A number of AmeriCorps program leaders have been approaching us with questions about the Impact Suite’s ability to “connect with” eGrants and My AmeriCorps. Other companies, we’re told, are making claims about their ability to connect with those two CNCS-managed sites.
In this context, it’s important to understand what “connects with” means. It means that one can export data (like a member roster) from eGrants, and then import that data into the service provided by the company. Like those other services, the AmeriCorps Impact Suite offers the same capabilities.
We recently had an e-mail conversation about these connections with a senior program officer at the Corporation for National & Community Service. Here’s what he had to say:
The CNCS IT office is aware of the AmeriCorps community’s interest in establishing API access. CNCS has not and will not establish a proprietary link with a for-profit entity, nor are their plans to develop unique APIs for individual vendors.
Moral of the story: When you’re told that a web service connects or talks with any CNCS-managed website, understand that there isn’t an actual connection. All it means is that you can download data from the CNCS site and import it into their own. Just be sure to ask the vendor how many imports you can run each year. Some companies limit the imports to one per year, leading you to spend time doing a bunch of manual data entry.