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Every day, Ohioans are making extraordinary contributions to the communities where they live, work, and play. Learn more about the impact AmeriCorps members and volunteers have on the communities they serve, stay current on service and volunteerism trends, and be the first to know about upcoming funding opportunities, events, and special initiatives.


Rebeccah Verhoff-Kiss, Outreach & Education Officer, ServeOhio

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Planning Grants: Bringing New Organizations into the Ohio AmeriCorps Portfolio

Developing and implementing a new AmeriCorps program can be an overwhelming proposition – even for the most capable organization. Program design, member management, site relationships and evaluation are just a few of the variables that factor into the initial process. It takes time and resources to sort it all out – exactly what a planning grant provides.

ServeOhio has utilized planning grants as a strategy to bring new organizations into our AmeriCorps portfolio for over 20 years. These grants span 6 to 12 months and average $50,000.  Such resources allow organizations to augment existing staff in the development of the new program.  Specifically, organizations are tasked with the following objectives during a planning grant funding period:

  • Explore AmeriCorps program feasibility and design, including the development of a Logic Model and Theory of Change;
  • Develop program service plans – determine how the AmeriCorps Member service activity directly relates to your program objectives and how such service activity will transpire;
  • Build your organizational capacity to administer the program, including building the required human resource and legal components;
  • Prepare your application to apply for AmeriCorps operational funding.

Not all planning grants result in new, operational AmeriCorps programs. Sometimes it is determined that the AmeriCorps model is not a good fit for the issue being addressed or that the lead organization lacks the capacity to manage the grant. We do not see that as a failure as the process provides valuable information to the organization on how to best address the needs of their community and improve systems within their organization.

Now is a great time to consider a planning grant for your organization. ServeOhio is releasing an AmeriCorps Planning Grant Request for Proposals on 8/15/18. Check out all the details on our Grants + Funding page. An AmeriCorps program could be the perfect strategy to move your organizational mission forward.  Good Luck!

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