Notes From the Director's Desk: March Edition

Americorps Seniors

AmeriCorps Seniors
March 13, 2024

Notes From the Director's Desk:
March Edition

Two Women

March is Women's History Month. The women who serve through AmeriCorps Seniors programs exemplify the spirit of service and activism that characterizes Women's History Month, inspiring generations to come.

Message From the Director

Dear colleagues,  

This week is AmeriCorps Week, a time when we celebrate and recognize the dedicated AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers and AmeriCorps members across the country who contribute to their communities through service. From mentoring youth and supporting education, to ensuring access to care and supporting aging in place, to delivering meals to older adults, AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers embody the spirit of service and civic engagement. This week-long celebration not only recognizes their invaluable contributions, but also highlights the importance of volunteerism in addressing critical social challenges with older adults.

AmeriCorps Week is a great opportunity to inspire others to participate in volunteer work. By engaging new older adult volunteers, we expand the collective capacity for service and empower individuals to make a positive difference in their communities. AmeriCorps Week is also a good time to meet with your local partners and officials to share the impact that older adult volunteers are making in your communities. Please share your stories and photos with us to show how you celebrated this week!  

As March is Women’s History Month, I would like to acknowledge the achievements of women who left indelible marks as dedicated volunteers and community advocates throughout history. One notable figure is Clara Barton, who founded the American Red Cross in 1881, providing aid to soldiers during the Civil War and later establishing disaster relief efforts that continue to this day. Another inspiring example is Ida B. Wells, an early leader in the civil rights movement who volunteered her time to educate others about the injustices of racial violence through her writing and speaking engagements. Grace Lee Boggs was another extraordinary woman, known for her community development work in Detroit, Mich., who was involved in various volunteer initiatives aimed at empowering marginalized communities and promoting social change. These women, like the women who serve through AmeriCorps Seniors programs, exemplify the spirit of service and activism that characterizes Women's History Month, inspiring generations to come.

Later this month, I will be attending the On Aging 2024 conference in San Francisco, Calif. I hope to see some of you there, so I can hear more stories about how your AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers and programs impact and change lives through service.

Atalaya Sergi, Director
AmeriCorps Seniors

Training Corner 

Grantee Essentials Training and Technical Assistance Calls 

Each month, we dive into specific technical assistance topics to help you build your skills while managing your AmeriCorps Seniors grant. Upcoming calls: 

  • AmeriCorps Seniors Policies and Uniform Monitoring Package
    Tuesday, March 19, 1 p.m. ET
  • Quarter 3 Project Performance Reports and Data Quality and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility
    Tuesday, April 16, 1 p.m. ET

Register for the Grantee Essentials TTA Calls

Missed our last Grantee Essentials TTA call? Check out the Grantee Essentials TTA learning path in Litmos. This learning path includes webinar recordings, presentations, and other materials.

Join our Upcoming Recruitment Webinars 

Join the below call to learn more about recruitment tips and tricks you can utilize to recruit more AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers. Please reach out to with any questions.    

Additional Grantee Training and Technical Assistance

Monthly Spotlight on Training Resources 

This month, we are highlighting the “Closeout Training for Grantees” course on Litmos. This training reviews closeout requirements, with a particular focus on the timing of these requirements and compliant financial reconciliation. The goal of this training is to ensure grantees closeout AmeriCorps grants accurately and on time. This training is intended for AmeriCorps grantees. 

Once you log into Litmos, search the content library to locate the "Closeout Training for Grantees” course.    

Note: You will need to first log in to Litmos, then click the link to the course.  

For technical support, to request access, or if you need assistance accessing these pages using assistive technology, email:  

Data In Action 

Helping Older Adults Juggle Multiple Responsibilities 

AmeriCorps Seniors older adult volunteers do a lot!  According to a survey conducted in 2019, as many as one out of every seven older adult volunteers makes time to volunteer in addition to working for pay. And as many as one third of older adult volunteers are also serving as a caregiver to a loved one. So how do we help them do it all?  

A study conducted by The University of Maine on AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers in the RSVP program developed tips for volunteer managers to help older adult volunteers juggle their multiple responsibilities.  

