Project Partner FAQs
AmeriCorps, a federal agency, brings people together to tackle the country’s most pressing challenges through national service and volunteering. AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers serve with organizations dedicated to the improvement of communities. AmeriCorps helps make service to others a cornerstone of our national culture. Find out more about AmeriCorps.
CivicSpark Fellows provide capacity-building support through research, planning, and implementation project activities. CivicSpark Fellows can support a wide range of initiatives, as long as they are eligible and can be completed by a Fellow within the service year. For sample projects visit our project pages. For eligibility details, review our eligibility information here.
Partnering with CivicSpark
Yes, but with some constraints. CivicSpark Fellows can be placed with public agencies, non-profits, Tribal governments, or state agencies. CivicSpark Fellows cannot serve directly with a for-profit organization, however, private companies can sponsor CivicSpark Fellows to deliver capacity building services to eligible public agencies. For more information on sponsorship, visit our Support Page.
Yes, CivicSpark has outlined goals in our Racial Equity Action Plan to identify barriers to program participation for Tribes, to foster authentic relationships with Tribal partners and increase the number of projects we support with Tribal governments. Interested Tribal governments are encouraged to get in touch to discuss their project ideas or to visit our partner page to learn more and apply.
Yes! We are happy to work on larger projects that will create lasting impacts for multiple local governments.
The 2022-23 service year will begin mid-September 2022 and will be completed by mid-August 2023.
Fellows serve for 1700 hours over 11 months. At least 1300 of those hours are dedicated to project service, with approximately 250 – 300 hours dedicated to professional development activities and 100 hours for community volunteer engagement.
All host agencies must provide a dedicated work space and office resources (phone, computer, etc.) for their Fellows. This does not need to be a full private office; it can be a cubicle, shared work space, or other arrangement, as long as the Fellow has a designated place to work on a daily basis. If the Fellow will be serving fully or partially remotely, partners will need to provide sufficient resources (computer, access to servers) to complete service remotely. In-office service is dependent on COVID-19 state and local guidelines during the service term.
CivicSpark is funded by federal AmeriCorps funding, partner match, and in some cases, external sponsors. For more information on the fiscal contribution for the 22-23 service year, see our partner page.
Partners are invoiced for Fellow service monthly in 11 equal installments over the service term.
No. It is a contribution to the whole program, which also brings in resources from the federal government to support program operations. The fiscal contribution only covers a portion of the total cost to run the program.
Participating organizations are required to identify the funds for the project, but projects can be funded by a third party who is supporting the service project.
CivicSpark is a great resource to leverage for outside funding. Because of its flexible design, there is an opportunity to focus the service on a suite of projects that align with available resources. For example, a regional foundation interested in supporting public health might support a vulnerability assessment. Local utilities might support a business energy audit project. If there is an open RFP for climate related work, CivicSpark could be built into responses as a supporting mechanism for completing the project.
We can accept your application and engage with you on a tentative basis, but we also have to fill our cohort and will prioritize those organizations that have funding secured.
No. CivicSpark Fellows are not allowed to work directly on grant writing or fundraising, as outlined by AmeriCorps regulations. CivicSpark Fellows are allowed to help local agencies identify possible future funding sources though, and work completed by CivicSpark Fellows may be used to better prepare an agency to access existing funding sources.
AmeriCorps has a policy of deferring to other federal agencies with regard to commingling of federal funds. If the funding agency approves the use of funds for AmeriCorps it is allowable.
No. CivicSpark Fellows are covered by the insurance of CivicWell (formerly the Local Government Commission).