriCorps operating grant is determined by the number of members that you request. The maximum grant that you can request will be what the Corporation calls the “Maximum Cost Per Full Time Member” multiplied by the number of full-time equivalent members you request and cannot exceed $13,730. For example, if you request 10 full-time members, your maximum grant will equal $13,730 X 10=$137,300.
Where do the agencies’ matching funds come from?
Matching funds may be cash or in-kind, federal or non-federal (if using federal funds, the awarding agency must agree that the funds may be used as match). Multi-site programs typically require that each host site (the agency that hosts an AmeriCorps member) contribute a certain amount of cash for the matching funds.
How many AmeriCorps members can an agency request?
Typically, AmeriCorps programs in Oklahoma host at least 10 full-time equivalent members.
What if I only want to involve one or a few AmeriCorps members?

You can apply to be a host site for the Oklahoma Serves or Oklahoma In Action program through the Red River Community Corps. Visit http://rrccok.org/ or contact Paula Wackenheim at pwackenheim@okamericorps.com

Or you can contact the Corporation for National and Community Service State Office, which manages AmeriCorps*VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) and Senior Service Corps programs (e.g., Retired Senior Volunteer Program). For more information, contact Theresa Long at (405) 231-5201.

What if I only want the help of a group of members for a short-term project?
You can contact the AmeriCorps program closest to your location to see if all or some of their members would be available for a short-term service project. And/or you can contact the North Central Region Campus of the AmeriCorps*National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC), located in Denver, CO. Contact Crystal Kelley at crkelley@cns.gov. NCCC projects must be team-based with adequate work to support a group of 10-15 member for a period of 6 weeks (approximately 40 hours of work per week per member). Project sponsors need to provide members with food and safe housing for member during the project.
When does the AmeriCorps program/contract year begin?
An AmeriCorps program’s contract year typically lasts for one year and begins in September.
For how long can an agency receive AmeriCorps funds?
The Oklahoma Community Service Commission (OCSC) is committed to funding AmeriCorps programs for at least three years, assuming annual demonstration of sufficient progress towards meeting program objectives and funding availability. Typically after the first and second years of funding, the program submits a continuation application. After the third year of funding, the program submits a new re-compete application, which is the same application that is completed by programs that have never received AmeriCorps funds from OCSC.
How do I apply for AmeriCorps funds?

Begin your application process by answering the following questions:

  • What critical needs does your proposed program address?
  • How will your program recruit, train, engage and manage AmeriCorps members?
  • What will your program design look like?
  • How will you manage the administrative, programmatic, and fiscal aspects of the program?
  • Who are the potential community partners in collaboration with your program?
  • How will you meet the matching requirements of a federal program?
  • How will you measure direct and demonstrable results of your program through performance measures and program evaluation?

Other FAQs for Organizations

Where do I find out about AmeriCorps funding opportunities?
To learn more about what’s available, eligibility, responsibilities and new grant opportunities, visit the Funding Opportunities section of the site.
What are the benefits of hosting an AmeriCorps Member?
AmeriCorps strengthens nonprofits, community organizations, schools and the local communities they serve. Organizations host AmeriCorps members to expand services, build capacity, raise funds, develop new partnerships and create innovative, sustainable programs. Find out if AmeriCorps is right for your organization.
Are AmeriCorps members paid on an hourly or salary basis?
AmeriCorps members receive a living allowance, which should be treated the same as a salary. Members must earn the same amount each pay period regardless of amount of hours served.
What are the different types of AmeriCorps programs?

AmeriCorps State and National: AmeriCorps State and National supports a broad range of local service programs that engage thousands of Americans in intensive service to meet critical community needs. Learn more.
AmeriCorps*VISTA: AmeriCorps*VISTA provides full-time members to community organizations and public agencies to create and expand programs to bring low-income individuals and communities out of poverty. Learn more.
AmeriCorps NCCC: The AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps is a full-time residential program for men and women, ages 18-24, that strengthens communities while developing leaders through direct, team-based national and community service. Learn more.

How do I find AmeriCorps programs in my own community?
Click here to view find the AmeriCorps programs that serve your local community.
I’m interested in promoting AmeriCorps to my organization’s constituents. Where can I order brochures or other promotional materials?
Click here to view and order promotional materials.
Where can I find training and technical assistance information?
Click here to receive technical and training assistance from the National Service Knowledge Network.