AmeriCorps Texas
Data Collection


Data Collection Slide Deck
View and follow along with all slides from our Data Collection trainings.

Overview & Requirements

Data can be defined as reliable information collected in a systematic way that provides a documented record of performance. Data can provide insight into what a program is doing well in addition to where a program might need improvement. Data also provides information on strengthening or even changing the activities of the program, and it can help determine where to allocate member service or other resources. 

Data also holds us accountable to our current funders, as well as allowing us to show our impact to the community and future funders.

Programs should establish and provide outcome objectives, including a strategy for achieving these objectives to determine to what extent the program has a positive impact on communities, on members, on participants in projects, and on other areas determined by the program or by AmeriCorps, the agency.

Types of Data to Collect

Quantitative data is numbers-based, countable, and measurable. Start with data that is easy to manage and that you readily have access to. Some examples of quantitative data might be the count of things done by members, the count of individuals or things that improve due to member service, or member recruitment and retention data. 

Qualitative data is interpretation-based, descriptive, and informative. When thinking about where to start with qualitative data, think about what you can observe or gain from listening to others. This might be member observations, things that beneficiaries say about member service, or what partner organizations have to say about member service.  

As we think about what types of data to collect and where we might source them, it is also helpful to think about some of the different purposes for data that we have for our programs. These purposes will drive the types of data that we collect.

Common Types of Data Collected by AmeriCorps Programs

The data that programs collect is also informed by what needs to be reported to OneStar. Data is collected in both the mid-year (in the spring) and end of year (in August/September) progress report. The Mid Year APR is a mid-program year check in to assess performance measure progress and provide an opportunity for us to brainstorm and problem solve if data collection challenges are occurring. The problem solving that occurs here can help ensure that data is being reported as aligned with the performance measures, and to ensure that data can be reported to OneStar and AmeriCorps, the agency, at the end of year in the End of Year APR.

Mid-Year AmeriCorps Progress Report Components

End of Year AmeriCorps Progress Report Components

Data Collection Considerations

There are also several things to consider in the data collection process, such as the access a program has to data, partners in data collection, and the tools needed to collect data. Some of these are contingent on agreements with outside parties, creating surveys or instruments, and staff member involvement in this process. 


Mid-Year and End of Year AmeriCorps Progress Report Worksheets
Use these Word documents to preview questions and draft responses prior to completing your reports online in the AmeriCorps Texas Grantee Portal.

Performance Measures & Data Collection

Performance Measures are part of your grant award and should reflect significant program activities whose outputs and outcomes are consistent with the program design. You can find these in eGrants or reach out to your OneStar Program Officer for a copy.  

All programs have at least one aligned performance measure, which is an output paired with an outcome. 

Key Takeaways on Performance Measures

Data collected towards progress on target goals for performance measures is reported to AmeriCorps State & National in progress reports. In some cases, OneStar will request and review source documentation in support of reliable and verifiable data.

Source Documentation for Performance Measure Data Collection

Source documentation is the term that we refer to when considering the documentation that supports the data and process by which your program has aggregated or analyzed the raw data and reported it to OneStar. OneStar does not approve instruments that programs use to collect data for performance measures. In cases where OneStar is reviewing source documentation, programs will need to ensure that the source documentation aligns with the instrument indicated in the program’s performance measures.

Data collected on AmeriCorps program performance is an important component of reporting on the impact AmeriCorps programs make across the state and across the country. Much of this data is compiled at the state and national level for AmeriCorps funding allocations. For this reason, it’s important that we take the time to ensure that the source documentation does verify the data actual reported.

Source Documentation Review Common Issues

Source Documentation Tips

Data Collection Policy & Procedures and Best Practices 

At a minimum, programs should have policies and procedures which address:


Data Collection Policy & Procedures Template
Customize this sample data collection and quality policy and procedure to fit your program's particular systems.

Data Collection Best Practices

At a minimum, programs should have policies and procedures which address:

- AmeriCorps members
- supervisors
- stakeholders 

Data Collection Training for Members & Staff 

Data collection training is an important component of data collection. Train members and staff (including site/partner staff) who participate in data collection on the program’s data collection procedures. Be sure to explain what the tool is, why it’s being used, and/or what it tells you about member service and beneficiaries. Use scenarios and examples where possible, and ensure members and staff know how to explain the tool and provide instructions to others about how to complete it. 

Another important component of training is providing your team with the performance measures for your program. Share the target goal of the service members are providing and how you determined the target goal - addressing this with members and staff may help them understand how it is achievable. Even if members and staff aren't directly involved in instruments, explaining what instruments you will use to reach your target goal can still be helpful for them to understand the full picture of their service and work.

Provide your team with training on how to produce and gather qualitative data. For example: 

Data Collection Training Best Practices