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National Service Agency Announces Availability of AmeriCorps Planning Grants

September 2nd, 2009

The Corporation for National and Community Service announced the availability of $500,000 for planning grants to assist national organizations and Indian tribes in developing new AmeriCorps programs. 

The purpose of planning grants is to support the development of AmeriCorps programs so applicants are better prepared to compete for a multi-state AmeriCorps grant in the following grant cycle.   Two competitions are being held.  National Planning Grants are available for organizations that are interested in applying for AmeriCorps funding for a program that will operate in two or more states.  Indian Tribes Planning Grants are available to federally recognized Indian Tribes.  Funding is contingent upon appropriations, and is estimated to be $250,000 for each competition.  

“As AmeriCorps enters a period of expansion, we want to encourage more organizations to explore how AmeriCorps can help them improve lives and strengthen communities,” said Lois Nembhard, Acting Director of AmeriCorps State and National.  “These planning grants will help organizations develop strong AmeriCorps program models that can compete in future grant cycles.” 

The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, signed by President Obama in April, authorized a significant expansion of AmeriCorps, setting a goal of increasing AmeriCorps from its current level of 75,000 positions a year to 250,000 positions by 2017.  The first phase of this expansion will occur in fiscal year 2010, which begins on October 1. 

The national planning grants will be available to public or private nonprofit organizations, including labor organizations; faith-based and other community organizations; institutions of higher education; government entities within states or territories Indian Tribes; or partnerships or consortia operating in more than one state are eligible. Community-based organizations, including faith-based organizations and intermediary organizations operating in more than one state are encouraged to apply for planning grants.  

These grants are awarded for 12 months. They may not be used to support AmeriCorps members, and applicants must not have previously received a multi-state or Indian Tribes AmeriCorps grant.  Contingent upon appropriations, the grants will be awarded in late January 2010 so that successful applicants will have a full year to prepare for their competitive application which will be due in January of 2011, again contingent upon appropriations.

Applications are due 5:00 ET Monday, October 19, 2009.  For further information, applications instructions and FAQs, please visit the New Funding Opportunities page on the Corporation’s website at  For a printed copy of the notice, or to ask questions about the program, call 202-606-7508, or e-mail

AmeriCorps is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. Each year, the Corporation engages four million Americans of all ages and backgrounds through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs. For more information, visit