Volunteers in Service to America
AmeriCorps VISTA is the national service program of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) designed specifically to fight poverty. VISTA supports efforts to alleviate poverty by engaging individuals, 18 years and older, from all walks of life, in a year of full-time service with a sponsoring organization (sponsor) to create or expand programs designed to bring individuals and communities out of poverty.
General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Corporation For National and Community Service
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
J - Provision of Specialized Services
Fiscal Year 2016
7800 8051Fiscal Year 2017
In FY 2017, 893 AmeriCorps VISTA projects were supported and over 8400 AmeriCorps VISTA members were placed throughout the U.S. Those VISTAs generated over $206M in cash and in-kind resources for anti-poverty projects.Fiscal Year 2018
In the first half of FY 2018, 333 AmeriCorps VISTA projects were awarded.
Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973, as amended, Title I, Part A, Public Law 93-113, 42 U.S.C. 4951-49600, Statute 87,394
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
The proposed project must have a clear anti-poverty focus, include the involvement of the low-income community, and the activities must lead towards sustainability of the project. The activities of the VISTA members may not supplant staff or current volunteers. See program's Notice of Federal Funding for more information.
VISTA activities must benefit low-income persons and communities by building the capacity of the sponsoring organization to find permanent solutions to poverty. VISTAs live and serve in some of our nation's poorest areas. They receive a modest living allowance and other benefits during their service. After successfully completing a term of service, VISTAs and Summer Associates may receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award, which can be used to pay for college or student loans, or an end-of-service cash stipend. Sponsors may contribute to the cost of a VISTA through "cost share," but are under no obligation to do so.
Various records and forms required for first time applicants, as well as a copy of the applicant's last audit, may be requested. First time applicants must certify financial systems. Continuing sponsors may be asked to update initial documentation.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Preapplication coordination is required. This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. See program's Notice of Funding Opportunity and application instructions for information on other application procedures.
See program's Notice of Funding Opportunity and application instructions for information on other application procedures.
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 90 to 120 days.
From 120 to 180 days. Renewal applications are required annually at least 120 days prior to the end of the project period. Renewals are subject to the same review procedures as new projects.
How are proposals selected?
All of the following elements must be found in the applicant's proposal for new or renewal projects. The project must: (1) be poverty oriented in scope and comply with the provisions of the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973 applicable to VISTA and all published regulations and Corporation for National Service policies; (2) show that the project goals, objectives and Volunteer tasks are attainable within the time frame during which the Volunteers will be serving on the project and will produce a measurable result; (3) must recruit and involve low-income community residents in the planning, development and implementation of the VISTA project; (4) provide for frequent and effective supervision of the Volunteers; (5) identify resources needed and make them available for Volunteers to perform their tasks; and (6) have the management capability to carry out the project.
How may assistance be used?
See program's Notice of Funding Opportunity and Annual Program Guidance at www.nationalservice.gov. This is not a grant-based program.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
CNCS and its VISTA sponsors are required to practice risk-based monitoring and routine field and desk-based oversight of all project/grant awards and expenditures.
Audits are required only for those projects receiving cash grants. CNCS grants are subject to audit by CNCS employees, the CNCS Inspector General, the Government Accountability Office, and auditors contracted by CNCS.
Sponsors are expected to maintain records pertaining to volunteer assignments and training activities for 3 years after the end of the project year. Grant recipients must maintain all grant financial and program records for a period of three years from the date of submission of the final Federal Financial Report for the award. This includes but is not limited to all financial records including receipts, disbursements, and vouchers for federal and non-federal costs; time cards, copies of all contracts, personnel records, and job descriptions; program execution and performance records, criminal history checks, and similar records to reflect all activities and spending performed under the award. Note that all individuals receiving a salary, living allowance, stipend, National Trust Education Award or similar compensation through a national service program funded by CNCS must first clear a National Service Criminal History Check and those check records must be maintained within grant records.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.
Matching requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Assistance is awarded for approximately one year at a time, up to an average of 3-4 years total. Note that, with certain small exceptions, the VISTA program does not grant financial resources to organizations, but rather provides the resource through the placement of a VISTA member. VISTA slots are awarded upfront but placement of actual VISTA members may occur throughout the year.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
CNCS maintains offices in most States. Refer to the CNCS website for address and contact information: https://www.nationalservice.gov/about/contact-us/state-offices.
Kelly L. Daly,
250 E Street SW
Washington, DC 20525 US
250 E Street SW
Washington, DC 20525 USA
(Provision of Specialized Services) FY 18$92,364,000.00; FY 19 est $92,364,000.00; FY 20 Estimate Not Available FY 17$92,364,000.00; FY 16 est $92,364,000.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
See program's Notice of Funding Opportunity for information.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
45 CFR 1201; "Is VISTA Right for Your Organization?" (http://www.nationalservice.gov/sites/default/files/page/SponsorGuide.pdf); VISTA Member Handbook; Publications: "Overcoming Poverty, Building Capacity" (http://www.nationalservice.gov/sites/default/files/documents/08_1210_ac_vista_report.pdf); VISTA 101 (https://www.vistacampus.gov/resources/vista-101-understanding-vista-0)
Examples of Funded Projects