Serve Louisiana has changed the nature of how our corps members provide service. Starting three years ago, our members have focused on capacity building activities in order to strengthen and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the organizations in which they serve. This differs from the prior emphasis on direct service. We believe this will open up great opportunities to promote intentional growth and sustainability in our partner organizations. We will continue to focus on programs which build healthy communities by selecting projects promoting nutrition, physical fitness, mental health resourcing, homelessness, HIV/AIDS education and prevention as well as environmental issues. Members will serve no more than 1/3 of their time in direct service. This checklist is designed to help potential partner organizations assess their fit with Serve Louisiana’s programs and goals.

Your organization meets our eligibility requirements if:

  • They are a 501c3 and a small to midsized nonprofit, grassroots, faith based, government organization or public school.
  • They do not currently receive any other AmeriCorps funding.
  • They are an equal opportunity employer.
  • They comply with the “drug free workplace” federal grant recipient requirements.
  • They can provide a non-refundable cash match of $10,000 per member and cover liability insurance.

Your project meets our eligibility requirements if:

  • It is a new or fledgling project or program within your organization or a redirection of services offered.
  • The position is new and is not replacing a paid staff position.
  • The position requires no more than 33% of the member’s service time in direct service and no more than 10% fundraising (for the project NOT the overall funds of the organization).
  • The project will expand services, help leverage resources such as volunteers or community partners or increases the effectiveness and/or the efficiency of the organization.
  • The project is aimed at building healthy communities by promoting nutrition, fitness, mental health resourcing, homelessness or HIV/AIDS prevention.
  • A full-time supervisor will provide mentorship and leadership development to the corps member(s).
  • The project does not include religious instruction, influence legislation, register voters or provide direct service to a for-profit entity.
  • The project will provide a meaningful service opportunity for at least 40 hours per week for 11 months (September 1-July 31).
  • The corps member will be highlighted as a Serve Louisiana/AmeriCorps member on your website, newsletters, social media and to board members as well as other media outlets and community partners

This checklist does not represent the full scale of eligibility requirements. Other considerations will be made such as past performance if you are a returning site and the level of commitment to the leadership development of the corps members. We are also looking for sites that expand services to rural communities in the southeastern delta region of Louisiana.

Capacity Building Projects

The Corporation for National and Community Service considers capacity building activities to be indirect services that enable the organizations they support to provide more, better and sustained direct services. The activities of the corps member(s) are intended to support or enhance the program delivery model, respond to the organization’s goal of increasing, expanding or enhancing services and enable the organization to provide a sustained level of more or better direct services after the corps member’s term has ended. It is with these goals in mind that we have crafted the following position descriptions. The position(s) you eventually adopt may incorporate one or more elements from each other to better fit your program’s needs. Other capacity building activities not identified below may also be considered. We are committed to meeting our partner organization needs.

1 ) Volunteer Coordinator

CM may recruit and manage volunteers; create volunteer position descriptions; create volunteer training curriculum; train volunteers; set up (design, implement) systems to track and manage volunteers and volunteer hours; supervise and communicate timely with volunteers; oversee volunteer service projects, organize reward celebrations of volunteers and evaluate volunteer impact etc.

2 ) Technology and Social Media Coordinator*

CM may design informational/educational material for social media, email (ie. constant contact), and web platforms; train staff and volunteers on maintaining web site, facebook page etc. once the systems are set up. Research and implement technology systems to increase the efficiency of the program or service the program provides.

3 ) Program Outreach & Community Awareness Coordinator

CM may design and implement informational/educational materials and tools to increase outreach to potential community beneficiaries (ie. press releases, marketing materials); create/implement annual outreach plan; cultivate relationships with potential community partners to assess outreach opportunities and maintain existing ones; convene partners and stakeholders; facilitate focus groups; develop systems to track outreach effectiveness; plan, organize, and implement informational outreach events and community service projects, fairs, workshops, etc.

4 ) Program Development Coordinator

CM may develop guidelines, curriculum, timelines, policies and procedures and tracking systems etc. to pilot a new or fledgling program within the organization. CM may also test what they have developed and assess effectiveness. CM may offer recommendations for improvement of the program. The intention of this role is to design a program which provides long-term, on-going service, not an episodic project or event.

All corps members will evaluate their capacity building activities quarterly and will develop strategies to further improve their effectiveness.

*The Technology and Social Media Coordinator could easily be collapsed into one of the other positions if it would not be a full time position in itself. Keep in mind that corps members have 11 months to serve and must serve an average of at least 40 hours per week (excluding holidays and 10 personal days).