As the new executive director of a small nonprofit organization, Tim had big plans for the work his team could do. However, with a small staffing budget there was only so much they could accomplish. To change this, Tim decided to apply for an AmeriCorps member.
Approximately 46 million Americans live in poverty. In Weld County alone, 8%, or 25,000+ people, live below the federal poverty line. While local nonprofits do much to help folks in need, many organizations themselves are under-resourced or do not have the capacity to accomplish the work they have at hand. With more resources and additional ability agencies can do even more to address persistent poverty in Weld County.
What does nonprofit capacity building mean? It can take many forms including:
- developing outreach and marketing campaigns
- building a social media presence
- creating a program database
- writing grants
- managing a program in its first year
- recruiting volunteers
- and more!
The NoCO AmeriCorps Project places AmeriCorps members, who arrive in Colorado from all over the United States, at mutually agreed upon host organizations where they serve full-time for one year. Host agencies develop capacity building projects and provide supervision; organizations may receive an AmeriCorps member for up to three consecutive years.
United Way hosts a Project Coordinator and VISTA Leaders. These positions provide support to the AmeriCorps members and agency supervisors, and liaise with the regional AmeriCorps office. AmeriCorps supports include skills training, housing, employment experience counselling, event passes, community building, and more.
AmeriCorps member host agencies have included: Alternative Homes for Youth, Arc of Weld County, Boy Scouts of America—Longs Peak Council, Boys & Girls Clubs of Weld County, Connections for Independent Living, Greeley-Evans School District 6, Life Stories: Child and Family Advocacy, Northern Colorado Youth for Christ, Poudre Learning Center, Right to Read, Sunrise Community Health, United Way of Weld County, and Youth & Family Connections, to name a few!
“I want to express my gratitude for allowing the High Plains Library District to be part of the AmeriCorps project. We were able to take a germ of an idea and explore it. In some cases, the idea didn’t fly. In others, it took root and grew exponentially. In all cases, we learned something, with the help of the bright, engaged AmeriCorps members.”Janine Reid, former Executive Director, High Plains Library District