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Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS)

Established in 1993, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is a federal agency that engages more than 5 million Americans in service through its core programs -- Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and the Social Innovation Fund -- and leads President Obama's national call to service initiative, United We Serve.

As the nation's largest grantmaker for service and volunteering, CNCS plays a critical role in strengthening America's nonprofit sector and addressing our nation's challenges through service.

CNCS harnesses America's most powerful resource - the energy and talents of our citizens - to solve problems. We believe that everyone can make a difference and that all of us should try. From grade school through retirement, CNCS empowers Americans and fosters a lifetime of service.

LMIC Relevant Involvement and Goals:

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps State and National, AmeriCorps VISTA, and AmeriCorps NCCC programs has a long-standing commitment to working with tribal nations on a government-to-government basis and is committed to enhancing the collaboration process across all programs to address critical issues affecting Native American communities. CNCS offers a variety of programs and services to tribal governments, tribal organizations, urban American Indian organizations, and national and local non-profit organizations serving Native American communities.

Active Programs:

  1. AmeriCorps VISTA: AmeriCorps VISTA was founded as Volunteers in Service to America in 1965 as a national service program designed specifically to fight poverty in America.

    AmeriCorps VISTA members are passionate and committed to their mission to bring individuals and communities out of poverty. Members make a year-long, full-time commitment to serve on a specific project at a nonprofit organization or public agency. They focus their efforts to build the organizational, administrative, and financial capacity of organizations that fight illiteracy, improve health services, foster economic development, and otherwise assist low-income communities.

    Native American people of all ages are encouraged to participate as full year AmeriCorps VISTA members and as AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associates.
  2. AmeriCorps State & National: AmeriCorps State and National provides grants to non-profits, faith & secular community-based organizations, public agencies, Indian tribes, and institutions of higher education. These programs provide Americans, young and old, with opportunities to serve as AmeriCorps members in communities across the country. Since 1994, more than 820,000 men and women have provided service as AmeriCorps members.

    AmeriCorps Grants provide partial funding to support AmeriCorps projects and programs. Grant recipients must contribute match funding to support the project. AmeriCorps grants are solely for program expenses and cannot be used for general organizational operating expenses. AmeriCorps grants include an allotment of AmeriCorps member positions and the funds awarded by CNCS are directly tied to the specific number of members awarded.
  3. AmeriCorps NCCC: AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) strengthens communities and develops leaders through direct, team-based national and community service. In partnership with non-profits-secular and faith based-local municipalities, state governments, federal government, national and state parks, Indian tribes, and schools, members complete service projects throughout the region they are assigned.

    AmeriCorps NCCC is a full-time, team-based residential program for men and women age 18-24. Members are assigned to one of five campuses - Denver, CO; Sacramento, CA; Perry Point, MD; Vicksburg, MS; and Vinton, IA.

    Drawn from the successful models of the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s and the U.S. military, AmeriCorps NCCC is built on the belief that civic responsibility is an inherent duty of all citizens and that national service programs work effectively with local communities to address pressing needs.

    AmeriCorps NCCC serves communities in every state. Sponsoring organizations request the assistance of AmeriCorps NCCC teams by submitting a project application to the regional campus that covers that organization's state. The campuses provide assistance in completing the application, developing a work plan, and preparing the project sponsor for the arrival of the AmeriCorps NCCC team.
  4. Senior Corps: Senior Corps connects today's 55+ with the people and organizations that need them most. We help them become mentors, coaches or companions to people in need, or contribute their job skills and expertise to community projects and organizations. Volunteers receive guidance and training so they can make a contribution that suits their talents, interests, and availability.

    Conceived during John F. Kennedy's presidency, Senior Corps currently links more than 360,000 Americans to service opportunities. Their contributions of skills, knowledge, and experience make a real difference to individuals, nonprofits, and faith-based and other community organizations throughout the United States.
  5. Social Innovation Fund: The Social Innovation Fund (SIF), a key White House initiative and program of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), combines public and private resources to grow the impact of innovative, community-based solutions that have compelling evidence of improving the lives of people in low-income communities throughout the United States. The SIF invests in three priority areas: economic opportunity, healthy futures, and youth development.

The SIF makes grants to experienced grant making "intermediaries" that are well-positioned within communities to identify the most promising programs and guide them towards greater impact and stronger evidence of success. These grants range from $1-$10 million annually for up to five years. The intermediaries then match the federal funds dollar-for-dollar and hold open competitions to identify high-performing nonprofit organizations working in low-income communities that have innovative solutions with evidence of compelling results. Once selected, these nonprofits must also match the funds they receive, and participate in rigorous evaluations of the impact of their programs. The nonprofits share data, lessons learned and results - helping to build the capacity of the social sector and lift-up solutions that can transform lives and communities.

In addition to funding, Social Innovation Fund grantees receive significant technical assistance to support implementation of their innovative programs. Participation in the Social Innovation Fund gives grantmakers greater visibility and plugs them into a national network of funders and nonprofits that are committed to fostering social innovation to improve lives in low-income communities throughout the U.S.

Resources & Links:

Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) logo

Agency Grants, Awards, and Resources:

  • Funding Opportunities Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving
  • AmeriCorps State and National sets aside 1% of our funding to support programs that are developed and administered through federally recognized tribes. These include any Indian tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community, including any Native village, Regional Corporation, or Village Corporation as defined under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, that the United States Government determines is eligible for special programs and services provided under federal law to Indians because of their status as Indians. The definition also includes tribal organizations controlled, sanctioned, or chartered by one of these entities.

    A nonprofit that desires to apply for a grant as a "tribal organization" on behalf of a federally-recognized tribe, or multiple specific federally-recognized tribes, must submit a sanctioning resolution adopted by the Tribal Council (or comparable tribal governing body) of each tribe. The resolution must identify the nonprofit by name as a "tribal organization" and it must authorize the nonprofit organization to act on behalf of and include the tribe in a CNCS grant application for the purpose of conducting the activities and providing the services described in the application.

    AmeriCorps releases a separate Notice of Funding Opportunity, or NOFO, specifically for Indian Tribes. Programs eligible to apply for AmeriCorps Indian Tribes funding may choose to apply to the AmeriCorps Indian Tribes NOFO. Alternatively, Indian Tribes can apply directly to the Corporation via the main AmeriCorps NOFO, or to a State Service Commission

Accomplishments and Successes:

  • In June 2011, CNCS and Nike N7 announced a collaboration to promote health and education through physical activity within Native American communities as part of the First Lady's LMIC initiative.

  • In July 2014, CNCS awarded 17 grants to tribal organizations in 13 states to use national service as a solution to tackle pressing social and economic challenges. The grants will support 255 AmeriCorps members serving in tribal communities -- the largest number of grants and AmeriCorps members supported through tribal grants in the past decade.

    To learn more, please visit AmeriCorps Increases Presence in Tribal Communities Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving

Collaborative Efforts with Other Let's Move! Sub-initiatives:

Let's Read. Let's Move.

The Let's Read. Let's Move. initiative encourages Americans to get involved with preventing summer reading loss and childhood obesity by engaging youth in summer reading and physical activity, as well as providing information about healthy, affordable food.

Our nation's youth need guidance to help build fit bodies and strong minds. Working together, Americans can foster a generation that has high academic achievers, is less prone to disease, and is better educated about food and its effects on health. These factors can have lasting effects on a child's overall development and future. The Let's Read. Let's Move. Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving