There are certain activities, including lobbying, political, religious or advocacy activities that AmeriCorps members may not perform in the course of their duties while charging time to the AmeriCorps program, or at the request of sponsoring organization staff. Furthermore, members and staff may not engage in conduct in a manner that would associate the national service program or the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) with the prohibited activities. Programs must become familiar with specific provisions described in the Corporation’s formal regulation (45 C.F.R. 2520.65) and the grant provisions. The list of prohibited activities includes:
(1) Attempting to influence legislation;
(2) Organizing or engaging in protests, petitions, boycotts, or strikes;
(3) Assisting, promoting, or deterring union organizing;
(4) Impairing existing contracts for services or collective bargaining agreements;
(5) Engaging in partisan political activities, or other activities designed to influence the outcome of an election to any public office;
(6) Participating in, or endorsing, events or activities that are likely to include advocacy for or against political parties, political platforms, political candidates, proposed legislation, or elected officials;
(7) Engaging in religious instruction, conducting worship services, providing instruction as part of a program that includes mandatory religious instruction or worship, constructing or operating facilities devoted to religious instruction or worship, maintaining facilities primarily or inherently devoted to religious instruction or worship, or engaging in any form of religious proselytization;
(8) Providing a direct benefit to:
(i) A business organized for profit,
(ii) A labor union,
(iii) A partisan political organization,
(iv) A nonprofit organization that fails to comply with the restrictions contained in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 except that nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent participants from engaging in advocacy activities undertaken at their own initiative; and
(v) An organization engaged in the religious activities described in paragraph (7) of this section, unless Corporation assistance is not used to support those religious activities;
(9) Conducting a voter registration drive or using Corporation funds to conduct a voter registration drive;
(10) Providing abortion services or referrals for receipt of such services;
(11) Such other activities as the Corporation may prohibit.
Washington Service Corps Prohibited Activities
(1) Participating in activities that pose a significant safety risk to participants;
(2) Preparing any part of a grant proposal or performing other fundraising functions to help the program achieve its match requirements, or to pay the program’s general operating expenses;
(3) Fundraising, unless under the following circumstances: provides direct support to a specific service activity, falls within the program’s approved objectives, is not the primary activity of the program, and does not exceed 10% of the total hours served for any member;
(4) Organizing a letter writing campaign to Congress.
AmeriCorps members, like other private citizens, may participate in the above listed activities on their own time, at their own expense, and on their own initiative. However, the AmeriCorps logo must not be worn while doing so.