Who should join as a VISTA Host Organization?
For AmeriCorps VISTA, the Service Year Host Organization should be the AmeriCorps VISTA grantee. VISTA Intermediary Projects that place VISTA members at separate host sites can distinguish these opportunities when creating recruitment listings. Individual placement sites do not need to enroll and create separate profiles, and can instead work with the Host Organization to add information as applicable.
Organizations can add additional staff members to their accounts-including from placement sites-to create recruitment listings, discover future corps members, and manage corps members throughout their service year. Organizations can add additional account users as “Program Managers,” which allows account access to only recruitment and corps member management functions.
Options for adding VISTA Positions:
On the ServiceYear.org, positions are a way to describe your program design. A position highlights the community needs the service will address, the anticipated outcomes, and the types of activities that VISTA members will perform in their service. Once a position is certified, as many listings as needed can be added to recruit for it. Since positions are distinct from recruitment listings, you have the option to add a VISTA position that describes your entire VISTA project, and to create recruitment listings for each unique opportunity.
If your project has a large number of members at various sites, it may be more beneficial for you to add your opportunities through one position. Alternately, if you have a small number of opportunities, or if you wish to provide more detailed information about each placement site, you might want to use separate positions. On the next page are two options to consider when adding your service year opportunities:
1. Adding a VISTA Project as a Position:
When adding a position, use this as an opportunity to describe your overall project. After it is certified, you will have an opportunity to create one or more recruitment listings to go more in depth on the roles and assignments specific to each VISTA member’s service. As you are representing all of the project’s opportunities, you will want to keep your narrative descriptions broader in scope, describing the overall goals and purpose of the VISTA project. Here is some guidance for entering information in narrative fields:
● Position Description: Think of this as a brief description that summarizes the overall VISTA project. You are welcome to mention some of the specific roles if you would like, but we recommend keeping this as a relatively brief, 3-5 sentence description, and later using recruitment listing descriptions to go into more detail about specific assignments.
● Community Needs Addressed: What are the community needs that this project as a whole will be addressing? What is the overall purpose of this service that ties the VISTA member opportunities together?
● Outcomes: What are the overall goals of this project? What is it seeking to achieve and improve?
● Service Activities: What types of activities will VISTA members engage in? This can be a broader description that lists some of the types of activities that VISTA members are likely to perform, and you can go into more details about specific responsibilities at sites when later adding listings.
● Skills gained: What are some of the main skills VISTA members are likely to gain from working in this position? This does not need to be a comprehensive list, but you can list some of the skills that your VISTA members are likely to develop through their service.
Once your position is certified, you can add one or more listings to actively recruit for VISTA members. If you add one listing, you will want to include all of the possible locations that VISTA members might serve. You will likely want to include in the listing description that members could serve at one of numerous sites, and that the service may vary somewhat from site to site.
Since you can add multiple listings, you also have the option of creating unique listings for each of the different opportunities. In this scenario, you will be able to add different names (which could include the placement site), different locations, a specific listing description tailored to that opportunity, and all of the VISTA member benefits and terms of service. A different point of contact can be assigned to each listing.
Want to see an example of how this could look? Check out the position and listings for SerVermont's VISTA program.
2. Adding your VISTA opportunities individually:
If you do not feel that the above model is adequate for distinguishing your VISTA opportunities, and would like to go more in depth about each of your service sites, you do also have the option to represent your placements through unique positions. If you are taking this option, you can add and submit a new position for each opportunity.
When your positions are certified, you'll want to create separate listings to recruit for each of your positions. As with above, you will have the option to add separate points of contact for your listings.
Want to see an example of how this could look? Check out the profile for OneStar Foundation.
Not sure which option makes the most sense for your program? Send us a note, and we'll be happy to talk through getting set up!