Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation Seeks New VISTA Partner Sites

Do you need an extra hand in creating capacity and support in your organization? Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF), in partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), is seeking proposals from organizations interested in hosting full-time AmeriCorps VISTA members. The AmeriCorps VISTA program is part of SMIF's goal to create economic vitality through entrepreneur development. Members are engaged with nonprofit organizations to help with programs and services targeted towards diverse populations who are experiencing economic hardship.

The focus of VISTA members is on "Economic Opportunity"-enabling individuals to obtain or train for gainful employment. At the partner sites, VISTA members help build capacity, but do not engage in direct service activities. Their activities are designed to create a lasting impact on an organization's ability to serve low-income communities. Additionally, VISTA members cannot be engaged in activities that could be considered replacement for a paid staff. VISTAs serve in 501(c) nonprofit organizations; educational institutions; faith-based organizations; tribal, state, and local government agencies to build organizational capacity for conducting anti-poverty work. Organizations that focus solely on advocacy and lobbying are not eligible.

The deadline for community partner site applications is January 15, 2015. This is a competitive application process, and SMIF will support five sites in the 20-county region. For guidelines and application, visit or contact Pam Bishop ( for more information.

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