AmeriCorps Eligibility

Prohibited Activities (all of which appear on page 16 of the AmeriCorps Member Contract):

  • Participating in efforts to influence legislation, including lobbying for your program;
  • Organizing a letter-writing campaign to Congress;
  • Engaging in partisan political activities, or other activities designed to influence the outcome of an election to any public office;
  • Participating in, or endorsing, events or activities that are likely to include advocacy for or againstpolitical parties, political platforms, political candidates, proposed legislation, or elected officials;
  • Printing politically charged articles in a Corporation-funded newsletter or discussion list;
  • Taking part in political demonstrations or rallies;
  • Engaging in any efforts to influence legislation, including state or local ballot initiatives;
  • Voter registration drives;
  • Organizing or participating in protests, petitions, boycotts, or strikes;
  • Assisting or deterring union organizing;
  • Impairing existing contracts or collective bargaining agreements;
  • Religious activities, including engaging in religious instruction; conducting worship services; providing instruction as part of a Program that includes mandatory religious instruction or worship; constructing, operating, or maintaining facilities primarily or inherently devoted to religious instruction or worship; serving at faith-based camps; or engaging in any form of religious proselytization;
  • Activities that pose a significant safety risk to participants;
  • Assignments that displace employees;
  • Placement of members into internships with for-profit businesses as part of the education and training component of the program;
  • Providing assistance to a business organized for profit;
  • Raising funds for an AmeriCorps stipend;
  • Raising funds for an organization’s operating expenses or endowment;
  • Writing grant applications for AmeriCorps funding or for any other funding provided by the Corporation for National and Community Service;
  • Writing grant applications for funding provided by any other federal agencies;
  • Administrative work, unless it benefits the members approved direct service activities; and
  • Activities providing abortion services or referrals for receipt of such services.

There are also several types of activities that may not be assigned to you as an AmeriCorps Member, such as:

  • Activities that pose a significant risk to AmeriCorps Members or others;
  • Internships with a for-profit business as a part of the education and training component of the program; and
  • Assignments that displace employees;
  • Medical research;
  • Direct service that is paid through an hourly wage other than Federal Work-Study;
  • Activities (service or trainings) performed internationally;
  • Activities performed that serve or educate about individuals residing outside the US and US territories.

Common Oversights AND activities or types of organizations to avoid serving at:

Service at for profit community partners.
Be diligent about ensuring that your community partners are nonprofit agencies! Before beginning with a new community partner, verify its nonprofit status. See how by watching this video:

Service that is primarily clerical in nature.
Avoid any position where a primary responsibility is administrative in nature (i.e., filing, answering phones). If members are required to perform these duties as a small component of their service at a community partner, focus the service description on the direct service and avoid language like "filing," "answering phones," and "general administrative tasks," as these are not eligible for AmeriCorps.

Service that is international.
The Foundation recognizes that AmeriCorps members may want to participate in service trips abroad during their term of service. While they are not prohibited from doing so, they cannot count international service hours (whether through direct service or in a planning capacity) toward their AmeriCorps term. Likewise, fundraising to benefit an international organization or Training and Enrichment events that focus on international issues, are prohibited and cannot count toward a member's term of service. All service should directly benefit people living within the United States.

Service at faith-based camps.
The Corporation for National and Community Service prohibits any service at faith-based summer camps. Encourage your AmeriCorps Members who want to do service at summer camps to research camps that are geared toward low-income or at-risk youth. Finding opportunities at a local YMCA is often a good place to start.

Serving On-Call for Emergency Response from home
Members may serve in emergency response or on-call positions, but this on-call time must be spent at the community parter for which they are on-call to be able to log "On-Call" time for their AmeriCorps hours. A Member may not be waiting in their dorm or at home or another location while On-Call and count those hours for their AmeriCorps service. If a Member is waiting at home or at a location other than the community partner, they may log the hours spent responding to the call (Ex. EMT may log the hours that they are actually at the scene of the accident/incident). These rules fall under the requirement that a Member must be doing DIRECT SERVICE during the hours they are logging for their AmeriCorps Term.