AmeriCorps VISTA member

PERIOD OF SERVICE: August 3, 2020–August 2, 2021

HOURS PER WEEK: 40 hours


AmeriCorps VISTA supports efforts to alleviate poverty by providing opportunity for individuals 18 years and older from a diverse range of backgrounds to dedicate a year of full-time service with a partnering organization. VISTA projects focus on long-term solutions to empower individuals and communities in overcoming poverty.

This AmeriCorps VISTA member will serve in the Campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTA project. The member will serve a key role in implementing the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Civic Action Plan by helping craft and refine a model for mutually-beneficial and sustained partnerships between anti-poverty nonprofit organizations and the university. In the spirit of the Wisconsin Idea – in which the knowledge and value of the university serve the benefit of every resident of the state – the VISTA will build the capacity of UW-Madison for partnership with Wisconsin nonprofits focused on addressing poverty and especially promoting healthy futures for our communities.

This position will be based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Community and Nonprofit Studies (the CommNS) in the School of Human Ecology. Additional supervision will be provided by UW South Madison Partnership (UWSMP). Some travel to meet with partnering nonprofit organizations around the state is anticipated.


In this first year of the project, the VISTA member will work closely with the CommNS, UWSMP, and 3-5 partnering nonprofit organizations to:

1. Establish a standard intake process to develop understanding of nonprofits’ particular priorities for organizational capacity building that may be served by university partnership.

2. Support the connection of these nonprofits with courses that engage in community-based learning partnerships aligned with these areas (e.g., Program Planning and Evaluation, Nonprofit Board Leadership, Fundraising and Development) by helping define projects, facilitating communication between the nonprofit and the course instructor and students, and supporting student reflection and development in ways that enhance project outcomes.

3. Explore with nonprofits and key university partners additional opportunities for partnerships that meet nonprofits’ priorities, such as partnerships for graduate students’ capstone or thesis projects, community-based research projects with faculty, or facilitating access to university-based resources (e.g., the Grants Information Collection).

4. Support use and refinement of a new Customer Relations Management (CRM) database that will be used to track nonprofit organizations’ interactions with UW-Madison; matching of partnership opportunities; partnership follow up, support, and continuity of relationships over time; and intra-campus communication related to nonprofit engagement.

5. Contribute to the development and implementation of outreach activities to nonprofits based out of the UW South Madison Partnership office with a particular focus on meeting the interests of underserved organizations based on Madison’s southside.

6. Engage nonprofit and campus partners in reflection and evaluation activities throughout the year to monitor the progress of the effort, inform improvements, and plan for sustained partnership beyond this initial partnership year. Pull together key learnings from this first year to refine a model for nonprofit-university connection and partnership and propose goals, action steps, milestones, and performance metrics for the second year of testing and refinement.


· Prior experience with higher education as a student and/or employee

· Prior experience with community-based organizations focused on anti-poverty (e.g., community centers, food banks or pantries, healthcare access centers, substance use treatment programs) as an employee, volunteer, or participant

· Skills for respectful and collaborative engagement with a variety of people from diverse backgrounds

· Strong organizational and communication skills

· Self-motivated and self-directed

· Enthusiasm and flexibility

We greatly value the knowledge, skills, and understandings that people of diverse communities (e.g., racial, cultural, lingual, immigrant, LGBTQ, gender, ability) bring to the workplace and strongly encourage applicants with these strengths to apply.


All Campus Compact VISTA members receive the following benefits:

· Living allowance of approximately $900-1300/month (pre-tax) to align with the determined cost of living in Dane County

· 10 personal and 10 sick days

· Choice between a Segal Education Award of $6,195 or a $1800 end-of-service payment

· Basic health coverage

· Loan deferment/forbearance

· Limited relocation assistance for moves of greater than 50 miles

· Professional development and training opportunities while in-service


The University of Wisconsin-Madison provides affirmative action and equal opportunity in education, programming and employment for all qualified persons regardless of race, color, gender/sex, sexual orientation, creed, national origin, age, disability, pregnancy, marital or parental status, arrest or conviction record, or veteran status.

TO APPLY: Apply for this position online at: Please send any questions about this opportunity to Amy Hilgendorf at