Allowable Activities

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After reading the list of prohibited activities there may still be questions about what kind of service work can be credited to AmeriCorps Education Awards hours.

The most important piece of information to relay to the members is that at least 80% of their time must be spent doing direct service and the other 20% can be credited to education and/or training that they receive that relates to their work or to AmeriCorps.

Direct service is work that addresses human need, the environment, public safety, and/or education in one form or another. It is working directly with people to make change, or doing work that is involved in making that direct change. It can be outreach, case management, training, teaching, tutoring, mediating, cleaning, counseling, recruiting volunteers, catching up on paperwork related to clients, preparing for class, coaching, listening, cooking, serving, providing health care, food, clothing, etc. Direct service hours should constitute 80% or more of an AmeriCorps member's total hours served. The remainder will be indirect service hours.

Indirect service hours, or education and training, hours are only applicable when they reflect the AmeriCorps service that the member credits to the education award he or she will receive. Any on-the job training that refers to direct service would be part of this category. All orientations, including the AmeriCorps orientation, would be included, as well as any state or regional trainings, seminars, or workshops pertaining to issues related to direct service. Examples would be conflict resolution seminars, teacher development days, team-building exercises or a class on training techniques. Only 20% of all of the member's credited service hours can be dedicated to education and training, even if more hours have been spent in this area.

Members may raise funds directly in support of service activities that meet local, environmental, educational, public safety, homeland security, or other human needs. Examples of fundraising activities that members may perform include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Seeking donations for of books from companies and individuals for a program in which volunteers tutor children to read;
  2. Writing a grant proposal to a foundation to secure resources to support the training of volunteers;
  3. Securing supplies and equipment from the community to enable volunteers to help build houses for low-income individuals;
  4. Securing financial resources from the community to assist a faith-based organization in launching or expanding a program that provides social services to the members of the community and is delivered, in whole or in part, through the members of the faith-based organization; or
  5. Seeking donations from alumni of the program for specific service projects being performed by current members.

All AmeriCorps service activities will take place in the United States or U.S. territories only.

Any activities that are not applicable to a member's education award hours are listed on the Prohibited Activities sheet. The hours that a member may spend doing those activities should not be recorded. For instance, if a member is teaching six classes a day and two of those are religion, only the four other classes (let's say in math, English, history and science) would be acceptable to record on her/his weekly tracking tool, and ultimately on her/his quarterly report.

All member questions should be directed to program directors.