Host with Commonwealth Corps

MSA partners with nonprofit organizations, academic institutions, and public entities to reinvigorate civic involvement to help address the Commonwealth's most critical needs.

Agencies can apply to host 2-4 full-time members or 2-6 half-time members for a 10 month term of service in one of our designated focus areas: economic opportunity, education (early or K-12), health/nutrition, veterans' support, and youth development/youth violence prevention. Host site agencies are asked to be partners in providing ongoing support and professional development to our service members and other shared programmatic, administrative, and fiscal responsibilities.

Commonwealth Corps Members make a difference through their host site agencies by: providing direct service, building capacity of local organizations, and recruiting and mobilizing additional volunteers.

Interested in hosting Commonwealth Corps members? An info session is on 11/27!
of host sites reported seeing members
demonstrate new or expanded skills
cash or in-kind support leveraged
for host site agencies
volunteer hours supported by members
Learn more about submitting an AmeriCorps Concept Proposal before September 7th!

Learn About the 2024-2025 RFP Process

2024-2025 Host Site Application Timeline & Checklist: For more details take a look at the 2024-2025 Host Site Application Timeline

Learn About Being a Host Site

We encourage interested host site partner applicants to  review past materials and webinars  to learn about the process. These resources are updated each year for the current Request for Proposals (RFP).

Past Materials

Past Webinars

Hosting with Commonwealth Corps FAQ

As the state commission on service and volunteerism, The Massachusetts Service Alliance oversees the program and supports the host site partner agencies and members, while each host site partner manages its own member recruitment and selection and supervision.

Host site applicants must select one OR two focus areas in which to apply that best match with their programming and goals. There is no preference for sites that apply for two rather than one focus area. If you do select two focus areas, please be sure to explain if each member will address one or two focus areas, and how you will build a sense of team across your member projects.

In addition to selecting your focus area(s) (economic opportunity/workforce development, education, health & nutrition, veterans’ support, or youth development/violence prevention), applicants must also focus on building capacity in their organization/community and propose related capacity building performance measures.  

The Commonwealth Corps seeks to build a sense of community both across all sites/members and among the cohort within a site.  Host sites must need and must be able to support a minimum of 2 full-time or half-time members.  If you are looking for a single member to support your programming, the Commonwealth Corps is not the right fit.  However, if you partner with other agencies to support and meaningfully engage that minimum number of members, you can apply jointly. One agency must take on the role of lead applicant, and you must explain common goals across members and how you will build a sense of team.  

Commonwealth Corps host sites have ranged from small to medium-sized agencies, and we do not have a minimum requirement for overall agency budget.  We are pleased to be able to keep our host site cash match per service member at a modest level to help agencies of all sizes be able to apply.

Although the listed eligibility requirements in the RFP are somewhat minimal (such as being “in existence for at least one year”), we are looking for partners who truly have the capacity to fulfill the various host site requirements listed throughout the RFP and meaningfully support their members.  This partnership with MSA and members takes time and effort (administrative, programmatic, and fiscal) on your agency’s part, and supervisors must be able to make time and space in their roles to manage and support members, including a focus on their development.  This works best when the entire organization or team of staff is aware of the members’ roles and committed to their support and success.  Applicants are asked a number of questions in the narrative that allow you to help demonstrate your organization’s capacity to host members, and prior performance is also considered.

Applicants should only request the minimum number of members they need for their proposed programming (as long as they need at least 2 full-time or half-time members).  MSA anticipates that it will not be able to fund all requested slots, especially full-time requests.

Please make sure to justify the number of members you are requesting in your narrative and why full-time positions are necessary (if applicable).  If a host site is being considered for selection but MSA cannot support their entire request, MSA may ask an applicant if they would be willing/able to take part in the Commonwealth Corps and accomplish their programming with a smaller number of members or with half-time instead of full-time members. (This might result in renegotiation of overall performance measures.)

Both focus on the combination of community impact and member development.  Some larger differences include:

  • Commonwealth Corps (CC) focuses on Massachusetts Residents. (Members must be MA residents legally authorized to work in the US and can only serve one term in this program.)
  • CC members’ service combines direct service with capacity building. While there is not a required percentage of direct service or capacity building, every member must have some combination of the two.
  • The ability to apply for support via CC for organizations without the capacity to host a team of 10-15+ AmeriCorps (AC) members but with the need for more than 1 service member.
  • MSA’s heavy role in shared member management and simplification of some of the administrative aspects of the program for host sites (such management of stipends, health insurance, etc.).
  • The Commonwealth Corps is a state-funded program established in 2007 administered by MSA.
  • Although CC members are eligible for many benefits, some benefits specific to AmeriCorps (ed award vs. completion award, guaranteed federal loan forbearance, relocation stipend, etc.) are not available to CC members.
  • The range of members who have served.  We are proud that the range of ages (recently 18-75), races, ethnicities, first languages, military experiences, and other backgrounds across our members represents a more diverse cohort than the average year-of-service (YOS) program.  
  • CC and AC service are not related when considering AC term limits.
  • Sites may host a combination of service members but must be able to clearly distinguish how service roles/goals are different between CC and AC and demonstrate that they are not applying for CC to replace past AC positions.

More FAQ answers can be found here.

For more information about the Commonwealth Corps, here is our 2022-2023 program-wide position description. We also invite you to read our commitment to equity here. To learn more about some of our current service members and partners, check out our recent newsletter.