Frequently Asked Questions

What's the difference between NPCA and Peace Corps?

Peace Corps is a U.S. government agency created by President John F. Kennedy by Executive Order 10924 on March 1, 1961. As of 2017, Peace Corps had about 7,000 Volunteers and trainees spread across 63 countries and an annual budget of $410 million.

NPCA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that serves the entire Peace Corps community, encouraging and celebrating their lifelong commitment to Peace Corps ideals and building their capacity to make a profound difference in the world. By design, Peace Corps and NPCA have a close and cordial relationship that fosters mutual respect and understanding.

 

What do RPCV and PCV stand for?

RPCV stands for Returned Peace Corps Volunteer and PCV stands for Peace Corps Volunteer

 

What is the Third Goal?

The Third Goal of the Peace Corps is to help Americans better understand the world by bringing volunteer experiences home to the United States. It is one of the three goals that support the mission of the Peace Corps to promote world peace and friendship.

 

Is there a membership fee to join NPCA?

Joining NPCA is free! Members who can contribute $50 or more are invited to be partners in advancing NPCA’s mission and achieving our goals of a bigger, better Peace Corps, a thriving community, and increased development impact. In addition to the many benefits NPCA offers to all of its members, mission partners also receive a subscription to WorldView magazine. WorldView keeps us connected to the Peace Corps field experience and the goings on in our community.

 

How many members does NPCA have?

Our goal is to have all of the approximately 250,000 Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and former Peace Corps staff as members. Currently, we have 150,000 records in our database. As NPCA began as an organization nearly twenty years after the beginnings of Peace Corps, it is likely that many early volunteers never learned about or connected to NPCA. And, unfortunately, unlike other alumni organizations, the Peace Corps agency does not share information on current volunteers due to privacy rules. Membership with NPCA is free. All you have to do is sign up to join NPCA and any affiliate groups. Help us build out our network by reaching out to all your Peace Corps friends and asking them to join!

 

Are Peace Corps staff part of NPCA?

Peace Corps and NPCA are two separate entities. Peace Corps staff are part of the U.S. government agency, while NPCA staff work at a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that serves the entire Peace Corps community.

 

How many people work at NPCA?

We have nine full-time staff and several consultants who work on specific tasks. We also have student interns getting real world experience as well as college credit for their work.

 

I served in the Peace Corps. Does that make me a member of NPCA?

Everyone in the Peace Corps community, including currently serving and returned Peace Corps Volunteers, current and former Peace Corps staff, host country nationals, family and friends, and anyone who shares the Peace Corps ideals are encouraged to join NPCA. Joining NPCA assures voting rights, access to a number of benefits and resources, communication on important issues and events, and pride in being a part of a growing movement.

 

I am looking for a friend who served with me in the Peace Corps. Can you help me find them?

Visit our affiliate group directory to see if your country of service has an affiliate group. This is the best possible way to try and find a friend (or others from your group who might know your friend). NPCA cannot share personal information about a member of our organization. Should we have a record, the possibility exists that we could reach out to that person to inform them that you are trying to find them. To do so, please send a detailed email to groups@peacecorpsconnect.org and we will forward your message along.

 

How can I connect with other RPCVs in my area?

Visit our affiliate group directory to find an RPCV group near you. You'll also be able to find affiliate groups based on country of service, workplace, affinity, and causes important to you. The directory will list points of contact for each group, as well as other contact information such as links to a website or Facebook page. We invite you to visit NPCA's community calendar, which lists events hosted by RPCVs around the country. If you don't see the group you are looking for and/or you would like to start a new group, email us at groups@peacecorpsconnect.org

 

I want to invite other RPCVs to an event in my area. Can you help me do that?

If you have an NPCA affiliate group in your state/region, you should definitely start there to inquire about promoting your event. However, it is possible that groups will have certain limitations on the type of events they promote.

There are several occasions through which NPCA would consider promoting your event.  These include:

  • Group start-up: If you want to start a new NPCA affiliate group, we can assist in promoting a kickoff event.
  • NPCA related event: There are occasions during the year when NPCA promotes nationwide events (for example, supporting NPCA advocacy in March during our annual National Days of Action). If your event is designed to assist with this type of initiative, we would be able to help promote your activity.

To start, send details of the event by email to groups@peacecorpsconnect.org. Include how to contact you and a target range for your event (e.g., by zip code or city name). Please give us at least three weeks advance notice. 

 

How do I start an affiliate group?

The best first step to starting a group is to give NPCA staff a call (202-293-7728, extension 12) or email us at groups@peacecorpsconnect.org. We'll want to know your initial thoughts on the purposes for your group, whom you see as your target audience (and/or membership base) and who else is working with you. (We recommend a team approach to group formation and management.) Then we'll walk you through the ins and outs of forming a group, the tools we have to help, and the first steps in the process. And who knows - there may already be someone who had the same idea and wants to form the same group. If so, we'll connect you!

 

What is your budget?

Our 2019 budget is about $2 million. We're proud of our return on investment. We're able to take that $2 million and, by mobilizing our advocacy outreach, secure millions of dollars for Peace Corps. By leveraging partnerships, we're able to raise and invest millions of dollars in Peace Corps Volunteers and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer projects. And by building the capacity of our 180 affiliate groups around the country, we're able to advance the Third Goal in practically every community in America. Our work impacts the lives of thousands - if not millions - of people around the world.

 

How do you do so much with such limited funding?

It's often said that we "punch above our weight." Our team is very hard working and passionate about our mission. And NPCA's board of directors and its committee members also very generously contribute their time, talent, and treasure to support our work.

 

Since NPCA no longer collects dues, where do you get your funding?

We now have a more sustainable business model that operates on diverse funding sources. We generate a modest revenue stream from earned income: advertising in WorldView magazine and digital media, royalties from our Next Step Travel program, sales of Peace Corps-branded merchandise in our online store, and registration from Peace Corps Connect. These sources cover most of our overhead expenses so that donor funds can be dedicated to programs. As we have become a more cause-oriented organization, individual contributions to support our mission have quadrupled to nearly $1 million a year, with gifts ranging from $1 to over $100,000. The balance of our funding comes from corporate funds, sponsorship, and judicious use of foundation grants to occasionally launch or expand new programs.

 

Does Peace Corps fund NPCA?

Since 2013, we haven’t received funding from Peace Corps (other than a subscription to WorldView magazine for Peace Corps Volunteers in the field). In fact, since 2015, NPCA has funded the Peace Corps Partnership Program and previously Peace Corps' Let Girls Learn, becoming one of the largest private sector contributors to the agency. Last year, jointly with Water Charity, we signed a $1 million donor agreement with Peace Corps to fund water and sanitation projects of Peace Corps Volunteers.

 

How's your relationship with the Peace Corps?

We have a great relationship with Peace Corps and we intend to keep it that way. NPCA and Peace Corps signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in 2014, reflecting our shared priority to coordinate and collaborate as appropriate. We work closely together in several areas, including the planning and implementation of our annual Peace Corps Connect conference, supporting returning Peace Corps Volunteers in their transitions to healthy lives and professional careers, and advancement of the Third Goal in general.