Evidence of the Impact of AmeriCorps Investments in Communities
WASHINGTON, DC - The state of the evidence at AmeriCorps is robust, and it guides the agency’s investments in evidence-building as we pursue our mission to improve lives, strengthen communities and foster civic engagement through national service and volunteering.
The recently released AmeriCorps 2023 State of the Evidence Report describes the state of the evidence across four domains where AmeriCorps seeks to make an impact: Participants, Partners, Communities and Society. Each domain represents where the agency makes its investments in national service.
Programs backed by AmeriCorps funding empower grantees and sponsors to deliver services to local communities and the individuals living within them. The report highlights themes where AmeriCorps programs had a positive impact. It also highlights return on investment studies that show a positive medium and long-term return across AmeriCorps’ focus areas — Disaster services, Economic opportunity, Education, Environmental stewardship, Healthy futures and Veteran and Military Families.
“Our 2023 State of the Evidence Report confirms and reinforces what we’ve seen over the last 30 years: through AmeriCorps’ investment in national service and volunteering, we’re improving the lives of our members, our partners, local communities and our country. This is just one of many reasons why building a platform of research and evidence is important -- because it gives us the tools to demonstrate that service isn’t just a “nice to have," it’s a critical part of a healthy, thriving democracy," said Michael D. Smith, CEO, AmeriCorps. "Whenever America calls, our members and volunteers answer that call. I'm proud of the transformative impact AmeriCorps continues to have on so many lives."
AmeriCorps regularly invests in evidence building to enhance the impact of programs on national service members and volunteers, as well as on the communities and organizations that they serve within. The agency also seeks to be a thought leader by making investments that grow the knowledge base on trends in national service, volunteerism and civic engagement in the United States.
AmeriCorps Office of Research and Evaluation furthers the agency’s mission by supporting and conducting the research and evaluations that advance the knowledge base and public understanding of national service, volunteering and civic engagement. AmeriCorps original and sponsored research and evaluations also infuse data into programs and impact the agency’s activities and investments.
“The State of the Evidence Report, released this month, takes stock of our shared impact by compiling our evidence base to see where we’ve been and the potential for the next thirty years of AmeriCorps to be filled with ‘getting things done for America – to make our people safer, smarter and healthier,” said Mary Hyde, Ph.D., Director, AmeriCorps’ Office of Research and Evaluation.
AmeriCorps investment in evidence building come through several avenues. The agency supplies funding and technical support to AmeriCorps State and National grantee organizations to conduct independent evaluations of their interventions. Other programs, such as AmeriCorps NCCC, AmeriCorps VISTA and AmeriCorps Seniors, also generate evidence that aligns with the agency’s learning agenda.