Notes From the Director's Desk: April Edition

Americorps Seniors

AmeriCorps Seniors 
April 27, 2023

Notes From the Director's Desk:
April Edition

Presidential Award ACS FY 23

AmeriCorps CEO Michael D. Smith awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award to AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers serving in Utah. Read more

Message From the Director

Dear colleagues, 

We’ve all heard the expression “April showers bring May flowers.” This expression reminds us that spring is not far away – even for those of us who are experiencing challenging weather. It also means we are one month closer to our AmeriCorps Seniors national convening. 

I’m excited about our 2023 convening, it has been a long time since we were able to come together in-person, network, and have unscheduled chats around the lunch table. I can’t wait to see you! 

Last month, I attended the American Society on Aging’s 2023 On Aging conference, and had an opportunity to connect with a few of you at the conference. I was honored to represent you and talk about the impact you make in communities every day. I was able to present your work and impact in three different sessions. In addition, our CEO, Michael Smith, participated in a panel discussion where he boasted about the important work AmeriCorps Seniors undertake.  

April and May bring lots of opportunities for us to recognize and celebrate the change our volunteers make possible. We’ve wrapped up National Volunteer Week Celebrations and are eager to focus on the benefits of service during Older Americans Month throughout May.  


Atalaya Sergi, Director 
AmeriCorps Seniors

AmeriCorps Seniors Visits

CEO visits

AmeriCorps CEO Michael D. Smith attended a roundtable and awarded two Presidential Volunteer Service Awards during his visit to Fifty Forward, an AmeriCorps Seniors’ Foster Grandparent Program, in Tennessee. Read more. 

CEO TN visit FY 23

Training Corner 

Grantee Essentials Training and Technical Assistance 

Join AmeriCorps Seniors each month to dive into specific technical assistance topics to help you build your skills while managing your AmeriCorps Seniors grant. 

Topic to be Announced
Tuesday, June 20, 1 p.m. ET


Missed our last call? Check out theGrantee Essentials TTA and Tuesday Talks learning path in Litmos. 

New Tool in Litmos

The AmeriCorps Seniors Project Road Map supports organizations serving as sponsors of AmeriCorps Seniors Foster Grandparent, Senior Companion, Senior Demonstration, and RSVP program grants. It provides a framework of major milestones in project development and critical resources for both new and existing projects. This tool is designed to be used in conjunction with support from your portfolio manager.


News You Can Use

Helpful Resources of Research and Evaluation

AmeriCorps Seniors is launching a quarterly research and evaluation newsletter. 

Stay tuned for:  

  • impactful research highlights from our AmeriCorps Seniors programs; 
  • concise and clearly written summaries of effective programming tools; and 
  • resources and learning opportunities to build your evidence capacity 

Subscribe to these new AmeriCorps Newsletters

AmeriCorps is launching thematic newsletters on P-12 education and workforce development. Newsletters will highlight innovative programs and practices, non-AmeriCorps federal funding opportunities, and additional resources to support grantees, sponsors, and partners.

  • P-12 Education Newsletter – Subscribe
  • Workforce Development Newsletter – Subscribe

AmeriCorps Seniors Convening “Growing Together: Uniting America Through Service”

The AmeriCorps Seniors Convening, will take place in Arlington, Virginia from Wednesday, May 24- Friday, May 26. This event will be an opportunity for grantees to share and receive innovative best practices from one another.

Event registration officially closed on Sunday, April 23. Register and complete your hotel reservations as soon as possible. 


