The Minnesota office of the Corporation for National and Community Service is pleased to announce an opportunity for nonprofit organizations, public agencies, and federally recognized tribes within the state of Minnesota to apply to sponsor an AmeriCorps VISTA project. The first step in applying to sponsor a VISTA project is to submit a concept paper. Concept papers are due Friday, November 4, 2016. Approved projects would likely begin placing VISTA members in early August 2017.
AmeriCorps VISTA members are full-time volunteers who create and expand programs that bring low-income individuals and communities out of poverty. VISTA members serve primarily in the areas of economic opportunity, education, healthy futures and veterans and military families.
For information about VISTA, its core principles and its focus areas, please review the Americorps VISTA Program Guidance for Current and Potential Project Sponsors. The document below identifies priority outcome measures for VISTA projects invited to submit the full application.
The VISTA concept paper instructions contain step-by-step guidance on this process, which is completed in our online system, eGrants. The eGrants tutorial explains how to create and manage an eGrants account. The Notice of Funding Opportunity to be selected within eGrants is labeled “FY 2017 AmeriCorps VISTA State.” Once you submit a concept paper, please email the Minnesota CNCS state office ([email protected]) with the application ID number, which will be assigned by eGrants.
- Concept paper deadline: 11/4/2016
- Concept paper decisions announced: 11/14/2016
- Full application deadline for organizations with approved concept papers: 12/16/2016
- Application decisions announced: 1/13/2017
In addition to the selection criteria listed on page 3 and 4 of the AmeriCorps VISTA Program Guidance for Current and Potential Project Sponsors, the CNCS Minnesota state office will consider the following factors in the review of concept papers:
- Alignment between proposed outcomes and a documented community need
- Likelihood that the proposed project will help bring individuals out of poverty
- Proven ability to serve communities and organizations not previously supported by VISTA
- Proven ability to serve under-served communities
- Proven ability to place resources outside the Twin Cities metro area
- Ability to engage a minimum of 4 VISTA members in the proposed program and to costshare (i.e. pay the living allowance for) 25% of requested VISTA members
Other factors that will be considered if invited to submit a full application:
- The level of representation of the community being served among the applicant’s staff and board
- The degree to which the community being served has a voice in guiding the proposed VISTA project
- The applicant’s commitment to engaging members of the community served as VISTA members, which may include specific recruitment strategies as well as additional supports (e.g. housing stipend, bus passes, etc.)
- For multi-site projects: the applicant’s commitment to assisting small organizations and/or organizations led by under-served communities to successfully host VISTA members
Questions? If you have any questions, please contact the Minnesota CNCS state office at 612-334-4083 or [email protected]