Since we started developing our Village, we have spoken to hundreds of people at community meetings, churches, house parties and more. These are the questions we’ve been asked most often.
Q: Where are we in the process of developing a Village for the Seacoast?
A: We are currently providing limited support services (due to the COVID-19 outbreak). We have developed a strong foundation, thanks to countless hours of service contributed by members of our “Village Builder” teams. We had hoped to spring into spring with a strong program of social and educational events, but those are on hold until it’s safe to gather people again.
Q: What is the proposed service area?
A: We are providing support services in New Castle and Portsmouth (towns where we started a pilot to test our systems) for now. Once health restrictions are lifted, we will start to expand services to other towns in the Portsmouth and Exeter areas.
There is a group called “Seacoast Village North” that is actively organizing in the Dover/Durham area. The contact person is Denny Chasteen – Dennis.Chasteen@unh.edu.
Q: Is the goal to create connections between people or to connect people with services?
A: Great question! Successful villages do both. The more connections you have, the more options you have for enriching your life and addressing life’s challenges and opportunities.
Q: Will housing be available?
A: No. The Village movement is all about helping us stay in the home of our choosing, with support provided to promote purpose, connections, community engaging and peace of mind.
Q: Who selects the recommended providers or vendors?
A: We are developing a list of recommended providers of all sorts of services – from home repair to home care – starting with suggestions from SVP volunteers, friends and neighbors. This list of recommended vendors will be available for members only.
Q: Does the Village duplicate services that are already available?
A: Our plan is not to duplicate existing services, but rather to serve as "super connector". Our Community Outreach Team is actively reaching out to other non-profit, municipal, educational and cultural organizations in the area to explore how we might work together. As we bring volunteers and members on board, we’ll help them connect and make use of these important community resources.
Q: It’s a wonderful concept but I don’t “need” any Village services yet.
A: The Village concept is about more than providing needed services – it’s about providing connections and information to give you the confidence to face changes and get the help you need when you need it. You can’t always predict what will happen, but you will know that someone’s got your back!
Q: What kind of an organization is this?
A: The Seacoast Village Project is a New Hampshire 501©(3) non-profit Corporation. We are managed by a Board of Directors – all serving as volunteers. In addition, we have five active teams of volunteers working hard to build the foundation of this Village so that we can serve our members and community.
Q: How much for membership dues?
A: Our Membership Team is recommending one level of membership – for either an individual or household. In most villages, membership dues account for 40-50% of their revenue. Nationwide, annual dues average $600/year (or $50/month).
Q: Would other funding be available?
A: It’s important to keep our dues affordable. We’ll be actively looking at all funding options, including individual and corporate contributions, and foundations to provide additional support.
Q: Can I make a donation? Are donations tax-deductible?
A: Yes! Absolutely! We especially need support through this important period, when we are starting to serve members and faced with a global public health challenge. You can make a donation by check (see address below) or by clicking HERE. For tax deductibility questions, we always recommend that you consult your tax professional for specific guidance.
Q: What will be the difference between “members” and “volunteers?”
A: Hopefully, we will all be members! We’re in this together, and we are hoping that you will consider this to be a worthwhile investment in future support. As dues-paying members, you will have full access to our social and educational programs. In addition, you may receive services from our team of volunteers. Think about it…. stuff happens. Now may not be a bad time to have someone help with ladder tasks or seasonal chores. And what about when you undergo “parts replacement” (knees, hips anyone) so that you can continue with your active life,
Some members may volunteer. Some people who are not members, but active in our broader community (students doing community service or educational experiences, employees participating in “Day of Caring, volunteers with aligned organizations) may pitch in. Our Volunteer Support Team is actively recruiting, vetting, training and supporting our Village volunteers. Our Office Volunteers will help make the connections – linking member service requests to volunteers. In most villages, members often are active volunteers.
Q: How will services be provided to members?
A: Members can request services in many ways – by phone, by e-mail or through our website. The request will be reviewed and discussed further with the member if clarification is needed. The request will then be forwarded to the list of volunteers who have expressed an interest in providing that service (errands and phone check-ins at this time). Once connected, the volunteer will contact the member to make final plans – appointment time and place.
Q: What if a volunteer is not available?
A: This is where our great database comes into play. If we can’t meet a need with our own volunteers, we may be able to connect members with another organization that can help. If those options don’t work, we can make a referral to one of our “member recommended” paid providers.
Q: What services do volunteers provide?
A: The services that volunteers provide most often in existing villages include transportation (the most requested service), help with shopping and errands, household chores, gardening and light home repair and maintenance and support with in-home technology. Our surveys to date indicate that the most requested services will be transportation, opportunities for socialization and help with home maintenance and repairs.
NOTE: As long as public health restrictions are in force to prevent the spread of COVID-19, services will be limited to phone check-ins and errands.
Q: Can I be both a member and a volunteer?
A: Yes! Volunteering is a great way to get to know more about the services and people in the Village.
Q: What is the best way to stay in touch?
A: Join our e-mail list by clicking on the link on the top left of our home page – Add me to your mailing list. You can also send us a message through our Contact Page or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST!