Volunteer Tennessee Announces 2021 AmeriCorps Funding Opportunity

Monday, September 21, 2020 | 03:36pm

Volunteer Tennessee anticipates the availability of approximately $3 million in new and continuation grant funding for Tennessee AmeriCorps programs pending federal congressional appropriations. Public and private non-profit, governmental and faith-based agencies are eligible to apply.

AmeriCorps is the national service program of the Corporation for National and Community Service that engages more than 75,000 Americans each year to meet locally identified community needs in the areas of disaster services; economic opportunity; education; environmental stewardship; healthy futures; and veterans and military families.

Volunteer Tennessee, a 25-member bi-partisan board appointed by the Governor, encourages volunteerism and community service.

Agencies interested in hosting an AmeriCorps program are invited to visit the Volunteer Tennessee website at www.volunteertennessee.net to download application materials. New Tennessee State Formula Grant, Education Award-Only Program Grant, and Professional Grant applications are due to Volunteer Tennessee on February 12, 2021 by 3:00 p.m. CST. 

A recorded AmeriCorps informational webinar will be available on October 7, 2020, and a recorded AmeriCorps Grant Information webinar will be available October 8, 2020. Links to both recorded webinars will be available on the AmeriCorps Funding Opportunities page on Volunteer Tennessee’s website. Additional technical assistance calls will be scheduled on an as-needed basis.

Live virtual AmeriCorps information sessions will take place from September 23 through October 8, 2020.  To register for a virtual information session, please visit Volunteer Tennessee’s website or contact Daniel Sparkman at 615-253-2805 or Daniel.Sparkman@tn.gov. Volunteer Tennessee strongly encourages all applicants (new and re-competing) to attend at least one information session in this extremely competitive year.

“AmeriCorps is a terrific way for organizations to benefit from eager, service-minded individuals – who in turn get education awards to help pay for college,” said Jim Snell, Volunteer Tennessee Executive Director. “For 25 years, AmeriCorps members have cleaned up polluted urban streams, provided child abuse prevention services, taught children to read, and helped senior citizens live longer and healthier lives through preventative health education. Our programs help local agencies maximize their capabilities to serve.”

“By placing AmeriCorps members in communities across the state, they are able to reach our most at-risk and frail citizens,” he continued.

Volunteer Tennessee currently funds 18 AmeriCorps programs across the state. Examples of these include:

AIM Center (Chattanooga): AmeriCorps*Building Futures AmeriCorps members help address the stigma of mental illness while serving at the AIM Center.  Members holistically address the basic human needs for meaningful relationships, self-sufficiency, and community reintegration for people in the greater Chattanooga area with a psychiatric diagnosis. 


BRIDGES USA, Inc. (Memphis): Bridge Builders Expansion AmeriCorps members addresses key needs facing Memphis area youth in grades 6-12 through experiential learning and the facilitation of our Bridge Builders curriculum that targets low academic performance and graduation rates, low rates of cultural competency, and low rates of opportunity for meaningful civic engagement.


Martha O’Bryan Center (Nashville): The Martha O’Bryan Center empowers children, youth, and adults in poverty to transform their lives through work, education, employment, and fellowship. THRIVE AmeriCorps members serve in one of five program areas: K-8 Youth Education, High School Education, Post-Secondary Success and Digital Inclusion, Adult Education, and Family Support. Members build relationships, tutor, teach, plan curriculum and enrichments, and perform community outreach and engagement.  

Since the program’s inception in 1994, more than 1.1 million AmeriCorps members have served the nation, providing more than 1.6 billion hours of service and earning nearly $4 billion in education awards to pay for college or pay back student loans.  In Tennessee, more than 15,000 AmeriCorps members have served more than 29 million hours and earned more than $56.2 million in education scholarships


Volunteer Tennessee is the Governor’s commission on volunteerism and service.  Its mission is to encourage volunteerism and community service.  Annually, Volunteer Tennessee provides more than $6 million in AmeriCorps grants and volunteer center grants to local agencies throughout the state so they can engage volunteers to meet community needs in education, environment, public safety, human needs, and homeland security.  The commission consists of a 25-member, bi-partisan volunteer citizen board appointed by the Governor and eleven State Government ex-officio positions. For more information, visit www.volunteertennessee.net, or visit us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

AmeriCorps is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages millions of Americans in service through its AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs and leads the nation's volunteering and service efforts.  For more information, visit NationalService.gov.