In addition to the time and attention dedicated to good supervision, sponsors and sites take responsibility for providing administrative support that is central to project success. This support is often categorized as office space, technology, office supplies, and service-related transportation. CNCS does not provide the equipment or supplies required by VISTAs for their assignments. In addition to the equipment and supplies, sponsors and sites are responsible for reimbursing VISTAs for service-related travel or for providing other means of transportation as needed to accomplish their assignments.
Space, Technology, Office Supplies
VISTA members should have access to all materials that are needed to complete their assignments. Examples of these materials include: the use of a computer, printer, Internet access, e-mail access, consumable supplies, telephone, copier, and fax, just as for any staff member. These supplies should be ready and available for VISTA member use on the first day of service.
VISTA members should not be expected to use personal items, technology or otherwise, to complete VISTA service.
Sponsors and sites are responsible for reimbursing VISTAs for service-related travel, or for providing other means of transportation as needed to accomplish the assignment. The sponsor may require the VISTA member to comply with the sponsoring organization's rules, in addition to complying with all applicable VISTA requirements, when operating a sponsor's vehicle.
Supporting service-related travel can mean making plans for VISTA members to use organization vehicles, reimbursing them for public transportation, or reimbursing them for use of their personally-owned vehicles. Reimbursement for use of a personally-owned vehicle must be at either the federal mileage rate or the mileage rate established by the site for staff. It is important to keep in mind that VISTAs are normally on tight budgets, and they often appreciate when the site can pay for their transportation directly rather than asking for them to pay it out of pocket and request reimbursement, particularly for pricier trips.
Supporting and reimbursing members for service-related travel applies only to transportation necessary to complete the VISTA’s specific assignment, and not to commuting, travel to VISTA-sponsored events, or relocation travel. See VISTA Member Handbook – Service-Related Transportation for greater detail about the topic.
Accidents While Driving for Service-Related Purposes
If a VISTA member is driving for service-related purposes and is involved in an accident, there are important steps that the VISTA and sponsor must follow as outlined in the Emergencies section. Chapter 7 of the VISTA Member Handbook is also a good reference.
Many VISTA projects and assignments do not require a dedicated budget for VISTA members to advance their projects and achieve the objectives, but some do. If the VISTA will build the capacity of a program that requires a particular budget to make progress possible, the sponsor and site are responsible for ensuring that resources are available and the VISTA member has reasonable access to those resources.