Interested in Hosting a VISTA?
We are currently accepting proposals for partner organizations for the May 2021-2022 cycle! Click on the questions below for more information and also check out our Project Proposal and Application Instructions before completing the Project Application. Click on the questions below for more information or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
VISTA members who serve with us come from across the region, state and country. They serve full time (40 hours per week) for one full year (365 days). Most are college graduates and some have advanced degrees. Experience levels range from a recent college grad to a retired professional. VISTA members are different ages, genders, races, cultures and come from different socioeconomic backgrounds, yet all of them share the dedication and commitment of giving something back to the community and the mission of “getting things done.”
VISTA members are expected to live in the communities that they serve and they receive a bi-weekly living allowance of approximately $472.22 before taxes, which is 105% of the Federal Poverty Level. In addition to the living allowance, they also receive healthcare benefits, loan forbearance, and childcare (if eligible). Upon successful completion of their year of service, VISTA members can choose to receive either a cash stipend of $1,800 or an Education Award of $ $6,095. All VISTA’s also receive ongoing training and development as well as the satisfaction of “getting things done” in their community.
In determining whether VISTA is the right match for a given organization’s needs, think about the kinds of activities members will be expected to perform. The role of the VISTA member is primarily to build the capacity and sustainability of the project and community, with a focus on reducing and alleviating poverty. INDIRECT service is the focus of VISTA.
The following is a list of questions to think about before applying for an AmeriCorps*VISTA member:
- Is there a poverty related project my organization would like to start or expand? Are the project’s goals to help move people and communities out of poverty?
- Does my organization have the infrastructure in place to support a VISTA member? (Think staff time for supervision, a work space with computer and phone access etc.)
- Has my organization utilized VISTA or AmeriCorps resources in the past? If so, how will this be different?
- Is anyone at the organization (staff or volunteer) currently involved in a project like the one I would like the VISTA member to work on? Please note that VISTA members cannot replace staff positions.
- How will we sustain the project after the VISTA member completes the year of service and how will we measure the project’s impact?
To host a VISTA an organization must be one of the following:
- Faith based or nonprofit organizations with a 501(c) designation
- School Districts & Educational Service Districts
- Government agencies: city, county, regional, state, tribal or federal
Members must be placed in a capacity building role for the entire term of service.
- Activities cannot duplicate routine functions of or displace paid employees.
- The project may not include direct service or administrative duties that support general organizational goals such as clerical or janitorial responsibilities, lunch or recess duty or data entry.
- Placement sites must have a Drug Free Work Place Policy and a Non-Discrimination Policy.
- Placement sites must be able to effectively recruit, train, support and supervise the member(s).
- Placement Sites are eligible to have a VISTA member serve with their organization, in the same position, for up to three years.
- Each year is meant to build on the previous year:
- Year 1 – member establishes and creates a program or project.
- Year 2 – member continues to create program and begins to create structure for program to be sustainable.
- Year 3 – member should focus mostly on making the program sustainable.
Our program feels that the following requirements enable both VISTAs and sponsors to maximize the benefits of a one-year placement.
Supervision and Mentoring
- Provide the VISTA with an immediate and available supervisor for the full term of service that is able to meet with the VISTA for a minimum of one hour each week in addition to providing an on-site orientation and training for the member upon arrival at the site.
- Assist the VISTA in identifying opportunities to meet professional development goals through their service and support the VISTA’s participation in our program’s meetings and training.
- If your organization is accepted, the designated Site Supervisors will be required to attend one (1) of the mandatory AmeriCorps*VISTA Supervisor training dates that will take place in May of 2021.
- Provide adequate office space, office equipment, tools and materials for the VISTA to perform service.
- Provide a comprehensive on-site orientation and dedicate at least $300 for training and development for each VISTA on site.
- Provide transportation or mileage reimbursement for VISTA members during established service hours in accordance with the policies of the placement site.
- Support VISTA participation in trainings led by our program, national service day activities, and other required activities.
Conduct outreach within the sponsoring organization and the community to increase awareness of the service our program’s VISTA members provide the community.
Establish safety guidelines and rules that ensure the well-being of the VISTA members and participants in the sponsoring organization’s program.
Complete progress reporting at least two times during the service year.
Participate in site visits with staff from our program.