Table of Contents
Founded in 1965, Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) is a federal anti-poverty national service program designed to provide resources to nonprofit organizations and public agencies to address poverty and poverty-related problems in the United States.
Through this opportunity, AmeriCorps seeks concept papers for the AmeriCorps VISTA program from outcome-driven organizations that share the AmeriCorps VISTA mission.
Projects must be developed in accordance with the AmeriCorps VISTA’s core principles: an anti-poverty focus; community empowerment; sustainable solutions; and capacity building.
All potential project applicants should review the AmeriCorps VISTA Annual Program Guidance for Current and Potential Project Sponsors for FY 2024. This document directs the development of new project and outlines national programming priorities.
All concept paper and project applications are accepted through the agency’s eGrants system.
AmeriCorps VISTA is seeking project applications for programming in any of the five following focus areas:
- Economic Opportunity
- Healthy Futures
- Veterans and Military Families
- Environmental Stewardship
AmeriCorps VISTA will focus on awarding projects that advance racial equity and that invest in underserved communities, particularly those impacted by the long-term recovery from the pandemic. Priority populations include areas of deep poverty, rural communities, and Native Nations and tribal communities.
For organizations that wish to develop an AmeriCorps VISTA project, AmeriCorps conducts a Request for Concept Papers process, and organizations complete a two-step process to apply for AmeriCorps VISTA resources:
Step 1: AmeriCorps VISTA Concept Paper
Organizations submit an AmeriCorps VISTA concept paper via eGrants. The concept paper is a preliminary screening tool that AmeriCorps uses to evaluate whether the organization would be an appropriate VISTA sponsor and if the proposed project meets core criteria.
Step 2: AmeriCorps VISTA Project Application
If the concept paper is accepted, the organization is invited to submit a full AmeriCorps VISTA Project Application, which includes a request for additional information in the narratives and performance measures sections of the application.
All applicants must have a Unique Entity ID (UEI) number to receive federal resources from AmeriCorps VISTA. The UEI is assigned automatically to entities when they register on SAM.gov. Submitting a registration and getting a Unique Entity ID is free.
All applicants and sponsors must register with the System for Award Management (SAM) and maintain an active SAM.gov registration until the application process is complete. If an applicant is awarded VISTA resources, it must maintain an active SAM.gov registration throughout the life of the award. See the SAM Quick Guide for Grantees.
AmeriCorps will accept concept papers at three times during the fiscal year.
The deadlines are as follows for FY2024:
- Cycle 1: Nov. 16, 2023
- Cycle 2: Feb. 15, 2024
- Cycle 3: March 28, 2024
We encourage applicants to work with their local AmeriCorps Region Office in developing the Concept Paper. Find the contact information of your Region Office.
The following are guides, instructions, and resources all applicants should review these documents as they begin to develop their VISTA project. Resources listed below are utilized for both the concept paper and project application step of the application process.
- 2024 Annual Program Guidance for Current and Potential Project Sponsors (PDF)
- AmeriCorps VISTA Concept Paper Instructions (PDF)
- AmeriCorps VISTA Application Instructions (PDF)
- AmeriCorps VISTA Standard Budget Instructions (PDF)
- AmeriCorps VISTA Support Budget Instructions (PDF)
- AmeriCorps VISTA Performance Measure Instructions (PDF)
VISTA Program Regulations
Create and Manage an eGrants account
VISTA eGrants FAQ
AmeriCorps National Performance Measures Core Curriculum
How to Prepare an AmeriCorps VISTA Project Application (This OnDemand webinar provides tips and best practices in preparing an AmeriCorps VISTA Project Application, which is step 2 of the application process).
2024 Request for Concept Papers Webinars
AmeriCorps VISTA will host three Request for Concept Paper (RFCP) Webinars for FY2024. The dates and registration link are below. The information presented on each call is the same. Each session will be recorded and posted on the webpage.
During this live session, AmeriCorps VISTA will review the AmeriCorps VISTA program, discuss how a VISTA project can assist your organization while meeting the VISTA program’s core principles, and further examine the steps of the application process.
Please note: AmeriCorps Region Offices may also host technical assistance webinars for the states in their region.
Live Webinar Dates and Time:
- Cycle 1: Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023
- Cycle 2: Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024
- Cycle 3: Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, 3:00-4:30 p.m. ET
Please note: The video recordings of the RFCP webinars include external links to YouTube’s video platform. YouTube’s privacy and security practices and policies may differ from AmeriCorps’. AmeriCorps is not responsible for these links, nor does it endorse the content of the third-party website.
AmeriCorps has eight region offices located across the country who can assist potential sponsors in developing VISTA projects or addressing questions about the application process. These eight offices serve all states and territories.
Please note that local AmeriCorps Region Offices may conduct additional webinars.
For general application questions, please contact VISTA@americorps.gov.
If you are having technical difficulties with creating an account or preparing or submitting the Concept Paper in eGrants, please contact the AmeriCorps Hotline at 800-942-2677 or via Questions.