Public Allies believes that Everyone Leads, that everyone has talents, abilities, and potential to be a leader through the way they live their lives and improve their community. Leaders must come from all backgrounds and all parts of a community if we are going to solve our most urgent problems. We identify and develop diverse leaders (Allies) in communities across the country. These leaders are committed to improving their communities. On average, Allies are 67% people of color, 60% women, 50% college graduates (including some with graduate degrees), and 25% LGBT. Most Allies live in the community they serve, but Public Allies sites will consider applicants who come from a community without a local Public Allies program.
Allies serve in full-time apprenticeship positions at local nonprofits, where they create, improve and expand services that address issues including youth development, education, public health, economic development, and the environment. In addition, Allies participate in a rigorous leadership development program; engage in community building activities; contribute to team service projects; and receive individual coaching to support their professional development during their apprenticeship.
Our leadership development program challenges and supports Allies to become leaders who connect across social boundaries, facilitate collaborative action, recognize and mobilize community assets, commit to continuous learning and self-development, and are accountable for creating impact. Allies gain a deep knowledge of their community and important skills from local community leaders, practitioners, educators, and residents. They also learn from the diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences of their fellow Allies.
Allies are AmeriCorps members and receive a stipend and benefits for their service. Allies are paid a stipend between $1,300 and $1,800 a month (depending on the community), and they receive health care, child care, interest-free student loan deferments, and, upon successful completion of the program, up to $5,775 in an education award to pay back student loans or pay for future education.
We help Allies identify and pursue future career and educational goals as part of our Pathways initiative, and we are committed to providing additional educational and career supports for graduates of our program as well to help them succeed. In addition, we connect graduates to our growing network of thousands of alumni for career and professional development opportunities.
You can gain valuable leadership skills, receive personalized coaching to pursue your career goals, build relationships with a diverse network of local leaders, and participate in a national movement of leaders working for change.
Public Allies believes that everyone has talents and skills that can make communities stronger. We also believe that a person’s past shouldn’t dictate their future. Part of the learning Public Allies promotes is how to work with people who bring a variety of different experiences. We actively seek to ensure diversity in our program. Having a criminal history will not disqualify you from the Ally program, with the exception of two areas: Those who have been convicted of murder and those who are required to register on state or national sex offender registries are ineligible to be an Ally.
Nearly 5,500 Allies have completed the program. More than 95% of Allies have met or exceeded their service goals helping tens of thousands of children, adults and families achieve greater education, health, economic security, and participation in the civic life of their communities. In addition, more than 95% of Allies would participate again in our program if they could. Over 80% of Alumni continue to work in the nonprofit and public sectors, and they participate in volunteer, civic, and political activities at more than twice the rate of their age cohort. Public Allies is recognized for having many best practices in our field, and we were the first grantee of AmeriCorps to be hired to provide training to other AmeriCorps programs. The Pew Partnership for Civic Change honored Public Allies with their prestigious Civic Change Award.
Nonprofit organizations that have projects that create, improve, or expand services to meet community needs with measurable results are welcomed to apply to host a Public Ally . Organizations should view Allies as valuable tools in expanding the capacity of the organization through greater effectiveness, efficiency, or reach. Allies have served at organizations focused on youth, education, economic development, health, arts, environment, and other social and community services.
AmeriCorps is a federal program operated by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency created in 1993 by President Clinton. Since its inception, more than 775,000 Americans have participated in AmeriCorps, and 75,000 are participating this year. AmeriCorps provides grants to private nonprofit organizations and schools to contribute to the costs of stipends, benefits, training, and other support to Americans serving full-time or part-time meeting critical needs in communities. AmeriCorps is a public-private partnership, so programs are also required to raise matching dollars in their communities. Every program funded by AmeriCorps is considered an AmeriCorps program, and every participant in an AmeriCorps program is called an AmeriCorps member. Public Allies was identified by former President George H.W. Bush as a model for a national service program in 1992. President Clinton also recognized Public Allies as a model for AmeriCorps, and we were one of the original AmeriCorps programs.
Working for a nonprofit organization is an opportunity to engage more deeply with your community, to be of service to others, and to do work that is mission-motivated and has a positive impact in your community. The nonprofit sector employs 14 million people, almost 11% of the U.S. workforce; more than in the construction, utilities, and entertainment industries combined. Nonprofit organizations need a wide variety of skill sets to operate effectively – business management, marketing and communications, human resources, information technology, accounting, education, social work and more. Many nonprofits, including Public Allies, pay competitive salaries for many positions and offer a full array of benefits, including health care, retirement plans, and generous vacation. One recent study found that nonprofit employees had greater career satisfaction than their counterparts in other sectors. At nonprofit organizations, leaders can pursue a meaningful career and make a difference in their community.