Founded in 1965, Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) is an anti-poverty program designed to provide needed resources to nonprofit organizations and public agencies to increase their capacity to lift communities out of poverty. AmeriCorps VISTA provides opportunities for Americans 18 years or older from a diverse range of backgrounds to dedicate a year of full-time service with an organization (“sponsor”) to create or expand programs designed to empower individuals and communities in overcoming poverty.
The power of AmeriCorps VISTA is extraordinary, and brings talented, passionate people on board to create or enhance your anti-poverty program by expanding the capacity of your organization.
AmeriCorps VISTA members come equipped with the talent and drive to be a game-changer for your organization.
Organizations recruit individuals directly to serve through their program. AmeriCorps members in the VISTA program must:
- Be 18 years or older (no upper age limit)
- Pass a national service criminal history check
- Hold one of the following citizenship statuses: US citizen, US National, Lawful Permanent Resident Aliens and persons residing in a state that have the following legal residency classifications: refugee, asylum or asylee, temporary protected status, or deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) status.
Public, private, or faith-based nonprofit organizations as well as local or state agencies can become an AmeriCorps VISTA project sponsor.
Responsibilities and Expectations of Project Sponsors
- Project sponsors must be able to direct the project, supervise the AmeriCorps VISTA members, and provide necessary administrative support to complete the goals and objectives of the project. The goals and objectives must be clearly defined and directed towards alleviating problems of low-income communities and meet the regulations of the AmeriCorps VISTA program.
- One consistent goal for every AmeriCorps VISTA project must be the sustainability of the project by the sponsoring agency and low-income community after AmeriCorps VISTA project sponsorship ends.
How to apply
1. Complete concept paper
Check current funding opportunities to view concept paper instructions and timeline. Then, complete and submit a concept paper.Check current funding opportunities
2. Submit an application online
If the concept paper is accepted, the organization will be invited to complete a full application for review.
The AmeriCorps region office will provide technical assistance during the application process. The length of the application process varies, but the average time from the initial contact to a final decision is three to five months.