Pre-Conference Update  

Registration for all five pre-conference events closed on Friday, March 24. Questions about your pre-conference registration status? Email the support team at  

2023 Excellence in AmeriCorps Seniors Award

The true meaning of growth is the recognition of the journey. The AmeriCorps team is excited to announce new service awards to recognize the impact of our grantees. We invite you to nominate a program director or organization. Award winners will be announced at convening. Nominate (via Microsoft Form) a program director or organization in these categories:

  • Impactful Service Award Program Directors or coordinator are eligible nominees): Recognizes an AmeriCorps Seniors program director or coordinator who has practiced resiliency while addressing public health, food security, or workforce challenges for communities. Nominees should have built an ethic of civic responsibility and civic engagement with the ultimate upliftment to older Americans as champions in service.
  • Life of Service Award (Program Director or coordinator are eligible nominees): Recognizes a long-standing director or coordinator who has devoted themselves to the cause of service. Nominees has taken on the role of being a support system for their fellow peers in leadership.
  • Innovative Service Award (Programs; Organizations are eligible nominees): Recognizes an AmeriCorps Seniors program who has inspired a different way to capture impactful moments of service through research and evaluation tools. Program Nominee should reflect methods that make a significant impact in sharing the outcome of a project and/or volunteer force serving in communities.
  • Inclusive Service Award (Programs; Organizations are eligible nominees): Recognizes programs that have intentionally engaged communities with a growth mindset encouraging a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) for all stakeholders. Program nominees ensures that everyone who is willing and able to serve

Nominations will only be accepted from Thursday, April 27 to Friday May 12 5p.m. ET. One submission per person.


Elder Justice Corner

Avoid Scammers During Disasters

Every time there’s a natural disaster, scammers are quick to exploit people who have already suffered major losses.

Ways to avoid scams:

  • Ask for official identification. Many scammers will pretend to be safety inspectors, government officials or utility workers who say immediate work is needed. 
    • Don’t give money or personal information until you can verify who you’re talking to.
  • Do not pay for FEMA assistance.
  • Look out for clean-up and repair scams. Unlicensed contractors and scammers may appear in recovery zones with promises of rebuilding services.
    • Some demand cash payments up front without contracts. Refuse and walk away. 
  • Steer clear of rental listing scams. Scammers know people need a place to live while they rebuild.
    • Never wire money or a rent deposit  before you’ve seen the place or signed a lease.  

Share resources with your community for dealing with weather emergencies


Report (weather-related) scams to the Federal Trade Commission 

Join the Older Americans Month Celebration

May Seniors Month

Each May, during Older Americans Month, we honor our nation’s older volunteers and the positive impact they make possible, using their time and wisdom to make our communities stronger, more informed, and better connected. This includes the 140,000+ older Americans who serve with AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors programs, as well as the many others who volunteer each year. Join us in honoring our AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers by celebrating the volunteers in your organization on social media. Check out our Older Americans Month toolkit to use our one-stop shop for all communication resources including social media graphics and messaging. Don’t forget to use #OlderAmericansMonth and tag @AmeriCorps in your posts.

Older Americans Month Toolkit

Program Operations Handbook Updates

On Friday, April 14, new versions of the operations handbooks were posted on the website. 

All handbooks include updated links to the frequently asked questions on lobbying and partisan political activity documents, removal of the Progress Report Semiannual report information, and an update to de minimis rate of modified total direct cost. 

The AmeriCorps Seniors’  Foster Grandparent, Senior Companion, and Senior Demonstration handbooks includes language update for volunteer service year calculation.   

To access the handbooks, visit these grantees pages on our web site.

Reporting Deadlines

Project Progress Report Instructions Updates

AmeriCorps Seniors has removed the six-month Project Progress Report Lite Semiannual from FY 2023 awards. The Project Progress Report instructions have been updated to reflect the report requirements and provide additional guidance around reporting volunteer service years.  

Quarter 3 (Saturday, April 1 Start Date) 

  • Performance Progress Reports Annual Due: Sunday, April 30   
  • Federal Financial Report (Budget Year 1 or Year 2) Due: Sunday, April 30   
  • Federal Financial Report Final (Budget Year 3) Due: Sunday, July 30   

Quarter 4 (Saturday, July 1 Start Date)  

  • Performance Progress Reports Annual Due: Sunday, July 30   
  • Federal Financial Report (Budget Year 1 or Year 2) Due: Sunday, July 30   

Review program handbooks and Litmos for additional guidance. 

Litmos Training: AmeriCorps National Performance Measures Core Curriculum