Our Vision, Mission & Goals
Vision: A united and vibrant Peace Corps community.
Mission: To champion lifelong commitment to Peace Corps ideals.
- Enable members and affiliate groups to thrive.
- Help the Peace Corps be the best that it can be.
- Increase the Peace Corps community’s development impact.
Founded in 1979 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) is the nonprofit alumni network at the center of a vibrant community of 220,000 people who share the Peace Corps experience. NPCA champions lifelong commitment to Peace Corps ideals by connecting, engaging and promoting its members and affiliate groups as they continue to make a difference in communities in the U.S. and abroad. NPCA is also dedicated to advocating for, contributing to, and supporting the betterment of the Peace Corps.
NPCA encompasses a network of over 220,000 individuals and more than 150 affiliate groups. A 501(c)(3) organization, NPCA is governed by a board of directors and managed by a small professional staff. The bylaws, which determine the internal affairs of our organization, were established in July 1983 and last amended in June 2015. On July 24, 2014, NPCA signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding with Peace Corps.
In its 35th year, NPCA made significant progress by redefining its vision, mission and strategic goals. The participatory process was critical to address the needs of our core constituencies in the Peace Corps community, ensuring that we offer a clear and compelling value proposition to individual members and affiliate groups. A new strategic plan for 2014-18 emerged from this consultative process.
Going forward, all of NPCA’s programs and services will be closely aligned with our three strategic goals. While these goals echo the vision formulated by our founders in 1981, our plans are based on current realities and concrete actions.
Thank you for helping us build a united and vibrant Peace Corps community!
NPCA & Peace Corps — What's the Difference?
The Peace Corps is a U.S. government agency created on March 1, 1961, via Executive Order 10924 issued by President John Kennedy. The Peace Corps promotes world peace and friendship by fulfilling three goals: (1) to help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women; (2) to help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served; and (3) to help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans. As of 2016, the Peace Corps has about 7,000 Volunteers and trainees, spread across 63 countries, and an annual budget of $410 million.
The National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with about 10 employees, fellows and interns, and, as of 2016, an annual budget of only $1 million. Based in Washington, D.C., in an office building across the street from the Peace Corps agency, the NPCA serves the Peace Corps community, consisting of over 200,000 serving and returned Volunteers, their supporters, and Peace Corps staff. The NPCA connects the community by fostering affiliate groups and providing services for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, lobbies elected officials for a bigger, better Peace Corps, and raises funds for grassroots, charitable projects facilitated by the Community. Pursuant to a MOU signed with Peace Corps in 2014, NPCA is the only private organization allowed to use the Peace Corps' logo, subject to certain terms and conditions.
By design, the Peace Corps and NPCA have a close and cordial relationship that fosters mutual respect and understanding. Yet, at appropriate times, when compelled by the community, NPCA exercises its independence and challenges the Peace Corps, publicly and privately, to reform its policies and procedures. This dynamic fosters a spirit of healthy debate and democratic disruption that betters Peace Corps, NPCA, and the community at large.