AmeriCorps developed this guide to disseminate the knowledge gained from the Scaling Evidence-Based Models (SEBM) project. The guide provides practical recommendations for how funders, including governmental agencies and philanthropic organizations, should think about and plan for scaling. This guide also highlights:

  • How funders might better understand evidence of intervention effectiveness and readiness for organization and intervention scaling by undertaking a systematic process to assess scaling readiness of the interventions they fund. 

  • Resources that funders and their grantee organizations can use to help prepare for scaling. 

This guide draws on the knowledge generated from applying the Scaling Programs with Research Evidence and Effectiveness (SPREE process) used to assess AmeriCorps’ funded organizations and interventions during the SEBM project. In doing so, this guide provides five key recommendations that will help funders identify which of their funded interventions are effective, enhance their knowledge base on scaling them, and pursue scaling. 

The five key recommendations this guide offers:

  1. Identify or Build Evidence of Effectiveness for the Intervention

  2. Ensure the Intervention is Ready to Scale

  3. Ensure the Organization is Ready to Scale the Intervention

  4. Anticipate and Plan for Challenges

  5. Support the Intervention and Organization During Scaling

For more information, download the guide.

Scaling Evidence-Based Models (SEBM) Project

The Office of Research and Evaluation (ORE) initiated the Scaling Evidence-Based Models project to support the scaling of effective interventions. This guide is part of ORE’s Scaling Evidence-Based Models project, which includes additional resources that contribute to the study and application of scaling effective interventions. Below are additional scaling resources:


  • How to Fully Describe an Intervention: This guide is intended to help practitioners to thoroughly describe their intervention and communicate the following to potential funders or stakeholders.

  • Build Organizational Capacity to Implement an Intervention: This guide will help practitioners prepare to implement their desired intervention through building organizational capacity, which involves establishing the organizational structure, workforce, resources, processes, and culture to enable success.

  • How to Structure Implementation Supports: This guide will help practitioners develop formal strategies (also known as implementation supports) to help consistently deliver an intervention as it was designed, which is especially helpful for organizations scaling an intervention and assessing implementation fidelity.

  • Making the Most of Data: This guide will help practitioners maximize the use of their intervention data to help their organizations improve program implementation and provide evidence to funders about effectiveness.

  • What Makes for a Well-Designed, Well-Implemented Impact Study: This guide is intended to help practitioners ensure that their evaluators produce high-quality impact studies.

  • Baseline Equivalence: What it is and Why it is Needed: This guide is designed to help practitioners and researchers work together to design an impact study with baseline equivalence and in turn learning how to determine if an impact study is likely to produce meaningful results.

  • Scaling Programs with Research Evidence and Effectiveness (SPREE): This article focuses on how the foundations can apply the SPREE process and provides insights into conditions that can help identify and support effective interventions that are ready to be scaled.

  • Scaling Evidence-Based Models: Document Review Rubrics: The guide is a two-part rubric for systematically reviewing documents that will help practitioners to identify the critical components of intervention effectiveness and describe plans for scaling the effective intervention.


  • Scaling Checklists: Assessing Your Level of Evidence and Readiness (SCALER): This report describes a framework that identifies how organizations can improve both their readiness to scale an intervention and the intervention’s readiness to be scaled, so that intervention services are best positioned to improve outcomes for a larger number of participants. Each checklist in the SCALER provides summary scores to reflect how ready an intervention and organization might be for scaling.


Case Studies:

Further information

Best Practice Dissemination, AmeriCorps Research Guidance to Scale Programming
Implementing Organization
AmeriCorps Office of Research and Evaluation Commissioned Report
AmeriCorps Program(s)
AmeriCorps State and National
Social Innovation Fund
Office of Research and Evaluation
Focus Population(s)/Community(s)
Opportunity Youth
Veterans and Military Families
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
Nonprofit development
Improving AmeriCorps
Study Type(s)
Review or Meta-analysis
Study Design(s)
Published Year