Vista Sponsor Orientation Materials

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VISTA Sponsor Orientation Materials

VISTA Sponsor Orientation is a first glimpse of the information and resources needed to carry out your new role as VISTA Project Director.

If you are enrolled in a VISTA Sponsor Orientation (VSO), the VSO includes a live webinar as well as additional self-directed training and resources to be accessed before and after the webinar as your learning path continues. If you would like to enroll, please contact your project director or CNCS State Office.

Please review each section below. The Orientation Checklist section will guide you through completion of critical orientation components.

Gain a solid understanding of AmeriCorps VISTA programming and philosophy by exploring the resources and links here that highlight the core concepts, competencies, activities, and responsibilities of VISTA Sponsors. While this orientation is geared for the VISTA Sponsor, it is also very beneficial for anyone from your organization working with the VISTA Project. Below is a brief overview of the different roles within a VISTA Project to help you identify where you fit into the project:

  • VISTA Project—Project or VISTA project means a set of VISTA activities operated and overseen by a sponsor.
  • Project Sponsor—Sponsor, VISTA sponsor, or VISTA project sponsor, means a public agency or private non-profit organization that receives assistance and is responsible for operating and overseeing a VISTA project. A public agency may be a federal, state, local or tribal government.
  • Project Director—Project director or VISTA project director means a staff person, of legal age, of the sponsor, who has been assigned by the sponsor the overall responsibility for the management of the VISTA project. PDs are still responsible for executing all aspects of the project as outlined by the sponsor.
  • Member Supervisor—an individual who directly supervises a VISTA member. This can be at the project level or at a site/subrecipient level. Project sponsors are responsible for ensuring all member supervisors are trained. It’s important to note that some project directors are also member supervisors.

The success of the AmeriCorps VISTA program depends on the sponsoring organizations where VISTA members serve. So it is essential for VISTA sponsors to be knowledgeable, skilled, and ready to create compelling VISTA roles, recruit passionate, talented applicants, provide effective supervision, and report accurate, meaningful results. This virtual orientation will help equip you to succeed.

The VISTA Sponsor Orientation introduces you to VISTA – its mission, history, and policies – and to your roles and responsibilities as a VISTA sponsor and supervisor. This orientation is one of several valuable resources offered to assist you in your duties and will help ensure that you have a positive experience.

VISTA brings perhaps the most important resource to organizations and communities: motivated, capable people. VISTAs are agents of change in low-income communities. They generate the commitment of private sector resources, encourage volunteer service, and strengthen local agencies and organizations.

I am constantly inspired by the fresh spirit of service and idealism common to those who join VISTA and to the organizations that sponsor programs. I want to thank you for the valuable contributions you make and will make to the renewal of America.

Best wishes for a successful project.

Eileen Conoboy
Deputy Director, AmeriCorps VISTA

Orientation Checklist

Please download this checklist to track completion of the key orientation steps.

Pre-work before the webinar:

    1. Review VISTA 101 - Learn about VISTA and make the decision on whether to pursue a VISTA project with this tutorial.
    2. Review VISTA 201 Get a complete overview of the sponsor application process with an emphasis on successfully completing a Concept Paper and Project Application, after you’ve decided to apply for a VISTA project.
    3. Create an eGrants account if you haven’t already
    4. Create a VISTA Campus account if you haven’t already

Post-work after the webinar:

    1. Contact State Office after completing the webinar to confirm that you attended the webinar and to discuss next steps
    2. Link to Resource Guide - This is an at-a-glance snapshot of resources available to help you successfully manage your VISTA project.
    3. Link to Sponsor Handbook – forthcoming!


VISTA Sponsor Orientation webinar

Thursday, October 24, 2019

3:00 - 4:30 pm Eastern Time

Registration opens soon

This presentation covers the requirements of the AmeriCorps VISTA program and key responsibilities for VISTA sponsors and supervisors. All new VISTA Project Directors and supervisors are encouraged to attend.

Resource Guide

The VISTA Sponsor Resource Guide is an at-a-glance snapshot of resources available to help you successfully manage your VISTA project. Click here to review the VISTA Sponsor Resource Guide.

VSO Sponsor Handbook

The VISTA Sponsor Handbook is a comprehensive guide for many of your member and project management needs. This consolidated resource puts related information all in one place, making it easy to locate tools, review guidance, and find answers to specific questions.

The VISTA Sponsor Handbook is currently being updated and will be released at a later date. Stay tuned!