An AmeriCorps VISTA member can increase your organization’s capacity, address community issues, and ultimately work to end poverty. Ecolibrium3, a nonprofit in Duluth, MN, is now accepting applications for VISTA host sites projects from nonprofit organizations and public agencies as a part of the 2021 Eco3 VISTA Program.
Applications to host a VISTA member are due May 14.
AmeriCorps VISTA members serve at organizations to increase their capacity to address poverty. VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) is a branch of the national AmeriCorps program that specifically focuses on capacity building by working with local organizations to build resources, develop systems, and increase the efficiency of their processes and programs.
Ecolibrium3 is the leader of the Eco3 AmeriCorps VISTA cohort. Eco3 has served as the sponsoring organization of the cohort since 2017, coordinating the overall program while placing members at other organizations, or “host sites,” for a year of service. Eco3 applies for federal funds, coordinates host sites and members, and reports to the national AmeriCorps office.
All VISTA members’ activities are aimed at building the capacity of your organization to continue to do the work you do to end poverty and its many effects. This means that while VISTA members may not be directly involved in implementing or carrying out a program, they are crucial in gathering the knowledge, resources, volunteers, and systems needed for a program to be successful.
Capacity Building Activity Examples:
- Researching best practices
- Recruiting volunteers
- Creating effective communications
- Organizing a fundraiser
- Developing databases
- Setting up partnerships
- Creating curriculum
In short, VISTA members will not be directly building a house or mentoring a student, but instead will raise the money to build a house or train the volunteers that mentor a student. Behind many successful programs and projects, often you’ll find the work of a VISTA!
A few basic questions to ask yourself:
- Do you want to increase your ability to end poverty in your community?
- Could you use help tracking donors, recruiting volunteers, or developing other systems that build your capacity to meet the needs of a low-income community?
- Do you have a dream project that addresses a community need but you lack the resources to get it off the ground?
- Your organization is a nonprofit or public agency
- You have paid staff with the capacity to oversee a VISTA member’s work
- You can explore the three year VISTA timeline with Ecolibrium3
- Your VISTA Member will not replace the duties of an existing staff member
- Your VISTA Member will not perform political or religious advocacy .
- Your VISTA Member will not perform direct service activities.
When considering capacity building work, Eco3 and AmeriCorps understand that building effective programs goes beyond a VISTA member’s single year term. That is why we generally establish a commitment to the VISTA Program in a three year cycle.
- Contact the program coordinator at Ecolibrium3
- Review the Eco3 VISTA Program Guidelines and Application Instructions
- Complete the Eco3 VISTA Host Site Application
- Confirm position materials with Eco3 Program Coordinator
- Organizational Information and Project Narratives
- Volunteer Assignment Description: the framework for a VISTA member’s year of service
with your organization that provides the overall goal of their service, time bound objectives, and
activities to meet those objectives.
- Position Description: the information that will be advertised to prospective members through
the MyAmeriCorps portal, where individuals apply to positions.
- Performance Measures: the metrics that evaluate a VISTA member’s performance towards capacity building and antipoverty goals.
Program Guidelines and Application Instructions
Complete your Eco3 VISTA Program Application
View the 2021-2022 Eco3 VISTA Program Information Session: Recorded 4/26/2021
Contact the Eco3 VISTA Program Coordinator by calling (218) 336-1038 or email firstname.lastname@example.org