Upper Valley Haven is using VolunteerHub to create an organized, optimized, and community-focused approach to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Upper Valley Haven is a nonprofit, private organization that serves people struggling with poverty by providing food, shelter, education, service coordination, and other support. The charitable organization was founded in 1980 and has grown in scope and impact each year since. Upper Valley Haven serves more than 14,500 people yearly through its four main domains of service: Food, Shelter, Education and Problem Solving.
Through its programs, the charitable organization provides shelter for more than 151 individuals (25 families), a seasonal shelter for 112 adults, food for more than 4,500 households, and community service coordination support for over 3,300 households. The nonprofit also helped 37 households financially to avoid eviction/homelessness.
Volunteerism plays an essential role in helping Upper Valley Haven provide support to the community. Over the years, the nonprofits volunteer program has grown substantially. Each month, Upper Valley Haven utilizes the support of 450-600 volunteers across a variety of critical roles.
These roles and areas of support include meal preparation, meal delivery, shelter support, childcare, receiving donations, and assisting in after-school programs.
“Our organization would not be able to achieve its impact without the support of volunteers and their commitment to the betterment of the community,” said Leslie Rimmer, Director of Organizational Development & Learning, Upper Valley Haven
The Ability to Respond Quickly
Upper Valley Haven is no stranger to providing support to the community through times of crisis. In 2011, the organization had to pivot and provide relief to the community after Tropical Storm Irene. Tough times have made the nonprofit stronger and its mission more important than ever. The current COVID-19 pandemic has challenged Upper Valley Haven to look at new ways to achieve the organization’s goals.
Upper Valley Haven has adjusted its operations to combat COVID-19. The nonprofit has introduced curbside pickup, deployed a food tent, and are offering takeout to feed the hungry.
They have also optimized their volunteer program safety protocol by practicing social distancing, recruiting more millennial volunteers, providing gloves and masks during shifts, and limiting community contact. Strategic volunteer management has become an essential component of the organization’s ability to respond quickly and efficiently to crisis and community needs.
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged our organization to fulfill goals and provide much-needed support to the community in new ways, said Leslie
An All-In-One Solution
Prior to investing in VolunteerHub, Upper Valley Haven used a manual process to manage volunteers across several programs. Each program used a different set of tools including Google Docs, Excel spreadsheets, and Outlook calendars. The process was cumbersome and required the nonprofits volunteer coordinator to spend many hours each week reporting program results.
Upper Valley Haven vetted several volunteer management solutions before concluding that VolunteerHub offered the best feature-set for their program. Since implementation, VolunteerHub has paid off in dividends for the organization, especially now, when responding to change and crisis within the community.
“VolunteerHub saves our organization hundreds of hours per year and allows our volunteer program to adapt quickly to change and need within the community,” said Kerri Weeks, Volunteer Coordinator, Upper Valley Haven
Invaluable Solution for COVID-19 Response
Upper Valley Haven is using many features in VolunteerHub to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. They have partnered with concerned citizens and several area nonprofits to create a coalition called Upper Valley Strong. VolunteerHub has become an invaluable tool for the coalition by allowing Upper Valley Haven to post all the events and needs of organizations participating, creating partnership, engagement, and awareness within the community.
Upper Valley Haven has also been able to use VolunteerHub to quickly inform volunteers about its COVID-19 response and areas available for community involvement. The features and capabilities available through VolunteerHub have impacted the organization’s ability to quickly identify potential volunteers, register them, and provide information about upcoming shifts.
By implementing VolunteerHub, Upper Valley Haven has freed up hours of administration time. By freeing up this time, the organization has been able to respond strategically, efficiently, and effectively to changes and crisis within the community such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
“VolunteerHub has become a crucial tool to support our organization during the COVID-19 pandemic because the solution offers all the functionality that our nonprofit needs to organize people and events. It has been an amazing tool for us, since the beginning, and I can’t express how satisfied our organization is with it,” said Leslie
“Even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, our organization is using VolunteerHub to outperform last year’s impact. Our food shelf numbers continue to grow, and we are looking forward to supporting even more people in the future,” said Leslie
Optimism for the Future
Investing in a strategic volunteer management solution has been a transformational decision for Upper Valley Haven. The organization is using VolunteerHub to recruit, engage, and manage supporters to achieve goals in both times of promise and times of uncertainty. Everyday Upper Valley Haven is empowering the community and using their volunteer program to deliver the message of hope to people that need it the most.
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