FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Over the past year, 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 in “pre-launch” phase – working with our Board of Directors and around 40 volunteers on six teams to develop a strong foundation. We hope to launch (begin training volunteers and offering a calendar of social and educational events) in the summer of 2019. We plan to begin offering memberships in the fall.
Q: What is the proposed service area?
A: Our service area will include Portsmouth, Exeter and the surrounding towns, including Brentwood, Greenland, Hampton, Hampton Falls, New Castle, Newfields, Newington, North Hampton, Rye and Stratham.
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: Our Administrative and Finance Team is developing a list of recommended providers of all sorts of services – from home repair to home care – starting with contacts from committee members, friends and neighbors. The team is also developing the vetting process. 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 will this be?
A: The Seacoast Village Project is a New Hampshire Non-profit Corporation. Our application for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status has been submitted to the IRS. We are managed by a Board of Directors – all serving as volunteers. In addition, we have six teams of volunteers working hard to build the foundation of this Village in preparation for launch this year.
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 pre-launch period. You can make a donation by check (see address below) or by clicking on the red “Donate Now” button at the top right of our home page. Though our 501(c)(3) application is still pending, once approved, the approval will date back to our date of incorporation in September 2018. As there are over 200 villages nationwide who are primarily non-profit entities, we do not anticipate any difficulties with approval of our application. We always recommend that you consult your tax professional for specific guidance.
Members and Volunteers
Q: What will be the difference between “members” and “volunteers?”
A: Members will pay dues and be able to participate fully in our social and educational programs. In addition, they may receive services from our team of volunteers. Volunteers may or may not be members. Our Volunteer Support Team will actively recruit, vet, train and support our Village volunteers. Our Member Services Team will 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 team of volunteers. 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.
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?
THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST!