Notes From the Director's Desk: August Edition

Americorps Seniors

AmeriCorps Seniors
Aug. 10, 2023

Notes From the Director's Desk: August Edition 

Convening Aug feature

Check out the AmeriCorps Seniors convening photos on our Flickr account. 

Message From the Director

Dear colleagues,

August has arrived which signals that summer is on its way out. If you haven’t done so already, I hope you will take some vacation time from work to relax, recharge your mind and body, and return with happy memories of your time away, lots of renewed energy, and new ideas for your projects.

For many localities, August is also back to school month. There has been tremendous news coverage and other attention to the massive learning loss suffered by students – not just over the summer – but from the long-term effects of being out of school throughout the pandemic.

While that is bad news, it is also an opportunity for AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers to help tackle this pressing need. Tutoring has emerged as one of the more promising strategies to help address learning loss for students, particularly those already at risk of falling behind. This presents an unprecedented opportunity for us to demonstrate further the benefits and value of AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers to communities.

I know that in some areas, schools may still be reluctant to engage volunteers, but I hope you will continue to reach out to schools, child centers, and out of school programs to stress the importance of working together to engage older adult volunteers in supporting students.

August signals that we are close to the end of yet another federal fiscal year. While not without its challenges, I’m excited by all we accomplished this year, and I look forward to celebrating the new fiscal year together.

In service,
Atalaya Sergi, Director 
AmeriCorps Seniors 

Newly Awarded Grants

AmeriCorps Seniors Native Nations and Indigenous Elders Senior Demonstration Program Awardees 

Native Nations 2023

AmeriCorps staff at the June Native Nations conference.

AmeriCorps Seniors awarded eight grants totaling more than $5.5 million in funding to tribal nations and tribal serving organizations. Awardees: Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council, Chippewa Cree Tribe, Phoenix Indian Center, Prairie Band of Potawatomi Nation, Cherokee County Health Services Council, Rural Alaska Community Action Program, Tolowa Dee-ni Nation, and Oneida Indian Nation of Wisconsin. These projects will support 163 volunteers who will serve their communities.

Learn More

AmeriCorps Seniors Workforce Development Senior Demonstration Program Awardees

AmeriCorps Seniors and Public Health AmeriCorps have partnered to award $5 million to five programs to support the FY 2023 AmeriCorps Seniors Workforce Development Senior Demonstration Program.

The awardees include 

9/11 Day of Service is One Month Away

9/11 Day of Service

It’s been more than 20 years since the 9/11 tragedy. To honor those we lost and the heroes who helped us persevere, join AmeriCorps and to unite in service and do good. On the September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance, Americans of all ages and backgrounds cross divides, differences, and ideologies to serve with neighbors and strangers alike to build important bridges in their communities.

Check out our 9/11 Day Toolkit, a one-stop shop for all September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance communication resources including messaging, social media graphics, templates, and other outreach tools. Spread the word and share these communication resources, register a service project, or volunteer with a project.

View the 9/11 Day Toolkit

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. 

Tuesday, Sept. 19, 1 p.m. ET

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

New Litmos Learning Path

Convening 2023

Access plenary and session recordings, presentations, and materials from the AmeriCorps Seniors 2023 Convening, Growing Together: Uniting America Through Service on Litmos.

 "Evaluating COVID-19 Effects on Senior Volunteers and AmeriCorps Seniors Programs" Study

AmeriCorps contracted with JBS International, an independent contractor, to conduct the study. With the support and collaboration of the AmeriCorps Seniors programs, we expect to compile critical implementation decisions to inform a future learning agenda.

Interested in learning more about research and evaluation at AmeriCorps? Subscribe to the AmeriCorps Research and Evaluation Digest. 

System Updates

Pathfinder Updated  

The pathfinder was updated on Thursday, Aug3, for potential AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers to find opportunities easier.  

Check to see if your contact information in the pathfinder needs to be updated.                   

For technical assistance, refer to "Appendix A. 22: Review and Update Project Information" in your program handbook located on the Foster GrandparentRSVP, Senior Companion, and Senior Demonstration Program grantee pages.  

Modernization Initiative IT

AmeriCorps is building the new cloud-based Grantee Sponsor Portal and My AmeriCorps Replacement Portal.    

The Grantee Sponsor Portal will begin internal testing this year. User preparation and training for grantees will begin in early 2024.  

The Grantee Sponsor Portal will feature: 

  • mobile and tablet friendly access on any browser;
  • single log-in, reducing multiple accounts and passcodes;
  • search capabilities to quickly assess demographics and project funding status; and 
  • automated data compiling, eliminating the need to populate already submitted information.

My AmeriCorps Replacement Portal is also preparing to award a vendor and based on grantees' feedback, should be easier to access use. It will include AmeriCorps Seniors volunteer information.

Some other updates include:

  • requiring less personal information to set up a profile for prospective volunteers; and 
  • robust search and apply features to match applicants with possible service opportunities.

Email any questions or comments.

Payment Integrity Updates

  1. The first round of data collection and testing for the FY 2023 payment integrity assessment is nearing completion.
  2. The second round of grantees selected for testing will be completed by Thursday, Aug. 30. 
  3. Grantees will be notified of the results of the testing in September.
  4. In November, the Office of Management and Budget will publish results on Payment Accuracy

Once grantees are selected for the pilot, the agency will have dedicated staff for additional support.

