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FYI: When Congress returns today it will begin final work on a budget that will give AmeriCorps an historic funding boost for this fiscal year, but groups around the country that have come to depend on the volunteer labor say it may be too little too late, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reports this week. The 2003 debacle that forced AmeriCorps to fund a mere 30,000 positions (instead of the 70,000 it paid for the previous year) left many groups in the lurch, forcing them to cut programs or frantically raise funds for new staff. Now, AmeriCorps’ parent agency, the Corporation for National Service, is preparing new rules for the application process, and some observers and grantees tell the Chronicle they fear the process will become too cumbersome for small nonprofits. [1/20/04]

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