As the nation’s largest grantmaker in support of service and volunteering, AmeriCorps plays a vital role in supporting the American culture of citizenship, service, and responsibility. The agency engages more than 5 million Americans in service each year through its AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps Seniors, and Volunteer Generation Fund (VGF) programs. Launched in 2010, VGF funds state service commissions that administer initiatives to expand volunteering, strengthen the capacity of volunteer connector organizations to recruit and retain skill-based volunteers, and develop strategies to use volunteers effectively to solve problems and enable people in the United States to effect change through service.

AmeriCorps has encouraged innovation among its VGF grantees. As the program is gaining momentum and has received larger funding, the agency is interested in documenting and synthesizing the program approaches, best practices, and lessons learned.


The study will examine:

  1. Program design, which will largely be descriptive and utilize qualitative methods (interviews and document review) to document the overall program designs for each selected state;
  2. Program implementation, using qualitative methods to assess how program implementers work with volunteer organizations, schools, and youth programs; and
  3. Program outcome, utilizing both qualitative and quantitative methods to look at impacts of the programs on beneficiaries (i.e., volunteer organizations, schools, youth programs, and volunteers).

Research Questions:

  1. What are state commissions’ approaches for utilizing VGF funds to improve volunteer recruitment, retention, and support of volunteers within their states and among volunteer organizations?
  2. What are promising practices and challenges in implementing these approaches?
  3. What are preliminary outputs and outcomes of these approaches on volunteer organizations and volunteers?

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Further information

Literature Review
Implementing Organization
AmeriCorps Office of Research and Evaluation Commissioned Report
AmeriCorps Program(s)
Volunteer Generation Fund
Focus Population(s)/Community(s)
Outcome Category
Disaster assistance provided
Financial literacy
School readiness
K-12 success
Post-secondary educational support
Energy efficiency
At-risk ecosystems
Awareness of environmental issues
Green jobs
Aging in place
Obesity and food
Access to care
Veterans and military families served
Benefit to national service members/volunteers
Nonprofit development
Improving AmeriCorps
Study Type(s)
Case Study or Descriptive
Study Design(s)
ICF International
Published Year