Greater Nashua agencies succeed with pilot volunteer program

CONCORD – Ten New Hampshire nonprofit organizations have learned new strategies for incorporating and making best use of the talents of highly skilled volunteers through a yearlong High Impact Volunteer Engagement pilot program created by the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and the New Hampshire Center for Nonprofits.

The participating nonprofits each received training from nationally recognized leaders in volunteer engagement. Thanks to the HIVE pilot, one nonprofit tripled its volunteer hours, resulting in service contributions valued at $274,000.

Among the participants were:

? Home Health & Hospice Care in Merrimack, which created volunteer team leadership positions and a system for teams of volunteers to use online tools to self-schedule for the organization’s “vigil program,” in which volunteers spend time at the bedsides of people who are dying. The system allowed for streamlined scheduling, but also helped volunteers gain a better understanding of the wide community of hospice volunteers.

? Symphony New Hampshire in Nashua, which focused on working with volunteers in leadership roles in annual State of the Symphony events and created a new Oktoberfest fundraising event administered by volunteers.

? The Front Door Agency in Nashua, which recruited, engaged and trained a team of volunteers who operate the organization’s reception desk on a regular basis.

? The New Hampshire Citizens Alliance for Action in Concord, which created a project to expand the organization’s capacity in local communities, building leadership teams of volunteers in Nashua and Keene, which created and implemented educational programs and visibility events.

Funding was made possible by grants from donors of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, including The Corporate Fund. JFFixler Group, a nationally recognized leader in volunteer engagement, led the training through the New Hampshire Center for Nonprofits.

“Our donors are always interested in innovative ways to support nonprofits,” said Katie Merrow, vice president of program at the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. “This opportunity was exciting because we were able to bring in national experts to help New Hampshire nonprofits take their volunteer work to the next level.”

The 10 nonprofit organizations that applied for and were chosen to participate in the HIVE pilot from April 2013 to March 2014 all reported improvement in volunteer engagement practices.

Also participating were:

? Families in Transition.

? Canterbury Shaker Village.

? The Bhutanese Community of New Hampshire, based in Manchester.

? Response to Sexual & Domestic Violence in Berlin.

The River Center in Peterborough.

WISE in Lebanon.

For more information about the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, visit or call 225-6641.

For more information about the New Hampshire Center for Nonprofits, visit or call 225-1974.