Research and Evaluation Digest: The Power and Value of Service to our Communities and Nation


Research and Evaluation Digest
Nov. 27, 2023

The Power and Value of Service to our Communities and Nation

Power and Value of Service to our Communities and Nation

Service With and for Those Who Serve

Belief in the transformational nature of service is the foundation of everything we do as an organization. Veterans and military family members make-up so many of the people serving as AmeriCorps members and volunteers, continuing their service, and honoring their community. When I think about our work serving veterans and military families, it is a profound reminder that the power of service is tied up in connections and communities. This month, as we continue to mark 30 years of AmeriCorps, I ask you to join me in honoring veterans and military families, consider how our programming serves this community, and look ahead to the next thirty years at what that service for veterans and military families can look like.

In service,
Mary Hyde, Ph.D., Director,
Office of Research and Evaluation

30 Anniversary Logo

30th Anniversary Celebration

For 30 years, AmeriCorps has been a pathway for thousands of veterans across the country to continue serving and leading in their community after military service. Veterans who serve in AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors gain valuable professional, educational, and life benefits. Learn more about our work serving veterans and military families in this look back and reflections from AmeriCorps staff during Military Appreciation Month. 

Our Value-Proposition: Return on Investment Reports Released

AmeriCorps investments in national service reflect our focus on addressing pressing social challenges, strengthening communities, and generating potential benefits beyond the invested dollars. The ROI reports help measure the performance of these investments and build the base of evidence for future resource allocation decisions. Read these four new reports to learn about the latest evidence on the impact on AmeriCorps investments.

  • AmeriCorps Urban Safety Program: aims to improve public health and safety in Detroit and Wayne County, Mich., which had an estimated ROI between $1.63 (short term) and $3.07 (long term) per funder dollar.
  • Colorado Home Instruction for Parent of Preschool Youngsters Program: a home visitation program model with a curriculum to promote children’s development prior to kindergarten, which had an estimated ROI between $0.12 (short term) and $6.77 (long term) per funder dollar.
  • Green City Force: uses workforce training to improve the economic mobility of AmeriCorps members that reside in New York City Housing Authority housing, which had an estimated ROI between $0.69 (short term) and $7.60 (long term) per funder dollar.
  • Montana Conservation Corps: an environmental service program dedicated to promoting field research and direct conservation service, which had an estimated ROI between $0.66 (short term, with low ecosystem benefits) and $126.05 (long term, with high ecosystem benefits) per funder dollar.

Research Grantee Spotlight

Mississippi State University

The Greenville College Access and Attainment Network, the first organization of its kind in Mississippi, was established as part of the action plan resulting from the participatory research conducted by Carol Cutler White, Ph.D., and her team at Mississippi State University. This program helps students in the state apply for and attain financial aid for college. College access efforts continue with ongoing funding from the City of Greenville. How do we know they are still going strong? Dr. White reported they hosted a successful business recruitment meeting just last month. This year, the research to action process has driven local philanthropic investment in Mississippi's economic future and success through increased educational attainment.

Fielding University

The AmeriCorps funded study at Fielding Graduate University and their community partner at the Center for Belonging folk school were featured on The Thoreau College Podcast in a discussion on establishing the folk school and the process of scaling community signing through folk schools. 

Learn More

Register for Return on Investment Studies: Proof that the Cost of ‘Doing Good’ Benefits the Personal, Community, and Federal Bottomline

Join the Office of Research and Evaluation for our December "Evidence and Impact" webinar. This webinar will explore the work of the Frontiers of Benefit-Cost Analysis, AmeriCorps contribution as trailblazers in this field, and our most recent return on investment studies on the value of AmeriCorps.

Thursday, Dec. 14, 3 p.m. ET


Celebrating Service and Its Evidence Story

The 2024 webinar series will celebrate AmeriCorps 30th Anniversary of harnessing the transformative value of evidence used to strengthen community-based organization practices, members and volunteers, local impact, and public trust. The series will highlight how AmeriCorps supports research, evidence and evaluation capacity building that strengthens the missions of local nonprofit organizations. This exploration of our capacity building efforts will tell the story of how it is a return in taxpayer dollars that bring savings to local, state, and national budgets and sparks our nation’s civic engagement.

The 2023 State of the Evidence: Key Findings

Scott Richman, Ph.D., senior researcher at Mathematica, shared key findings from our State of the Evidence review during a recent webinar. Watch the video and view the presentation slides to learn about what we found from one of the report’s authors.

Evidence Exchange Highlights

Visit the Evidence Exchange