AmeriCorps VISTA Supervisors Manual
Appendix A. Corporation for National and Community Service Programs
Created in 1993, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) supports service at the national, state, and local levels through two main programs: AmeriCorps and Senior Corps. Members and volunteers serve with national and community nonprofit organizations, faith-based groups, schools, and local and public agencies to help meet community needs.
AmeriCorps engages Americans in serving their communities. Most AmeriCorps participants (called members) are selected by and serve with local and national nonprofit organizations, such as Habitat for Humanity, the American Red Cross, City Year, Teach for America, and Boys and Girls Clubs of America, as well as with a host of smaller community organizations, both secular and faith-based.
AmeriCorps consists of AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America), AmeriCorps State and National, and AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps).
- AmeriCorps State and National programs are designed and managed by community organizations that have the knowledge, expertise, and capacity to deploy AmeriCorps resources where they are most needed. AmeriCorps members apply their idealism and experience in activities such as tutoring and mentoring youth, building affordable housing, teaching computer skills, running after school programs, and helping communities respond to disasters.
- AmeriCorps National programs are operated by national nonprofit organizations funded directly by CNCS. Grants are made directly to public or private nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education, government entities within states or territories, Native American Tribes, and partnerships among any of these groups.
- AmeriCorps State programs are administered through governor-appointed state commissions. These commissions are appointed by the governor in each state and are managed by an executive director. State commissions are responsible for performing outreach to potential applicants in their state, administering grant competitions, and overseeing AmeriCorps State programs.
- AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) is a 10-month, full-time residential service program for young Americans, ages 18 to 24. Working in teams of 10 to 12, members focus on projects that protect and conserve the environment's natural resources, respond to communities experiencing natural disasters, and address other pressing needs of communities. AmeriCorps NCCC members serve communities in every state, but live and train at five regional campuses, located in Denver, Colorado; Sacramento, California; Perry Point, Maryland; Vinton, Iowa; and Vicksburg, Mississippi.
- VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) is a full-time, year-long program for individuals age 18 or older who commit themselves to assisting low-income people and communities to improve the conditions of their own lives. VISTAs work to increase the capacity of the low-income community they serve by mobilizing resources, recruiting volunteers, and implementing community programs. They mobilize the community and its resources to solve a problem so that the community can sustain the activities and services after resources are withdrawn. VISTAs are recruited both nationally and locally.
Senior Corps taps the skills, talents, and experience of Americans age 55 and over to meet a wide range of community challenges through three programs:
- Foster Grandparents serve one-on-one as tutors and mentors to young people.
- RSVP volunteers recruit and manage other volunteers, participate in environmental projects, mentor and tutor children, and respond to natural disasters, among many other activities.
- Senior Companions help frail seniors and other adults maintain their independence.