Progress Reporting

  • 2017-2018 Reporting Deadlines

    • January 5: 1st Progress Report (start date - Dec 31)
    • April 1: 2nd Progress Report (Jan 1 - March 31)
    • July 1: 3rd Progress Report (April 1 - June 30)
    • August 10: Final Progress Report (July 1 - End of Service)

     

  • Quarterly Progress Report Guidelines

    The general member activities (or 'Performance Measures') you will report on are as follows.  Many ACMs will report on more than one:

    1. Housing Placement Services
    2. Improving Lands and Habitats through Environmental Stewardship
    3. Environmental Education
    4. Financial Literacy Services
    5. Food Access
    6. Homeless Services
    7. Energy Conservation
    8. Volunteer Mobilization
    9. Capacity Building

    Guidelines

    There are two different reports you are required to submit: 

    1) Quarterly Progress Report- submitted online via EmailMeForm

    2) Volunteer Log- submitted via email using an Excel template

    Both these reports are due in January, April, July, and end of term.

    Progress Report:

    You will complete and submit your Periodic Activities Reports via EmailMeForm.  You will be emailed a link per report to access the system.  We report on two indicators of performance:

    • Outputs- represent program effort -the amount or units of services that members have completed, or the number of beneficiaries members have served.
    • Outcomes- refer to a change that has occurred in communities or in the lives of community beneficiaries or members.

    1. Be careful not to double count the same individual for the same measure in succeeding quarters! For example, you can count 40 residents total that benefited from your service work in quarter 1. In quarter 2, there were 4 new residents plus the previous 40 who benefited. So, you would count only 4 new residents that benefited in quarter 2. 
    2. However! DO count the same individual for separate measures if s/he has received each of the specified, breakdown measures.  For example, person A and B received emergency food services.  Person A also received financial literacy services.  You would count person A separately for both those measures.  You would not count either of those people again in quarter 2 for the same measure.
    3. Data storage/retention- You will use the data collected to report your activities performance, but you will not need to submit the data collection documents themselves (e.g. logs, rosters, pr/post tests, etc.). You should retain all data collection proof and documents at your site.  Documents should be stored up to 7 years and made available to VHCB AmeriCorps should we need them for auditing purposes. 

    Great Story-  We like to supplement our numbers with qualitative impacts of members’ service.  Please share anything that occurred during your term that was meaningful for you in some way.  Perhaps you experienced a 'Wow!' moment or made a breakthrough with a client.  Perhaps a family was housed in permanent housing, or a child went hiking for the first time.  What is important to include in your "great story" is what your role was in whatever that meaningful event was (i.e. your impact).

    Do not use real names of individuals. We may share your story with the SerVermont and/or CNCS (you can use alias names).  As always, we love photos; please obtain photo release forms for any youth or other vulnerable individuals that may appear in the photos (we have photo release forms available if you need them).

    Volunteer Log:

    • You should submit this at the same time that you submit the performance report.
    • DO NOT double count the same person. 
    • You SHOULD count their cumulative hours logged. 
    • The log asks members to identify the volunteer by age category.  They do not need to ask anyone their age; they can simply make a reasonable guess.

    1. If another national service member (of the same or other program) participates in an event or type of service and is counting his/her hours on their respective timesheets, members should NOT count that member among their tally (s/he would not be considered a volunteer).  If the member is not logging AmeriCorps hours or otherwise reporting it as part of his/her service term then they may be counted.
    2. Members should submit the Volunteer Log even if they have not engaged any volunteers that quarter. They can simply claim "0".

    Definition of Terms

    Always refer to the Performance Measure Instrument Packets for Definitions specific to that measure.  Here are a few universal definitions:

    Baby Boomer-   Individuals who were born between 1946 and 1964.

    Beneficiary of service-   Anyone who has benefited from your service work, either directly or by virtue of your efforts.

    Children with special needs-  Children who are abused or neglected; in need of foster care; adjudicated youth; homeless youth; teen-age parents; and children in need of protective intervention in their homes.

    College student-   Number of individuals who are enrolled in a degree-seeking program at a community, professional, or technical college or university.

    Disadvantaged youth- Anyone of age up to age 25 with exceptional or special needs (see definition above), or who are economically disadvantaged and for whom one or more of the following apply: 1) out-of-school, including out-of-school youth who are unemployed; 2) in or aging out of foster care; 3) limited English proficiency; 4) homeless or have run away from home; 5) at-risk to leave school without a diploma; and 6) former juvenile offenders or at risk of delinquency.

    Economically Disadvantaged- Must be receiving or meet the income eligibility requirements to receive: TANF, Food Stamps, Medicaid, SCHIP, Section 8 housing assistance OR have a poor credit score OR are at least 60 days behind on one or more personal/family accounts.  The income criteria would follow the same federal and/or state criteria for each of the above-listed programs.