Those tips include: 

  • offering flexible arrangements; 
  • developing activities that create opportunities for learning and social connection;  and
  • using online volunteering tools.  

Read the full tipsheet here and download it to use with your teams!  

Modernization Initiative Update 

Currently, AmeriCorps is immersed in the system configuration and design phase of the future Grantee and Sponsor Portal and are in the development phase for My AmeriCorps Portal replacement. AmeriCorps is working to deliver systems that will help improve the application, award management, and volunteer management experience for AmeriCorps grantees. AmeriCorps' modernization team will be at the AmeriCorps Seniors Convening, where there will be a variety of in-person engagement opportunities.

Stay tuned for more updates and ways to stay connected. Feel free to reach out with any questions, comments, or suggestions at 

Celebrate AmeriCorps 30th Anniversary 


To commemorate the 30th Anniversary of AmeriCorps, each month we will highlight the incredible impact AmeriCorps programs create through key areas of service. The theme for March is Recruitment. Use this opportunity to lift up the important work your organization is doing and inspire others to volunteer and make a difference in their communities. 

Find videos, photos, social media, communications templates, and more in our30th anniversary communications toolkit Remember to share your Recruitment storieswith us to raise awareness about the positive impact your program has on your community. Share videos, photos, and posts on social media. Use the hashtag #AmeriCorps30 to be featured on our channel. 

Access the Toolkit

Elder Justice Corner 

From our colleagues at the Federal Trade Commission 

What to Know About Identity Theft 

Identity theft happens when someone uses your personal information, Social Security number, credit card number, or other identifying details, for financial gain or fraudulent activities. This can include opening credit accounts, making purchases, accessing bank accounts, filing fraudulent tax returns, or committing other crimes under the victim's name. Identity theft can have serious consequences for the victim, including financial losses, damage to credit scores, and difficulties in resolving fraudulent activity. 

How to protect yourself from identity theft: 

  • Protect documents that have personal information. Keep personal documents in a safe place and shred any documents that reveal your personal information before you throw them away. 
  • Don’t share your Social Security number with someone who contacts you unexpectedly. Scammers will say they’re from the Social Security Administration, the IRS, a bank, or another organization you know to steal your information.  
  • Protect your information online and on your phone. Use passwords that are hard to guess and add multi-factor authentication, like a code you get by text message, for accounts that offer it. 
  • Review your bills. Look for charges for things you didn’t buy, or an unexpected bill. It could be a sign of identity theft. 

If you suspect identity theft, report it to the Federal Trade Commission. 

Program Updates and Requirements 

2024 Income Guidelines  

The 2024 AmeriCorps Seniors Income Guidelines for the Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion programs are posted to the grantee pages. 

Income Disregard Provisions Memo  

The Income Disregard Provisions Memo has been updated and posted on the Foster Grandparent, RSVP, Senior Companion, and Senior Demonstration grantee pages 

Reminder: You Can Order Free AmeriCorps Seniors Promotional Products for Your Programs  

AmeriCorps Seniors provides free promotional items for grantees at the AmeriCorps Promotional Items website. Through this website, grantees can receive branded banners, pins, pens, and other promotional materials to support recruitment. Brochures for RSVP, Senior Companion Program, and Foster Grandparent programs are now available. These items can be ordered at no cost to the grantee, however, there is a maximum quantity that each grantee is entitled to. If your program has not received your free items, please take advantage of this opportunity. Thank you for promoting AmeriCorps Seniors! 

For Public Comment: 

AmeriCorps Seniors has a proposed rule published in the Federal Register, which is available at: Federal Register: AmeriCorps Seniors Regulation Updates. 

Directors, please participate in the public comment period and share this information with your volunteers. We would like to hear from you. The public comment period is open until Monday, April 15, and commenters can submit comments either through or by pressing the “Submit a Formal Comment” button at this link 

Summary of the proposed changes: 

This proposed rule would remove barriers to service in AmeriCorps Seniors for individuals and increase flexibility for AmeriCorps Seniors sponsors to determine the best mix of staffing and resources to accomplish project goals. Specifically, this proposed rule would: 

  • Remove barriers for individuals to serve as AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers in three ways (Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion):  
    • by simplifying how income is calculated for the purposes of determining eligibility to receive a stipend in a manner that limits what is considered income; 
    • by allowing volunteers to continue to receive a stipend when sponsors place them on administrative leave due to extenuating circumstances preventing service; and 
    • by allowing sponsors to supplement stipends. 
  • This proposed rule would increase flexibility for AmeriCorps Seniors grantees in three ways:  
    • by removing the prescriptive requirement for them to employ a full-time project director; 
    • by establishing a single 10 percent match value for RSVP regardless of year; and 
    • by allowing sponsors to choose to pay more than (but not less than) the AmeriCorps-established stipend rates using non-AmeriCorps funds for the amount exceeding the AmeriCorps-established rate. 

