AmeriCorps VISTA: Request for Concept Papers
Connecting to Audio • Audio resource tools • Phone: 866-609-4997 • View Closed Captions in the Live Captioning Panel
Tips for Participating • Share comments, ideas and ask questions in the Chat Panel (send to Everyone) • Sound check in Chat • Some Adobe Connect features are not available on mobile devices • Links and recording will be available after the session COMPUTER Android Chat Icon iPhone Chat Icon Click this button if you don’t see the Chat Panel.
Today’s Speakers • Robin Corindo, State Program Director, Kentucky/Tennessee • Melissa McNeily, Program Impact Specialist • Barbara Reynolds, Director, VISTA Training Unit
What are we discussing today? • Request for Concept Paper Update • The Big Picture • Roles and Responsibilities • Beginning the Application Process • Additional Resources
Request for Concept Papers Overview • Transparency • Consistency • Holistic View
Corporation for National and Community Service Mission: To improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering Focus Areas: Disaster Services, Economic Opportunity, Education, Environmental Stewardship, Healthy Futures, Veterans and Military Families • Largest grant-maker of service and volunteerism • Engages millions of Americans in service • Invests in local community solutions
Senior Corps Programs • Senior Companions • Provide assistance and friendship to • adults who have difficulty with daily living tasks • Foster Grandparents • Serve as role models, mentors, and friends to children with exceptional needs • RSVP Volunteers • Engage people age 55 and older in a range of volunteer activities
AmeriCorps State/National Supports a wide range of local service programs that engage thousands of Americans in intensive community service each year • National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) Strengthens communities and develops leaders through direct, team-based national and community service Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) Strengthens organizations that alleviate poverty through volunteering and the mobilization of resources
AmeriCorps State/National Supports a wide range of local service programs that engage thousands of Americans in intensive community service each year In the Chat Panel, please type the name of the AmeriCorps program with which you have experience. • National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) Strengthens communities and develops leaders through direct, team-based national and community service Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) Strengthens organizations that alleviate poverty through volunteering and the mobilization of resources
AmeriCorps VISTA • Volunteers in Service to America • Core Principles • Ending poverty • Empowering communities • Building capacity • Creating sustainable solutions
Key Definitions and Terms • VISTA Project • Project Sponsor • Project Director • Supervisor • CNCS Field Staff
Capacity Building vs. Direct Service Capacity Building • Tasks and activities to expand the scale, reach, efficiency, or effectiveness of programs or organizations Direct Service • Providing services to the identified program recipients or clients of a program
Homelessness/Housing Project • Homeless and Housing Coalition of Kentucky • The only statewide advocacy organization that addresses homelessness and affordable housing. Coalition of individuals and organizations working together to eliminate the threat of homelessness and fulfill the promise of safe, decent, and affordable housing. • In FY18, 23 VISTA members recruited 2,155 volunteers, serving more than 40,000 service hours • $738,105 in cash resources; $880,625 in-kind resources • 1,078 individuals received housing placement services, and 320 individuals transitioned into housing
Economic Mobility Project • United Way – National Intermediary • Since 2017, United Way has placed, trained, and mentored 28 VISTA members in 22 United Way Chapters. In all, these VISTAs: • Leveraged over $1.3 million in cash/in-kind resources • Recruited 2,100 volunteers • Increased the financial literacy for 1,410 individuals • Provided 452 individuals with job and skill development training
VISTA Members • 18+ years of age • U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents • Must pass a criminal history check • May have specific knowledge, skills, or abilities required by the sponsoring organization • Local or national recruits
VISTA Leaders • Projects with eight or more VISTAs may have a leader assigned to support the members • Leaders guide data collection and interpret data (they do not perform the reporting) • Leader coordinate, facilitate, and support VISTA members (leaders do not supervise members)
What do VISTA members do? • Create powerful partnerships with businesses, community leaders, and other stakeholders • Expand current programs in demographic, geographic, and/or programmatic scope • Build volunteer management, leadership and training systems • Leverage both cash and in-kind resources by building development and fundraising systems
What activities are prohibited? • International work • Religious activity • Prohibited political activity • Detailed in the federal Hatch Act • Voter registration • Union organizing • Supplanting staff
Benefits Non-Competitive Eligibility (NCE) NCE is a unique hiring path which makes it easier for federal agencies to hire you. Professional Development Training Attend in-person and virtual professional development opportunities throughout the year. Child Care You may be eligible to receive a child care benefit if you have children under the age of 13. And many more benefits... You can find them at: www.VISTACampus.gov/in-service/benefits-service Living Allowance Receive a modest bi-weekly living allowance to cover basic expenses. Relocation Allowance If you move 50+ miles from your home to a new community, you receive relocation travel assistance and a settling-in allowance. End of Service Award Choose between a Segal Education Award ($6,095, as of October 2018) to pay for a range of education expenses or a cash stipend ($1,800). Healthcare Benefit Choose between reimbursement for healthcare or a healthcare plan. Dental and vision are also included.
