NCOA/RespectAbility Initiative, Models of Significant Service Grant
By Ken Murray, Director of Volunteer Services and
Paddy Clark, RSVP Capacity Corps Coordinator
Use this to build your volunteer program.
The Replication Guide captures the lessons the Southern Maine Agency on Aging (SMAA) learned in the two years it worked on the RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program) Capacity Corps volunteering model.
In early 2007, the SMAA was awarded a grant by the National Council on Aging (NCOA) to test a proposed “Capacity Corps” model, which became part of the SMAA’s RSVP.
The Capacity Corps model was developed to expand RSVP’s offerings to include leadership levels of volunteer service. While RSVP of Southern Maine had 33 years of experience in recruiting people aged 55 and over for volunteer service with a variety of nonprofits, almost all of those placements were in either direct service or back-up support (i.e. clerical). They did not have experience recruiting volunteers with professional backgrounds to provide leadership skills to nonprofits.
To create a “laboratory” for branching into this new area of volunteer recruitment and management, SMAA implemented a two-year program recruiting such volunteers for Southern Maine Agency on Aging itself. SMAA is a (501)(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides information and services to help people age 60 and over and their families.