AmeriCorps Prohibited Activities

While charging time to the AmeriCorps program, accumulating service or training hours, or otherwise performing activities supported by the AmeriCorps program or CNCS, staff and members may not engage in the following activities (see 45 CFR § 2520.65):

  1. Attempting to influence legislation;
  2. Organizing or engaging in protests, petitions, boycotts, or strikes;
  3. Assisting, promoting, or deterring union organizing;
  4. Impairing existing contracts for services or collective bargaining agreements;
  5. Engaging in partisan political activities, or other activities designed to influence the outcome of an election to any public office;
  6. Participating in, or endorsing, events or activities that are likely to include advocacy for or against political parties, political platforms, political candidates, proposed legislation, or elected officials;
  7. Engaging in religious instruction, conducting worship services, providing instruction as part of a program that includes mandatory religious instruction or worship, constructing or operating facilities devoted to religious instruction or worship, maintaining facilities primarily or inherently devoted to religious instruction or worship, or engaging in any form of religious proselytization;
  8. Providing a direct benefit to—
    1. A business organized for profit;
    2. A labor union;
    3. A partisan political organization;
    4. A nonprofit organization that fails to comply with the restrictions contained in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 related to engaging in political activities or substantial amount of lobbying except that nothing in these Grant Terms & Conditions shall be construed to prevent participants from engaging in advocacy activities undertaken at their own initiative; and
    5. An organization engaged in the religious activities described in paragraph 3.g. above, unless CNCS assistance is not used to support those religious activities;
  9. Conducting a voter registration drive or using CNCS funds to conduct a voter registration drive;
  10. Providing abortion services or referrals for receipt of such services; and
  11. Such other activities as CNCS may prohibit.

In addition to the above activities, the below activities are additionally prohibited:

Census Activities. AmeriCorps members and volunteers associated with AmeriCorps grants may not engage in census activities during service hours. Being a census taker during service hours is categorically prohibited. Census-related activities (e.g., promotion of the Census, education about the importance of the Census) do not align with AmeriCorps State and National objectives. What members and volunteers do on their own time is up to them, consistent with program policies about outside employment and activities.

Election and Polling Activities. AmeriCorps member may not provide services for election or polling locations or in support of such activities. AmeriCorps members may not engage in the above activities directly or indirectly by recruiting, training, or managing others for the primary purpose of engaging in one of the activities listed above. Individuals may exercise their rights as private citizens and may participate in the activities listed above on their initiative, on non-AmeriCorps time, and using non-CNCS funds. Individuals should not wear the AmeriCorps logo while doing engaging in any of the above activities on their personal time.

All locations where members serve should post a list of the prohibited activities, when possible.

Resources to help you understand AmeriCorps Prohibited Activities are available at: http://www.nationalservice.gov/resources/financial-management/prohibited-activities

In addition, federal awards are subject to conditions associated with the Consolidated Appropriations Act associated with that year’s funding.

Section II.D. of CNCS’s General Grant And Cooperative Agreement Terms And Conditions states that all CNCS recipients must comply with, and require all subrecipients to comply with, the prohibitions on use of CNCS funds applicable to their program as identified in provisions enacted by Congress in annual appropriations acts.