VISTA Program Models • Single site model • Supervisor • VISTA member(s) • Intermediary model • VISTA sub-sites are located in the state and may include sites in another state or cluster • Sub-site supervisors • VISTA member(s) • What type of organization • do you represent?
Responsibilities: Member Management • Recruit and place VISTA members • Provide work space, equipment, and supplies • Provide professional development and on-site orientation and training • Help VISTA members with community entry • Provide VISTA supervision and conduct performance appraisals
Responsibilities: Project Management • Obtain community input • Performance measures • Reporting • Project Progress Reports (PPRs) – quarterly, then biannual • VISTA Progress Report Supplement (VPRS) – annual
Cost Share Partnership • Provides an affordable way to increase the number of AmeriCorps VISTA members • Helps expand VISTA resources across the country • Demonstrates that sponsors are invested in the VISTA project’s success
VISTA Application Process Step 1- AmeriCorps VISTA Concept Paper Organizations submit an AmeriCorps VISTA Concept Paper. The Concept Paper is a preliminary screening tool used to evaluate whether the organization would be an appropriate sponsor. Step 2- AmeriCorps VISTA Project Application If CNCS approves the Concept Paper, the organization submits an AmeriCorps VISTA Project Application based on the approved Concept Paper.
Characteristics of a Strong Concept Paper • Aligns with CNCS focus areas/VISTA programming priorities • Addresses the needs of a low-income community • Involves the community in project development and implementation • Leads to project capacity and sustainability • Generates public or private sector resources • Promotes local volunteer service
Concept Paper Submission • Concept Papers are submitted in eGrants – not in grants.gov Have you ever worked in the CNCS eGrants system? Please type your answer in the Chat Panel. HINT: Passwords must follow these rules - At least 12 characters long - Contain one numeric digit (but not in the 1st position) - One Special character (i.e. !#$%&()''*,/:;<=>?_)
Concept Paper Submission • Concept Papers are submitted in eGrants – not in grants.gov • Create an eGrants account: • http://egrants.cns.gov • Click on: Don’t have an eGrants account? Create an account. • Click on: Create a Grantee Account. • Click on: This is my first time. I want to create a new account with eGrants. • You will need the following information: • EIN Number • DUNS Number (not required to create an account but needed if your organization is awarded a grant) • Your organization’s contact information HINT: Passwords must follow these rules - At least 12 characters long - Contain one numeric digit (but not in the 1st position) - One Special character (i.e. !#$%&()''*,/:;<=>?_)
Concept Paper Submission • Under the Creating an Application section • Click on Concept Paper • Click on the link titled: FY2019 AmeriCorps VISTA State New NOFA
Concept Paper Submission Enter Narratives in each section: Tip: Write all narrative responses in a word processing program (e.g., Word Pad), since eGrants does not have a spell check function and can timeout from inactivity.
Starting a VISTA Project • Submit a VISTA Application: If your organization’s Concept Paper is approved, your CNCS State Office will notify you and invite you to submit a full Application. • Member Recruitment: The sponsoring organization will develop a Service Opportunity Listing in eGrants to recruit VISTA candidates. There are resources available to help with this process. • Supervisor Orientation: CNCS will provide a live online orientation for all supervisors as well as a variety of written materials on the VISTA Campus.
Contacts and Resources National Service Hotline: 1-800-942-2677 • eGrants technical issues, option 3 Contact Your CNCS Field Staff:https://www.nationalservice.gov/stateoffices Request for Concept Papers Notice: https://www.nationalservice.gov/documents/2018/fy19-americorps-vista-request-concept-papers-and-timeline Concept Paper Instructions: https://www.nationalservice.gov/sites/default/files/documents/VISTA_Concept%20Paper.pdf Sponsor a VISTA Member: https://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/americorps/americorps-programs/americorps-vista/sponsor-vista-member EGrants: https://egrants.cns.gov/espan/main/login.jsp
VISTA Videos VISTA History and Legacy Video This video showcases stories of ordinary people meeting extraordinary challenges as VISTA members and describes the foundation of VISTA's legacy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=QfYCddyQw6E#t=43 1964 Presidential Address Highlighting VISTA This video includes footage from 1964 when President Johnson declared the War on Poverty and proposed VISTA as part of this plan. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ftv7wCbMbg What can VISTA do for you? This video explains how VISTAs bring enthusiasm, experience, and commitment to the organizations they serve, helping sponsors deliver better education, health, nutrition, and other services to people who need them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zugQxvjgXAw
Questions What questions do you have?
Thank you! • Thank You! Thank You!