Developing and implementing a new AmeriCorps program can be an overwhelming proposition – even for the most capable organization. Program design, member management, site relationships and evaluation are just a few of the variables that factor into the initial process. It takes time and resources to sort it all out – exactly what a planning grant provides. ServeOhio has utilized planning grants as a strategy to bring new organizations into our AmeriCorps portfolio for over 20 years. These grants span 6 to 12 months and average $50,000. Such resources allow organizations to augment existing staff in the development of the new program. Specifically, organizations are tasked with the following objectives during a planning grant funding period: Explore AmeriCorps program feasibility and design, including the development of a Logic Model and Theory of Change; Develop program service plans – determine how the AmeriCorps Member service activity directly relates to your program objectives and how such service activity will transpire; Build your organizational capacity to administer the program, including building the required human resource and legal components; Prepare your application to apply for AmeriCorps operational funding. Not all planning grants result in new, operational AmeriCorps programs. Sometimes it is determined that the AmeriCorps model is not a good fit for the issue being addressed or that the lead organization lacks the capacity to manage the grant. We do not see that as a failure as the process provides valuable information to the organization on how to best address the needs of their community and improve systems within their organization. Now is a great time to consider a planning grant for your organization. ServeOhio is releasing an AmeriCorps Planning Grant Request for Proposals on 8/15/18. Check out all the details on our Grants + Funding page . An AmeriCorps program could be the perfect strategy to move your organizational mission forward. Good Luck!