2014: Our Volunteer Community Grew
This year, we partnered with 2,200 volunteers at the farm, workshop, retail store and office, with a total of nearly 20,000 hours. According to national averages, the estimated service value of our volunteers for 2014 is $405,400! We can’t emphasize enough what an important role this community plays in our daily lives at HGP.
We hosted 120 groups, including:
- Girl Scout troops,
- Google, and
- numerous service learning classes, fraternities/sororities and clubs from the University of California at Santa Cruz.
- Members from the Zen Center, Quaker Camp, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Bahá’í joined us in preparing meals and getting their hands dirty on the farm.
- We also hosted and worked alongside students from local high schools, preschools, charter schools and Cabrillo College.
- We worked alongside our friends from Laurel Street, a day center for adults with developmental disabilities, on a daily basis. On a weekly basis, we worked with the Bay School, a school for autistic students between the ages of three and 21.
Over the course of the year, we worked with 50 interns, from a variety of programs and universities. This segment of our community provides consistent help and presence in all areas of the project. They bring fresh ideas, keep us feeling young and provide much needed assistance to all areas of the project.
We hosted the following events and workdays at the farm:
- Martin Luther King Day of Service
- Earth Day
- Lavender Harvest Work Days
- Make a Difference Day
We became certified as a Service Enterprise, an organization that fundamentally leverages volunteers and their skills across all levels of the organization to successfully deliver on its social mission.
Research conducted by TCC Group and Deloitte demonstrates that nonprofits operating as Service Enterprises outperform peer organizations on all measures of organizational capacity thereby allowing these nonprofits to more effectively address community needs and operate at almost half the median budget. When an organization leverages volunteers and achieves an effective volunteer management model, not only do they lead and manage their organizations better, but they are also significantly more adaptable, sustainable and better resourced to do their work, and therefore able to sustainably go to scale.