The Volunteer Generation Fund (VGF), a resource provided by AmeriCorps, aims to strengthen nonprofit organizations to recruit and retain volunteers to meet critical community needs.
VGF grants are used to develop and/or support community-based entities to recruit, manage, and support volunteers. In 2020 Volunteer NH accepted VGF project proposals for the first time and subgranted funding to a variety of nonprofit organizations with ideas for projects that:
- expand volunteering
- strengthen the capacity of volunteer connector organizations to recruit and retain skills-based volunteers
- develop strategies to use volunteers effectively to solve problems
Potential 2021-2022 Funding
Volunteer NH may announce the opportunity for new organizations to apply for VGF funding for the October 1, 2021 – September 30, 2022 project period.
Should Volunteer NH open up to new applicants, award amounts will vary as determined by the scope of each project. Subgrants will likely range from $10,000 – $30,000; requests above $30,000 may be entertained, but requests below $10,000 are unlikely to be funded.
The 2020-2021 Volunteer Generation Fund (VGF) Subrecipients include:
Project Summary: The Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire is grateful to be able to invest further in its volunteer program thanks to the VGF grant. This funding is enabling us to create virtual trainings and to enhance in-person trainings to better prepare our volunteers for success. The grant allows us to expand our volunteer-led Humane Education program to better serve the children in our community. Volunteer appreciation is more important than ever in these unusual times and this grant has allowed us to invest more in our appreciation efforts.
Project Summary: AVA Gallery and Art Center has utilized VGF funds to effectively increase our volunteer capacity and kickstart a variety of new projects. Since receiving the grant, we increased our Greeter/Front Desk occupancy by 80%, begun in-person adult and children’s classes in our facilities, assisted by an average of 1-2 volunteers per class, and are on track to open the AVA Members Gallery Shop on May 1 which will be run by artist member volunteers. Additionally, the increase in our volunteer base led to the creation of a veterans/vet families program and another new program engaging participants in elder care facilities.
Project Summary: The VGF grant has made it possible to enlist the support of a Volunteer Coordinator, thereby enabling the Belknap County Conservation District to spend the time required to do outreach and form community connections. A variety of factors – such as an improved website, new outreach materials, and new partners sharing BCCD volunteer opportunities – have already led to an increase in the volunteer base.
Project Summary: Friends Forever International’s VGF project focuses on developing our marketing and outreach strategy in order to recruit more community volunteers. Additionally, we are creating a structure for our volunteer program through the development of a volunteer handbook. These community volunteers will directly impact our New Hampshire programs as we begin to work with more partners across the state.
Project Summary: Our Volunteer Support team here at Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains is focusing our VGF project on our new technology-driven membership management system. The focal point of this system, Volunteer Systems 2.0 (VS 2.0), will be used to manage over 2,000 volunteers. Girl Scout staff will receive training on VS 2.0 and then provide support, feedback, and training to volunteers who are new to the system. As volunteers begin using VS 2.0 and we streamline both internal and external processes to ensure the roll-out is smooth and that volunteer support is adequate, our staff will identify the long-term strategic benefits of the new system so that it can continue to be easy-to-use, intuitive, and customer-focused.
Project Summary: With this funding, HAVEN intends to develop rich, comprehensive, and interactive online training for volunteer advocates, interns, and AmeriCorps members. These trainings will be more accessible for all advocates, be adaptable to various learning styles, and be self-paced. The project will require HAVEN to purchase online training platform software; to translate existing content to an online-friendly format; to utilize staff as subject matter experts (SME’s) for asynchronous content, to create the training and testing modules; and to create an online assessment tool.
Project Summary: Our project is designed to activate our residents into community volunteers. To accomplish this we are working with residents to form Resident Councils at their individual housing communities. Resident Councils help increase community building and engagement by planning and organizing various events for residents of the respective property. The goal is to strengthen the voices and skills of our residents to empower them to be volunteer leaders.
Project Summary: The Merrimack River Watershed Council (MRWC) aims to increase skilled, multi-year volunteerism around improvements to water quality and access to greenspace for southern NH residents. By establishing consistent and engaging opportunities to volunteer through our Community Science program, that both value and encourage the skills of community members, and have practical and direct effects on the quality of their neighborhoods, we believe that the community itself can affect solutions to our overlapping social and environmental problems. We see every day how the VGF grant has changed our capacity to deliver on our mission and connect with the wonderful volunteers, young and old, of our Granite State. Especially with the isolation of COVID-19 and school closures, we have witnessed an incredible need for teachers, parents, retirees, and working people to find engaging, outdoor learning experiences and we believe that VGF has made the difference for us being able to provide at the level of need.
Project Summary: With the support of VGF, The Music Hall plans to establish a well-structured, sustainable intergenerational recruitment program to create an age-diverse volunteer corps. We aim to provide learning opportunities, a sense of purpose, and a place where people can draw upon their life and work experiences and share their unique skills as they support the mission of The Music Hall.
Project Summary: Willing Hands will expand our volunteer base through a variety of recruitment strategies to help us grow, glean, and distribute more fresh healthy food to those in need in the Upper Valley. We will develop a volunteer appreciation program, and establish a process to train skills-based volunteers to fill key roles that will complement the staff time dedicated to our charitable garden, gleaning, and food recovery operations, and that will help us better support our recipient organization partners.