Further Resources and Communication

Introduction

If you have questions that are not answered in this manual, this section can point you in the right direction of who to contact or where to look for additional information.

CNCS State Office

Each state has a designated CNCS State Office to help develop, manage, and monitor VISTA programs in their state and sometimes in other states (for national projects). The role of a CNCS State Office is outreach, project development, technical assistance, monitoring and evaluation, and VISTA member support. Each CNCS State Office is led by a State Program Director (SPD) and may also include one or more Program Officers (PO). Major duties of CNCS State Office staff are:

  • Manages a portfolio of AmeriCorps VISTA and Senior Corps projects
  • Provides technical assistance to project sponsors and monitors project/grants data indicators to affirm compliance with performance measurement requirements
  • Assists current and potential sponsors in planning, designing, and submitting grant applications consistent with CNCS guidance
  • Assures portfolio records are well organized and comply with office requirements
  • Continually reviews and evaluates project operations through on-site compliance monitoring and electronic progress report review and feedback
  • Responds to technical assistance requests from potential sponsoring organizations that wish to develop proposals for VISTA projects
  • Assists potential sponsors in refining project goals and objectives, in determining if the project is in accordance with the VISTA mission, and in ensuring that self-sustaining activity will be achieved within the low-income community
  • Approves or disapproves an organization’s concept paper and application
  • Arranges for sponsor training opportunities
  • Approves or disapproves a sponsor’s selection of a VISTA applicant
  • Arranges for VISTA candidates to enroll in Virtual Member Orientation (VMO)
  • Supports VISTAs and sponsors during project implementation with in-service training and technical assistance
  • Monitors project activities
  • Reviews progress reports
  • Closes out VISTA projects
  • Works with elected officials
  • Conducts community outreach

National Service Hotline and VISTA Member Support Unit (VMSU)

The National Service Hotline is a service that provides general CNCS and VISTA program information as well as eGrants and myAmeriCorps portal technical help. Support can be requested by web form, via live chat, or by phone at 1-800-942-2677.

The VISTA Member Support Unit (VMSU), contacted through the National Service Hotline, manages VISTA members’ service benefits and monitors form completion. A sponsor may contact the VMSU in support of a VISTA, but mainly, VISTA members should contact the VMSU directly if they need support with member benefits.  

Nationalservice.gov

This is the official website for CNCS, where you can find information for every stream of service, CNCS focus areas, special initiatives, legislation, press releases, blog posts, and more. Be sure to visit the VISTA Sponsor section of nationalservice.gov for additional sponsor resources including application guidance, marketing materials and more.

Knowledge Network

The Knowledge Network is a section on the National Service website that provides on-demand training on a multitude of topics including, but not limited to capacity building, disability inclusion, VISTA member and volunteer development, performance measurement, and recruitment. These trainings include online courses, webinar series, and readings.

Social Media Hub

One of the easiest ways to stay connected with everything National Service-related is to follow its many social media presences on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and YouTube. All of these accounts can be accessed through the Social Media Hub. For additional information, see the section on Marketing, Outreach, and Recruitment.

Nationl Service Gear

Branding your VISTA members with both National Service and your organization’s gear is a great way to raise awareness for what your VISTA members are doing in your community. VISTA members are provided an AmeriCorps VISTA logo polo when they start service, but you can also buy additional items on the National Service Gear webstore. Available items include apparel, backpacks, banners, pins, and desk accessories. For additional information, see the section on Marketing, Outreach, and Recruitment.

Acronyms

Acronyms may be used when discussing the VISTA program, so it is important to have a working knowledge of what these acronyms mean.

 

Acronym

Description

CFR

Code of Federal Regulations

CNCS

Corporation for National and Community Service

COS

Close of Service

CSO

CNCS State Office

DVSA

Domestic Volunteer Service Act

EOS

End of Service

FFMC

Field Financial Management Center

FFR

Federal Financial Report

FPF

Future Plans Form

GO

Grants Officer

HHS/PMS

Health and Human Services/Payment Management System

HOR

Home of Record

IST

In-Service Training

MLK Day

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

MA/MOA

Memorandum of Agreement

MOR

Marketing, Outreach, and Recruitment

MOU

Memorandum of Understanding

NCSA

National and Community Service Act

NGA

Notice of Grant Award

NOFA

Notice of Funding Availability

NOFO

Notice of Funding Opportunity

NSH

National Service Hotline

OGC/GC

Office of General Counsel

OIG/IG

Office of Inspector General

OSOT

On-Site Orientation and Training

PMS

Payment Management System

PO

Program Officer

PPR

Project Progress Report

PRS/VPRS

VISTA Progress Report Supplement

RFCP

Request for Concept Papers

RFP

Request for Proposals

SOL

Service Opportunity Listing

SPD

State Program Director

T/TA

Training and Technical Assistance

TCB

Terms, Conditions, and Benefits

VAD

VISTA Assignment Description

VLAD

VISTA Leader Assignment Description

VMO

Virtual Member Orientation

VMSU

VISTA Member Support Unit

VTU

VISTA Training Unit