Elder Justice Corner

Celebrate Ageism Awareness Day on Saturday, Oct. 7

Ageism 2023

Access materials provided by America's Society on Aging

From our colleagues at the Federal Trade Commission:

Identity Theft Using Job Offers

Scammers will say they’re a recruiter for a well-known company and want to hire you for a customer service position. They may say a messenger application is the only way they communicate, so you jump on the app to chat. After you text and answer some personal questions, those answers might put you at risk for identity theft.

To stay clear of this and other job scams: 

  • Verify job openings before you apply. Don’t use the site any caller gives you. Instead, find and visit the official website for the organization or company you’re applying to. Most will have a “career opportunities” or “jobs” section. 
  • See what others are saying. Look up the name of the company plus words like “scam,” “review,” or “complaint.” 
  • Protect your personal information. Be skeptical of anyone who demands personal information right away. Legitimate employers won’t hire you before meeting you virtually or in-person. 
  • Never deposit a check from someone you don’t know. If you deposit it, the bank will take the money back from your account as soon as they realize the check is fake. 

AmeriCorps Scam Alert

Scam Alert

Fraudsters are impersonating officials through email and social media schemes offering fake grants and fake contracts.

Remember: AmeriCorps' official website and emails end in ".gov." Beware of these scams and report them.

Report a Scam

Program Updates

Operational Handbook Update 

The AmeriCorps Seniors operational handbooks were updated on Thursday, July 13. Key updates included monitoring resources:

Resources for Reporting

Tentative Application Due Dates

Please Note: These dates are tentative and subject to change. Fiscal year 2024 (Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023 – Monday, Sept. 30, 2024) grant awards are contingent on annual congressional appropriations and availability of funds. 

Quarter three grantees (Monday, April 1, start date):

  • Notice of funding opportunity scheduled to open: Friday, Aug. 25
  • Applications due: Thursday, Oct. 26 

Quarter four grantees (Monday, July 1, start date):

  • Notice of funding opportunity scheduled to open: Tuesday, Jan. 9
  • Applications due: Monday, March 11

 Important Remainders: 

  • It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure their SAM registration and Unique Entity Identifiers are active. Awards will not be made to organizations that have expired registrations. 
  • To apply in eGrants, it is required that two individuals from each organization have active eGrants accounts. The authorized representative and project director must be different individuals with different eGrants accounts. Applications will be returned if the same person is listed in both fields. 
  • On-time application submissions are required. AmeriCorps Seniors does not guarantee on-time funding decisions or grant awards for organizations that submit late applications. 

Need assistance? Contact the eGrants Help Desk.

Report Due Dates for Grants Realigned in FY 2023 

In fiscal year 2024, all AmeriCorps Seniors RSVP grants will begin Monday, April 1, and all Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion program grants will begin Monday, July 1. In fiscal year 2023, AmeriCorps Seniors RSVP grants that started in quarter four have a nine-month grant period. AmeriCorps Seniors Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion grants that started in quarter three have a 15-month grant period.

Reporting due dates for realigned grants: 

AmeriCorps Seniors RSVP Quarter Four Grants Realigned to Quarter Three (Monday, July 1, start date)    

  • Federal Financial Report Semi-Annual Due: Tuesday, Jan. 30
  • Project Progress Report Annual Due: Tuesday, April 30 
  • Federal Financial Report covering Tuesday, Jan. 1, through Sunday, March 31 (Budget year one or year two) Due: Tuesday, April 30
  • Federal Financial Report Final (Budget year three) Due: Tuesday, July 30

AmeriCorps Seniors Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion Quarter Three Grants Realigned to Quarter Four (Monday, April 1, start date)    

  • Federal Financial Report Semi-Annual Due: Monday, Oct. 30
  • Federal Financial Report Semi-Annual Due: Tuesday, April 30
  • Project Progress Report Annual DueTuesday, July 30
  • Federal Financial Report covering Monday, April 1, through Sunday, June 30 (Budget year one or year two) Due: Tuesday, July 30 
  • Federal Financial Report Final (Budget year three) Due: Monday, Oct. 30, 2024 

Reporting Deadlines

Reports will be made available in eGrants 90 days before the due date.  As you prepare to submit your reports, if the option to enter report data is not available in eGrants, please reach out to your portfolio manager.  

AmeriCorps Seniors RSVP and Senior Demonstration Program Quarter Three Dates (Monday, April 1, start date)    

  • Federal Financial Report Semi-Annual Due: Monday, Oct. 30   
  • Project Progress Report Annual Due: Tuesday, April 30 
  • Federal Financial Report Semi-Annual (Budget year one or year two) DueTuesday, April 30
  • Federal Financial Report Final (Budget year threeDue: Tuesday, July 30 

AmeriCorps Seniors Foster Grandparent, Senior Companion, and Senior Demonstration Program Quarter Four Dates (Monday, July 1, start date)    

  • Federal Financial Report Semi-Annual Due: TuesdayJan. 30 
  • Project Progress Report Annual Due: Tuesday, July 30 
  • Federal Financial Report Semi-Annual (Budget year one or year two) DueTuesday, July 30
  • Federal Financial Report Final (Budget year three) Due: Monday, Oct. 30, 2024 

Litmos Trainings for Reporting: