Volunteers in Service to America

AmeriCorps VISTA is the national service program of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) designed specifically to fight poverty.

VISTA supports efforts to alleviate poverty by engaging individuals, 18 years and older, from all walks of life, in a year of full-time service
with a sponsoring organization (sponsor) to create or expand programs designed to bring individuals and communities out of poverty.

Agency - Corporation for National and Community Service

The Corporation for National and Community Service is the nation's largest grant-maker supporting service and volunteering. Through Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America programs, the Corporation is a catalyst for change and offers every American a chance to contribute through service and volunteering.

Office - See Regional Agency Offices.

CNCS maintains offices in most States.

Refer to the CNCS website for address and contact information: https://www.nationalservice.gov/about/contact-us/state-offices.

Selected Recipients for this Program

RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
Homeless Network Of Texas $ 30,000   2022-06-192023-09-09
Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation $ 25,000   2022-06-192023-08-26
Boom Beans Llc $ 10,000   2022-05-222023-08-12
Wayland Historical Society $ 10,000   2022-05-082023-07-15
Western Illinois University Inc $ 460,000   2012-12-162023-07-15
Memphis, City Of $ 20,000   2022-07-032023-07-01
Growth Opportunities Through Athletics Learning & Service $ 25,000   2022-07-032023-07-01
Administration, Wisconsin Department Of $ 123,000   2020-08-302023-07-01
Immunize Colorado $ 20,000   2022-06-192023-06-17
United Way Of Central And Southern Utah $ 79,025   2022-06-052023-06-17

Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2016: 8051. Fiscal Year 2017: 8680. Fiscal Year 2018: No Current Data Available

Uses and Use Restrictions

See program's Notice of Funding Opportunity.

This is not a grant-based program.

Restrictions on use of funds are described in the program?s Notice of Federal Funding.

Use of funds must be consistent with the funded application, and are subject to CNCS?s grants administration laws, regulations, and policies.

All appropriated funds awarded under this program are discretionary.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

The proposed project must have a clear anti-poverty focus, include the involvement of the low-income community, and the activities must lead towards sustainability of the project.

The activities of the VISTA members may not supplant staff or current volunteers.

See program's Notice of Federal Funding for more information.

Beneficiary Eligibility

VISTA activities must benefit low-income persons and communities by building the capacity of the sponsoring organization to find permanent solutions to poverty. VISTAs live and serve in some of our nation?s poorest areas. They receive a modest living allowance and other benefits during their service. After successfully completing a term of service, VISTAs and Summer Associates may receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award, which can be used to pay for college or student loans, or an end-of-service cash stipend. Sponsors may contribute to the cost of a VISTA through 'cost share,' but are under no obligation to do so.


Various records and forms required for first time applicants, as well as a copy of the applicant's last audit, may be requested. First time applicants must certify financial systems. Continuing sponsors may be asked to update initial documentation. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is not applicable.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.

12372, 'Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.' An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Application Procedures

2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. See program's Notice of Funding Opportunity and application instructions for information on other application procedures.

Award Procedures

See program's Notice of Funding Opportunity and application instructions for information on other application procedures.


Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.


Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973, as amended, Title I, Part A, Public Law 93-113, 87 Stat. 394, 42 U.S.C 4951-49600.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 90 to 120 days.


No formal appeals for denial of initial project application; however, regulations provide for hearings on terminations and suspensions, and opportunity to show cause in cases of denial of refunding.


From 120 to 180 days. Renewal applications are required annually at least 120 days prior to the end of the project period. Renewals are subject to the same review procedures as new projects.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula. This program has no matching requirements. The VISTA program does not provide primary assistance through cash grants, and, thus has no matching requirements. In the case of those projects that receive small grants to offset member support costs, there are no matching requirements. VISTA does operate a voluntary cost share program where sponsoring organizations can pay living allowance costs for one or more VISTA members, allowing the program to maximize its reach. Sponsors also provide equipment, work space and other in-kind support of the VISTA members assigned to ensure overall project success. This program does not have MOE requirements.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Assistance is awarded for approximately one year at a time, up to an average of 3-4 years total. Note that, with certain small exceptions, the VISTA program does not grant financial resources to organizations, but rather provides the resource through the placement of a VISTA member. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: lump sum.

Post Assistance Requirements


No program reports are required.

In the case of VISTA projects that receive cash grants, cash management reports are required.

CNCS uses the US HHS Payment Management System for payments and cash management reporting.

Progress reporting requirements are described in the Memorandum of Agreement and reporting forms.

In the case of VISTA projects that receive small cash grants, Federal Financial Reports are required as specified in the grant award provisions.

CNCS and its VISTA sponsors are required to practice risk-based monitoring and routine field and desk-based oversight of all project/grant awards and expenditures.


In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503. Audits are required only for those projects receiving cash grants. CNCS grants are subject to audit by CNCS employees, the CNCS Inspector General, the Government Accountability Office, and auditors contracted by CNCS.


Sponsors are expected to maintain records pertaining to volunteer assignments and training activities for 3 years after the end of the project year. Grant recipients must maintain all grant financial and program records for a period of three years from the date of submission of the final Federal Financial Report for the award. This includes but is not limited to all financial records including receipts, disbursements, and vouchers for federal and non-federal costs; time cards, copies of all contracts, personnel records, and job descriptions; program execution and performance records, criminal history checks, and similar records to reflect all activities and spending performed under the award. Note that all individuals receiving a salary, living allowance, stipend, National Trust Education Award or similar compensation through a national service program funded by CNCS must first clear a National Service Criminal History Check and those check records must be maintained within grant records.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Provision of Specialized Services) FY 16 Not Available; FY 17 est $95,880,000; and FY 18 est $0

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

See program?s Notice of Funding Opportunity for information.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

45 CFR 1201; ?Is VISTA Right for Your Organization?? (http://www.nationalservice.gov/sites/default/files/page/SponsorGuide.pdf); VISTA Member Handbook; Publications: ?Overcoming Poverty, Building Capacity? (http://www.nationalservice.gov/sites/default/files/documents/08_1210_ac_vista_report.pdf); VISTA 101 (https://www.vistacampus.gov/resources/vista-101-understanding-vista-0)

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Regional Agency Offices. CNCS maintains offices in most States. Refer to the CNCS website for address and contact information: https://www.nationalservice.gov/about/contact-us/state-offices.

Headquarters Office

Kelly L. Daly, 250 E Street SW, Washington, District of Columbia 20525 Email: VISTA@americorps.gov Phone: (202) 606-6849

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

All of the following elements must be found in the applicant's proposal for new or renewal projects. The project must: (1) be poverty oriented in scope and comply with the provisions of the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973 applicable to VISTA and all published regulations and Corporation for National Service policies; (2) show that the project goals, objectives and Volunteer tasks are attainable within the time frame during which the Volunteers will be serving on the project and will produce a measurable result; (3) must recruit and involve low-income community residents in the planning, development and implementation of the VISTA project; (4) provide for frequent and effective supervision of the Volunteers; (5) identify resources needed and make them available for Volunteers to perform their tasks; and (6) have the management capability to carry out the project.

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