Funds Available For New and Recompeting Michigan's AmeriCorps Programs

AmeriCorps members serving

The Michigan Community Service Commission (MCSC) has announced the availability of funds to support new and recompeting Michigan’s AmeriCorps programs to start in the fall of 2020 for a 12-month program cycle. Click here to view the Request for Proposals (RFP)

If you're considering how AmeriCorps can help your organization, want to know what it means to host an AmeriCorps program and how to apply, or just want to learn more about what AmeriCorps is, check out our Hosting an AmeriCorps Program webinar. All potential applicants are encouraged to watch this webinar prior to submitting a concept paper as part of the MCSC's 2020-21 AmeriCorps funding competition. 

Why should my organization apply for a Michigan’s AmeriCorps program?

Michigan’s AmeriCorps provides people-power. Funds provided through Michigan’s AmeriCorps support a team of members who provide direct service to build or improve communities and generate volunteers to support their efforts. The Michigan Community Service Commission has established the following priorities:

  • Education
  • Health
  • Environment
  • Job preparedness and financial stability
  • Safe, affordable housing
  • Veterans
  • Disaster Preparedness
  • Public Safety

If there are needs in your community in these areas that you believe can be addressed by the involvement of people serving together, then this program may be for you.

Michigan’s AmeriCorps grants are not for the purchase of program supplies or materials, nor can they be used to fund or replace existing staff. The Michigan’s AmeriCorps funding is intended for recruiting, placing, and supporting individuals to get things done in communities.

Who is eligible to apply?

Educational institutions (local school districts, intermediate school districts, colleges and universities, etc.), local government entities, state agencies, and nonprofit organizations that have their 501(c) 3 status and have been in existence for at least three years are eligible to apply for a Michigan’s AmeriCorps program.

Can I partner with other organizations to apply for a Michigan's AmeriCorps program?

Yes. You are encouraged to partner with other organizations in your community or throughout the state to apply for AmeriCorps funding. One organization must serve as the legal applicant and fiduciary. When partnering with other organizations, the MCSC encourages you to seek organizations that share a similar mission or focus on similar issues.

What types of grants are available?

The MCSC funds operating and planning grants. Operating grants are for programs that support fully developed plans to establish a new Michigan’s AmeriCorps program or to support, expand, or replicate an existing program. Staff may determine that a planning grant is more appropriate for an organization that demonstrate promise, but is not ready to fully implement a program. Grant awards will cover a period that includes one year of operation. Grants may be renewed for two additional years, subject to annual review and the availability of federal appropriations. 

Is there a minimum program and/or grant size?

Programs must be large enough to achieve a demonstrable impact on the communities served.  While the actual size of each program may vary depending on the size of the communities in which it operates, the design of the program, and other factors, applicants are required to apply for at least ten (10) full-time equivalent AmeriCorps members. Applicants should evaluate their present infrastructure and capacity when considering program size. 

Grant requests may vary in size depending on the type and scope of the proposed program. Applicants are allowed flexibility in developing their budgets, within federal and state limitations. No program funded through the MCSC formula allotment shall receive more than 20% of Michigan’s total formula funding from the CNCS. In addition, the MCSC will set a target (amount TBD) for the average federal cost per full-time equivalent member for each Michigan’s AmeriCorps program. 

Is there a match requirement?

Yes. Substantial cash and in-kind matches are required from the applicant. All program costs require at least a 24% cash and in-kind match during each of the first three years of funding, with match requirements increasing incrementally after year three. Programs reach a maximum 50% minimum match level during the 10th year of funding. Programs may use other non-CNCS federal funds as part of their match, with prior approval.

What are the responsibilities of operating a Michigan's AmeriCorps program?

Responsibilities include:

  • Recruiting, selecting, placing, training, and supervising members.
  • Designating a full-time program director to run the program.
  • Selecting and supporting member service sites.
  • Submitting quarterly progress reports, monthly expenditure reports, and semi-annual federal financial reports.
  • Participating in monthly training and technical assistance meetings or calls for program directors.
  • Participating in statewide and regional member events and activities.

How can I find out more about AmeriCorps?

For additional information about AmeriCorps, go to www.americorps.gov. You can also view the MCSC's Hosting an AmeriCorps Program webinar.

For specific questions about Michigan's AmeriCorps, please contact Shannon Zoet at zoets@michigan.govMegan Foresman at foresmanm@michigan.gov, or Joy Alston at alstonj2@michigan.gov.

How do I get a copy of the application guidelines?

The 2020-21 Michigan’s AmeriCorps concept paper guidelines and related materials are available below. Individuals may also request a hard copy by contacting Shannon Zoet at zoets@michigan.gov. Application guidelines will be mailed within five working days upon receipt of the request. See MI AmeriCorps Concept Paper and Application Timeline below for all pertinent dates and deadlines.

2020-21 MI AmeriCorps Request for Proposal (RFP)

2020-21 Intent to Apply - Due September 20, 2019

2020-21 Concept Paper Guidelines - Concept Papers Due October 2, 2019

2020-21 Concept Paper Application Cover Page

Logic Model Template

Budget Narrative Template 

Budget Instructions

AmeriCorps Financial Management Survey

Who do I contact if I have questions?

If you have any questions regarding Michigan’s AmeriCorps or the application process, please contact Shannon Zoet at zoets@michigan.gov, Megan Foresman at foresmanm@michigan.gov, or Joy Alston at alstonj2@michigan.gov.


Michigan’s AmeriCorps Application Timeline

August 30, 2019: 2020-21 Request for Proposals (RFP) and Concept Paper Guidelines Released

September 20, 2019: Intent to apply forms due in survey monkey (www.surveymonkey.com/r/JD2JQG6); financial management surveys due to MCSC (email Carole Rush-Witt: rushwittc@michigan.gov)

October 2, 2019: Concept Paper due to MCSC

October 3-20, 2019: Peer Review of Concept Papers

October 21, 2019: Notification to applicants whether they have been selected for comprehensive submission

October 29, 2019: Required technical assistance meeting in Lansing for applicants selected for comprehensive submission (10:00am-4:00pm)

November 19, 2019: Comprehensive applications due to MCSC

April 2020 (tentative): Formula applications due to MCSC

May 2020 (tentative): CNCS announces approved Competitive AmeriCorps applications

*Note: New applicants not selected for submission to the CNCS for competitive funding may be considered for formula funding.  

June 2020: Comprehensive applications due to MCSC