These proposed changes would allow grantees to determine the best staffing and volunteer mix to support projects and how to devote resources that would otherwise be devoted to meet increasingly high match requirements. This proposed rule would also update nomenclature to reflect that the Corporation for National and Community Service operates as AmeriCorps and that “Senior Corps” is now known as “AmeriCorps Seniors.” 

Anti-Fraud Advisory

From the Office of Inspector General  

What is Timekeeping Fraud? 

Timekeeping fraud occurs when agency employees, contractors, grantee staff, or AmeriCorps members and volunteers are dishonest about their time. This includes some of the below:

  • Intentionally charging time to an AmeriCorps grant that is knowingly false or incorrect.
  • Showing a reckless disregard for timekeeping laws, rules, and regulations, (e.g., turning a blind eye).
  • Staff modifying volunteer(s) time records without any basis or authorization. 

Red Flags of Timekeeping Fraud

Here are some red flags that the Office of Inspector General has identified in our oversight:

  • Numerous individuals’ timesheets that look the same (e.g., same exact number of hours each day across timesheets for a given period)  
  • Timesheets that appear prepopulated  
  • Excessive or unusual corrections (e.g., all corrected on same date; no explanations provided, or explanations that do not appear credible)  
  • Timesheets not signed by supervisor or signatures that appear identical on each timesheet (copy and paste)  
  • Unusual or excessive hours (e.g., hours on holidays/weekends when not expected)
  • Timesheets that are not signed at all 

For more information, visit the Office of Inspector General website or click this Litmos link and look under "Additional Resources".

Indirect Cost Guidance

AmeriCorps is pleased to introduce the Indirect Cost Guidance document. This guide was prepared by the Office of Audit and Debt Resolution in collaboration with the Office of Monitoring, the Office of Grant Administration, and the Office of Regional Operations in February 2024. The guide serves as a comprehensive resource for AmeriCorps applicants and grantees.

It covers the essentials of managing and applying indirect costs related to AmeriCorps awards, designed to enhance transparency, efficiency, and accountability. Key topics include distinguishing direct from indirect costs, methodologies available to consistently calculate and apply indirect costs, and the steps involved for submitting an Indirect Cost Rate Proposal. The guidance details the negotiation and approval processes for a new rate or requesting an extension for an existing one, specifically when AmeriCorps is the designated cognizant agency for indirect costs.

The guidance is also equipped with necessary tools, resources, and checklists, to assist organizations to navigate the complexities of indirect cost management, ensuring compliance with the federal regulations. It is accessible on the AmeriCorps website under Manage Your Grant in the “Pre-Award Requirements” section.

Reporting Requirements 

For reporting deadlines, review your grant's terms and conditions and section VII reporting requirements: 

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

Current Reports Due: 

AmeriCorps Seniors RSVP Quarter Three Grants and Foster Grandparent, Senior Companion, and Senior Demonstration Program Quarter Three Grants Realigned to Quarter Four (those with a 15-month budget): 

  • Project Progress Report Annual Due: Tuesday, April 30 
  • Federal Financial Report Semi-Annual Due: Tuesday, April 30 

AmeriCorps Seniors American Rescue Plan Phase 2 (April) Grants: 

  • Project Progress Report Annual Due: Tuesday, April 30 
  • Federal Financial Report Final Due: Monday, July 29 

Additional Resources 

For instructions on the project progress report and federal financial report, visit your program's grantee resources section, select “submit a progress report” or “submit a Federal Financial Report” as the action, then click “apply” to show the resources.    

Updated AmeriCorps Seniors Handbooks 

Litmos Trainings for Reporting