    Measure- Each of the questions in the report and captures a unit of performance and/or output.  For example, “number of adults receiving environmental education” is one measure.

    Service Learning-   A process whereby students learn and develop through active participation in organized service experiences that actually meet community needs. Service learning provides students opportunities to use their acquired skills and knowledge in real life situations in their communities; this enhances teaching by extending student learning into the community and helps foster a sense of caring for others.  Examples include having an after-school group or class prepare a meal at a homeless shelter, or a college class providing GIS mapping services for a local park.

    Special characteristics-  Qualities that would identify a person with a population that may be in need of a particular service, such as person living with a mental or physical disability; veteran; older adult; homeless or near-homeless; disadvantaged youth; economically disadvantaged, etc.

    Performance Measures Reporting

    Housing Services

    CNCS Performance Measure O5 (Goal 1: Economic Opportunity: Housing)

    Number of economically disadvantaged individuals, including homeless individuals, receiving housing services.

    Definition of Key Terms

    • Economically disadvantaged: Must be receiving or meet the income eligibility requirements to receive: TANF, Food Stamps (SNAP), Medicaid, SCHIP, Section 8 housing assistance OR have a poor credit score OR are at least 60 days behind on one or more personal/family accounts.

    • Homeless: Individuals who spend the night in a place not intended for human habitation, in an emergency shelter, or in a transitional housing facility. See the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development definition.

    • Individuals: Each unique person who will be occupying the unit legally including adults and children but not unborn children.

    • Housing services: Helps qualifying individuals find appropriate housing, find the resources to support use of appropriate housing, and assists individuals in accessing the appropriate housing. May or may not result in an actual placement. May also include hands-on housing development and repair activities. Housing development adds to the housing stock by building a new unit or substantially rehabilitating a unit that was either uninhabitable or soon would have become so. Involves replacing major systems such as the roof, the plumbing, the wiring, the foundation, or elevating the unit as required by a flood plain standard. Housing repair is a more modest level of physical work on the unit, such as weatherizing, painting, replacing appliances and removing safety hazards. Service requires an engagement with the individual in person, by phone, or through a web-interface. Pamphlets, brochures, or web-based information that does not involve a human interaction is not sufficient.

     How to Calculate/ Measure/ Collect Data

    Count of Individuals as defined above benefiting from the housing service. Can only count each individual once during the program year even though it may be necessary to provide services to the individual more than once.

    Programs that are only able to count Housing Units should report on Measure O4 (Tier 3).

    The data should be collected using a tracking mechanism appropriate for the type of service, which may include: CNCS-supported agency's administrative or call center records, referral logs, attendance logs or sign-in sheet, client tracking database, or other information management system.

    The client tracking database should have unique IDs (e.g. Homeless Management Information System (HMIS).

    CNCS Performance Measure O11. (Goal 1: Economic Opportunity: Housing)

     Number of economically disadvantaged individuals, including homeless individuals, transitioned into safe, healthy, affordable housing.

     Definition of Key Terms

    • Economically disadvantaged: Must be receiving or meet the income eligibility requirements to receive: TANF, Food Stamps (SNAP), Medicaid, SCHIP, Section 8 housing assistance OR have a poor credit score OR are at least 60 days behind on one or more personal/family accounts.

    • Individuals: Each unique person who will be occupying the unit legally including adults and children but not unborn children.

    • Safe, healthy, affordable housing: Family or individual moves into a housing unit with secure tenure (lease or ownership document). Grantee certifies that the housing is safe and healthy, based on an inspection or other documentation. Grantee defines affordability and certifies that the housing unit is affordable to the household. See the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development's Affordable Housing page.

     How to Calculate/ Measure/ Collect Data

    Count of individuals. Can only count each person once during the program year even though it may be necessary to provide services more than once.

     An inspection report and certificate of occupancy, proof of residence such as lease or mortgage, or other verification from an external agency that the work was completed and is being occupied might be used.

    Environmental Education

    CNCS Performance Measure EN3 (Goal 1: Environmental Stewardship: Awareness and Stewardship)

    Number of individuals receiving education or training in environmental stewardship and/or environmentally-conscious practices.

    Definition of Key Terms

    • Education or Training: May be one-time or an on-going series; cannot just be distribution of pamphlets or information available on a web-site; should have learning objectives; may be in person or through a web-based interface.

    • Environmental Stewardship and/or environmentally conscious practices: Organized efforts to teach about how natural environments function and, particularly, how human beings can manage their behavior and ecosystems in order to live sustainably. Grantees are encouraged to utilize service learning when possible. Environmental topics should relate to real conditions in the community being served.  

