Application for the 2021-22 Service Year opens January 18!

Interested in hosting a Fellow? Have questions about the application process and requirements for partners?

Check out the information below or contact Mackenzie Bolger at to discuss any outstanding questions.

How CivicSpark Works

CivicSpark supports resiliency-focused research, planning, and implementation projects that benefit local public agencies in California. CivicSpark provides public agencies and other organizations with 11 months of quality capacity building support via highly motivated emerging leaders.

All CivicSpark Fellows are AmeriCorps Members selected through a highly competitive national application process. Fellows have at minimum a college degree in a relevant field, and typically have workplace and/or community service experience. CivicSpark Fellows are placed with partner organizations across the state (ideally in teams of two or more for Fellow experience and impact). Regional Coordinators locally and program staff in Sacramento support both Fellows and host Site Supervisors. Regional Coordinators provide partners with project-level engagement and coordinate Fellow professional development activities. CivicSpark program staff at LGC handle administrative duties and provide sector-specific expertise to both Fellows and partners.

Public agencies, State agencies, Native American Tribes, and Non-Profit Organizations can contract directly with LGC to host CivicSpark Fellows as long as the project work

  • Meets a defined “resiliency capacity need.” CivicSpark defines capacity building as providing project support to increase local public agency effectiveness, efficiency, or scale/reach; and
  • Is closely connected to a specific local public agency “beneficiary”. Beneficiaries can include counties, cities, towns, special districts, school districts, MPOs, COGs, JPAs, etc. who have a defined capacity need (see eligibility below), will “benefit” from the project’s implementation and can commit to completing a pre- and post-service capacity survey, and to participating in at least one project interview with the Fellow.

Note that the host or project partner does not have to be the “beneficiary.”

All CivicSpark Fellows provide support to public agencies through 4 core activities:

  • Gap Assessments: Fellows interview public agency staff and review key documents to determine current needs relevant to their thematic track, and work with Site Supervisors to finalize their project scope.
  • Service Projects: Fellows conduct a specific research, planning, or implementation project based on the gap assessment results.
  • Volunteer Engagement: Fellows establish new volunteer programs or enhance pre-existing programs relevant to their thematic track.
  • Knowledge Sharing: Fellows sustain progress beyond their service year by training staff and/or sharing results of their projects with key stakeholders.

Learn more about our projects and impacts

Partnership Details

CivicSpark is a federally-funded AmeriCorps program that uses national service to build local agency capacity to address emerging environmental and/or socio-economic issues. We must follow strict requirements on what partners we can work with and how we define our service to local public agencies.

  • CivicSpark Fellows can be placed with public agencies, NGOs, or state agencies (i.e. have a Fellow placed under the direct supervision of). CivicSpark Fellows cannot serve directly with a for-profit organization (however for-profit organizations can sponsor Fellows on a case-by-case basis).
  • CivicSpark Fellows must implement 2-4 distinct “projects” designed to build capacity of eligible local public agency “beneficiaries” i.e, regardless of the project partner, the project scope must have a clearly defined connection to an eligible local public agency, or agencies). See eligibility criteria below.
  • Project beneficiaries – the target recipient of service – can be local, county, or regional public agencies (e.g., cities, towns, special districts, school districts, MPOs, COGs, etc.) or Federally Recognized Tribes. State agencies, NGOs, and for-profit entities cannot serve as beneficiaries, however, a state agency or NGO can serve as a project partner and/or Fellow host site; just not the target – or “beneficiary” – of the service.
  • Fellows must have a defined scope of work for each project that aligns with our program mission, and that can be completed within the term of service.
  • Partners must agree to follow all AmeriCorps requirements and prevent Fellows from participating in prohibited activities.
  • Partners must ensure that target public agency “beneficiaries” provide required eligibility information and complete a pre- and post-service Capacity Assessment survey.
  • Partners must describe how the proposed project activities will build new capacity for the project beneficiaries.
  • Partners will be asked to provide information on geographical region, target audience, project focus, and project outputs.
  • Partners must agree to abide by federal AmeriCorps guidelines on prohibited activities and ensure Fellows only engage in allowable activities. See here for more information.

More Questions? Ready to Apply?