When AmeriCorps programs respond to disasters like hurricanes, wildfires and floods, the government can reduce its spending on long-term recovery according to new ROI study

WASHINGTON, DC— National service disaster response efforts return as much as $11.96 for every federal dollar invested, according to a study issued by AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteerism. The return-on-investment study focused on the value of federal funding invested in SBP AmeriCorps, a national organization that engages in disaster recovery efforts across the country. 

ROI analyses of national service programs estimate the monetary value of benefits that a program generates per dollar invested. The total benefits per funder dollar are driven by favorable employment and education opportunities for AmeriCorps members following their service, increased tax revenues and reduced spendings as a result of member outcomes, and other benefits to government including reduced construction time and construction costs following disasters.

“AmeriCorps’ disaster response is a core focus area for the agency as we continue to make AmeriCorps members and staff available following mass disaster declarations,” said Michael D. Smith, AmeriCorps CEO. “Not only does our work with organizations like SBP yield positive benefits for the government and AmeriCorps members, but it also enables us to respond rapidly to emerging disasters. Currently, AmeriCorps and SBP teams are on the ground in Florida and Puerto Rico providing immediate relief from both hurricanes and dozens of teams across the nation are contributing to long-term recovery efforts.”

SBP seeks to build disaster resiliency amongst those most vulnerable and streamline the rebuilding of homes for those who have survived disaster to reduce the time and cost of disaster relief. 

Key SBP benefits were monetized and compared with full program costs in the study, including

  • Reduced construction time and construction costs for federal and state governments
  • Increased post-service earnings by AmeriCorps members
  • Increased living allowances, stipends, and education awards to AmeriCorps members
  • Increased tax revenue for government
  • Reduced lifetime spending on corrections, public assistance and social insurance

AmeriCorps was recognized for outstanding performance in the Results for America’s 2021 Invest in What Works Federal Standard of Excellence. The Federal Standard of Excellence recognizes agencies that use data-driven decision-making to get results for young people, their families, and communities and improve the impact of federal investments. Specifically, AmeriCorps was highlighted for the agency’s use of data and evidence to increase the impact of national service grants in more than 40,000 communities to make government investment as effective and efficient as possible.