    How to Calculate/ Measure/ Collect Data

    Count of each individual participating in the educational event or training. Some individuals may attend multiple events or trainings but they should only be counted once. If providing the training through classroom curriculum, count the individuals present not just those enrolled. If providing the training through a school assembly presentation, get the best estimate from school officials of the number in attendance.

    The educational events or training should be in response to a specifically identified need in the community to either increase knowledge or to change behavior.

    Sign-in or attendance sheets from education/training sessions when possible. Tracking needs to enable unduplicated count when possible.

    CNCS Performance Measure EN3.1 (Goal 1: Environmental Stewardship: Awareness and Stewardship)

     Number of individuals with an increase in knowledge of environmental stewardship and/or environmentally-conscious practices.

    Definition of Key Terms

    • Increase in knowledge: Participants gain environmental information and/or understanding that they did not have prior to participating in the event/training. The outcome should align with the intended change of the output/activity as defined by the community need. Educational activities may be targeted to adults or youth.

    How to Calculate/ Measure/ Collect Data

    Grantees are encouraged to utilize pre- and post-tests to assess a change in the actual knowledge of the participants (not the individual's opinion of their level of knowledge). A mixture of basic knowledge and more challenging questions can be asked so that members of an audience with a wide range of initial level of knowledge are more likely to demonstrate an increase in correct answers from the pre- to the post-test. In developing targets, grantees should take into account that the projected number of returned post-surveys or tests is unlikely to be 100% of the educated population. Grantees can use a random sample or stratified random sample with CNCS approval of the sampling plan. In this case, results can be applied to the entire population.

     CNCS Performance Measure EN3.2 (Goal 1: Environmental Stewardship: Awareness and Stewardship)

    Number of individuals reporting a change in behavior or the intent to change behavior within one year in order to better protect the environment and/or reduce energy consumption as a result of the educational event or training they received.

    Definition of Key Terms

    • Change in behavior or Intent to change behavior: Individuals state practices that they do now or plan to do that are encouraged or recommended by the training or educational event which are different than the practices they had prior to the training.

    How to Calculate/ Measure/ Collect Data

    Grantees should utilize surveys to assess a change in (or intent to change) behavior of the participants. It is preferable to assess an actual change in behavior at some point after the educational event or training to determine if the change has actually occurred. However, assessments are expected to occur within the grant year. In developing targets, grantees should take into account that the projected number of returned post-surveys is unlikely to be 100% of the educated population. Grantees can use a random sample or stratified random sample with CNCS approval of the sampling plan. In this case, results can be applied to the entire population.

    Environmental Stewardship

    Performance Measure EN4 (Goal 1: Environmental Stewardship: At-Risk Ecosystems)

    Number of acres of national parks, state parks, city parks, county parks, or other public and tribal lands that are improved.

     Definition of Key Terms

    • National parks, State parks, city parks, county parks: Park/recreation areas that are designated by national, state, city, or county governments (not trails or rivers; see #5)
    • Other public lands: Other publicly owned lands; land owned by nonprofits for public use or the public good (such as land conservancies); and public easements.

    • Improved: Renovated to reduce human impact or the negative impact of natural disasters or invasive species, restored native plants and habitat, reduced erosion, protected watersheds, reduced wildfire risk, upgraded or repaired outdoor recreation facilities or signage, increased public safe access, protected flora and fauna. Improvement should be consistent with an accepted natural resource restoration, maintenance or improvement plan.

     How to Calculate/ Measure/ Collect Data

    Count of number of acres that are improved. Count each acre that is improved only once during the program year. It may be necessary to improve an acre more than once, but it should be counted only once. Only count the acres that are actually improved; do not count the entire park/land area unless your project improves the entire area. It is possible that the number of acres assessed by the land manager as having been improved in accordance with their natural resource plan is less than the total number of acres treated.

     Tracking document or survey stating the number of acres actually improved and a statement that the impact of this intervention will contribute to the return of the targeted area to a quality environment from entity that owns or administers the area improved.

    CNCS encourages applicants and grantees to perform service with the greatest impact versus providing minimal impact to the highest number of acres. The applicant or grantee should identify a certain deficiency or serious environmental risk or describe a compelling problem that is well documented and propose an evidence-based intervention to address the problem and restore the land or habitat to a quality ecosystem. The evidence-base could be a governmental land management improvement plan if it addresses the targeted problem, and is preferably an identified priority in the plan, although it is preferable to also describe how the proposed intervention will return the targeted area to a quality environment and relevant evidence to support the value of the intervention. For example, while conducting seasonal maintenance may allow a grantee to report greater numbers of acres "improved", it is less likely to be selected for funding if it does not address a compelling environmental problem, deficiency, risk or priority (ideally one that has been documented in a governmental land management improvement plan).