We work to strengthen Maine’s service communities.
Founded in 2015, The Maine Volunteer Foundation is the private nonprofit partner of Volunteer Maine, the state service commission. Both are committed to strengthening volunteer service in Maine communities.
The mission of the Maine Volunteer Foundation is to foster civic engagement and volunteering that addresses human, educational, and environmental needs throughout Maine by augmenting the public resources of Volunteer Maine, the state service commission.
What we do:
The Maine Volunteer Foundation identifies and secures private and philanthropic resources that can be used in Maine by Volunteer Maine to expand:
- intensive full-time years of service by adults tackling pressing community needs,
- professional development and training for managers of community volunteers,
- implementation of programs that use volunteer service as a strategy to address local needs, and
- capacity-building initiatives that increase effectiveness and efficiency in Maine’s volunteer sector.
Building a stronger Maine through volunteerism since 1994.
Volunteer Maine was established in 1994 as the Maine Commission for Community Service. Twenty-four Maine citizens representing many facets of volunteer and community service comprise the Commission. In October 2019, Volunteer Maine was adopted as the new identity for the Maine Commission for Community Service in an effort to better communicate the mission of Maine’s service commission.
From its founding, Volunteer Maine has acted on the conviction that volunteer service is a key part of thriving communities. It understands that the significant time commitment by AmeriCorps members can help community volunteer programs really move the needle on local challenges.
National Service programs like AmeriCorps require much higher annual commitments of volunteer time than community volunteers can normally give. In Maine, the average community volunteer devotes 37 hours (3 hours/month) to service. AmeriCorps members must commit between 300 and 1700 hours to service.
Volunteer Maine also understands that, in order for volunteers to have an impact, the agencies and people responsible for leading volunteers need specific skills, knowledge, and abilities to manage what is often a significant human resource.
Did you know?
- there is a defined set of 22 essential business practices for volunteer program operation?
- volunteer management is a leadership role based on defined competencies and there is an international credential, Certified Volunteer Administrator, that volunteer program staff can earn?
- retention of volunteers can improve or worsen based on a volunteer program’s operation and/or the skill of the leadership? According to the 2016 Volunteering and Civic Health report nearly 32% of Maine volunteers recruited each year leave before completing their assignments.
Thus, Volunteer Maine focuses on building capacity and sustainability in Maine’s volunteer sector by:
- funding service programs including AmeriCorps State and regional volunteer capacity;
- developing the skills and knowledge of managers of volunteers;
- guiding community agencies through an organizational development program that expands the roles volunteers play and increases the agencies’ efficiency;
- promoting service and volunteering as a strategy to meet local needs;
- raising awareness of the scale and impact of volunteering as well as issues affecting service programs; and
- fostering adoption of high-quality volunteer management practices.