AmeriCorps Frequently Asked Questions

What is AmeriCorps?
AmeriCorps is known as the domestic Peace Corps. Participants known as AmeriCorps members perform a year of service with a program that meets local community needs. AmeriCorps programs focus on the four issue areas of education, the environment, public safety, and other human needs.

Individual programs recruit and train their own members with funding from an AmeriCorps grant. NMCCVs' AmeriCorps grants provide funding for member living allowances, health benefits, childcare (for eligible members), AmeriCorps program staff, training, evaluation, and other program operating costs. Members also receive an education award directly from the federal Corporation for National and Community Service.

What types of activities can AmeriCorps members perform?
AmeriCorps members engage in a variety of direct service activities in the areas of education, public safety, the environment, and health and human needs. Examples of activities include: assisting in community policing programs, conducting health education workshops, restoring natural habitats, tutoring children in afterschool programs, and serving as service-learning coordinators at schools. Members also perform indirect service such as recruiting community volunteers to serve in these activities.

How can I get AmeriCorps members to help with my program?
NMCCV does not provide AmeriCorps members directly to organizations or programs. Instead, NMCCV provides grants that support local partnerships to recruit, train, and support AmeriCorps members throughout their year of service.

Is it possible to be a placement site for AmeriCorps members, but not actually administer an AmeriCorps program (i.e., how do I get 1-2 AmeriCorps members for my organization)?
NMCCV requires a program to support at least the equivalent of 20 full-time AmeriCorps members. In unusual and/or extenuating circumstances, NMCCV will consider requests for the equivalent of 10 full-time members. NMCCV recognizes that many organizations lack the capacity to supervise and adequately provide for the minimum-sized corps of members. In such cases, organizations are advised to seek intermediaries, form partnerships with other organizations, or contact an existing AmeriCorps program.

How much are AmeriCorps members paid?
The AmeriCorps member living allowance varies from program to program. For the 2008-09 program year, a full-time member must receive a minimum living allowance of at least $11,400 and no more than $22,800. Programs may decide on the living allowance that they will pay their members so long as it falls within this range.

What is an education award?
An education award is commonly compared to a scholarship. However, Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards are much more flexible than typical scholarships. Each AmeriCorps member who successfully completes a term of service will receive an education award that can be applied to (1) the costs of attendance at a qualified institution of higher education, (2) the costs of approved school-to-work programs, or (3) the costs of repaying qualified student loans. For more information on the education award, please visit the AmeriCorps Web site.

Do placement sites contribute financially to the cost of supporting AmeriCorps members? If so, what is the cost?
Partner contributions to AmeriCorps programs depend on the structure of individual partnerships and programs. In some cases, placement sites do contribute cash to the program (the amount varies by program). In other cases, placement sites might contribute in-kind services, supplies, trainers, facilities, evaluation expertise, or other services and equipment. Each partnership is unique to a given location and program.

Who can apply for an AmeriCorps grant?
An AmeriCorps program legal applicant must be a public or private non-profit entity. There are no restrictions on organizations that are partners in an AmeriCorps program.

Are there partnership requirements for AmeriCorps grants?
Yes. An AmeriCorps program must include at least three independent organizations, including at least one public and one private (nonprofit or for-profit) organization, each of which must have a significant role in planning, operating and sustaining the program.