Volunteer Support Program
Thank you for your interest in becoming an Official NH Granite State Ambassador (NHGSA) Volunteer Center.
We are over 2,000 strong since 1996. Our professional Granite State Ambassador (GSA) certification program not only leaves our graduates with our “It’s Always Sunny in New Hampshire” attitude, it gives our volunteers and industry friends a broad overview of the state’s industries and its recreational resources with presentations from over 20 speakers from around New Hampshire. Our professional GSA volunteers collectively serve nearly 20,000 hours and passionately assist well over 100,000 guests (over a million when you include The Big E) to our state each year at over 20 visitor information centers and 20 special events. They are true New Hampshire Information Specialists.
As an Official NHGSA Volunteer Center you will have access to our award- winning platform and assistance from its trained staff and volunteers to help you build your volunteer program.
VOLUNTEER CENTER PROGRAM BENEFITS 2023
- WORD OF MOUTH – Once you are a NHGSA Volunteer Center, our volunteers and partners will know who you are and where you are. And even when they are not volunteering at your center – they will be talking about you and your region while they are at a state-wide event, another info center, or at the BIG E Eastern States Exposition (where our GSAs greet over a million guests about NH over a 17-day period!)
- As an active NHGSA Volunteer Center – your information will be shared with our 350+ ACTIVE GSA Volunteers and over 700 Statewide Partners and Supporters, via links, communications, and cross- promotions to include: (but not limited to):
- Blogs or Facebook
- Emails directly to your center
- Emails and mailings to our partners & supporters
- Annual NHGSA Yearbook
- First options at Sponsorship Opportunities for Annual GSA Events and Fundraisers such as:
- AMBIES Annual Awards Luncheon – where we recognize our outstanding volunteers and partners.
- Annual Founder’s Day Outing – a fun experience to kick-off the season and introduce our newest volunteers into the group.
- Experience New Hampshire On-Line Holiday Auction. Held annually the first week of November
- You will have access to GSA Certification Training for your staff, Board Members and volunteers. Seats at any of our annual certification trainings (held in the Spring) are offered to you at the rate of 1 complimentary seat per $100 of program support donation paid, as space is available.
- The best results come when you promote becoming certified through our program to your existing volunteers, staff, and board.
- Continued training and support of your certified GSA Volunteers and staff – we offer a minimum of 12 learning opportunities a year for our certified GSAs, but average 18.
- Access to /discounted rates for our professional trainings and workshops. Opportunities to attend trainings offered around the state (when available) or to schedule specialized trainings offered by NHGSA for your membership, front-line staff including the Dennis Snow Guest Experience Workshop Series.
- Our Certified volunteers can ONLY accumulate volunteer service hours and perks at Official NHGSA Volunteer Centers and Events.
- Certified GSAs can earn volunteer service hours towards awards and perks for being available to assist guests.
- GSAs must be in GSA uniform to be eligible to earn volunteer service hours. Exceptions must be cleared by NHGSA. Official GSA volunteer opportunities will provide a description of the required duties. Said duties must be focused around assisting guests with information. If GSA is comfortable with registers or phone or with being a docent, they can help with these duties.
- Center Manager will email official GSA tick (visitor count) sheets from previous month within the first few days of each month to email@example.com. Reports will be provided quarterly and annually.
- Volunteers cannot replace any paid staff member of position. Volunteers ‘add value’ to your programs.
SUPPORT & RESOURCES
- Our staff will set you up with access to NHGSA brand volunteer management and our automated calendar system. As a Center Manager, you can login to view your schedule and contact information for your volunteers. You can also request schedule reports for upcoming assignments and track volunteer activity.
- You will have access to communication venues with our GSAs through the online calendar system and our NHGSA weekly volunteer newsletter.
- Access to statistical reporting such as: individual volunteer contacts, center statistics, state-wide information and more. Each month you will be provided with a print out of your center’s activity in #volunteers/ hours served/ guests serviced and value of that volunteer service.
- Semi-Annual Center Managers meetings where you can meet and talk with other visitor center managers and professionals.
- Our certified GSA volunteers have Volunteer Supplemental Insurance provided by NHGSA. This does not replace your center’s liability insurance should a volunteer injure themselves while on duty.
- A monthly “Best Practices” report with current articles and trends regarding customer service and visitor information centers
To keep your volunteers engaged, NHGSA will provide:
- regular communication to keep your volunteers up-to-date with opportunities, and information.
- comprehensive award and reward programs to provide incentives for volunteering.
- Free uniform shirt and permanent badge after 50 hours of service (value of $40)
- Earned hang tags and additional pins badges (value of $5-20 ea)
- Invitation to attend our annual Awards Luncheon (value of $50/pp)
- Earned substantial perks at 500 and 1000 hours (value $400-600ea)
- monthly virtual and hands-on learning opportunities through tours, meetings, and trainings (value of $20-500).
- volunteer opportunity directory listing on our website
- listing with logo in our annual yearbook
- social opportunities
- annual commemorative yearbook
- online sign-up calendar with volunteer hours tracking, emergency contact information, reminders, email notifications, and reports
- support and advice to help you establish and grow your program to keep volunteers interested and engaged at your center.
To keep your volunteers engaged, we ask you to provide:
- a staff member to serve as your center manager and a point-of-contact for us and volunteers
- a subscription to your member newsletter to keep us informed and post a NHGSA support listing/logo with a link on your website
- clear policy and procedures/desk book with Frequently Asked Questions
- a place for a sign-in book and to email the sign-in sheets to our office for tracking
- local perks to thank and engage volunteers
- share GSA-sponsored industry and volunteer trainings with your membership
- item donations to promote your members for our fundraising auction
- a staff member to participate in our quarterly center manager meetings
- host a regional or member tour every year (virtual or in-person) to keep your volunteers’ knowledge up-to-date
- host informational roundtable meetings to update volunteers about what’s new in your region, or your center, provide supplemental training and to answer volunteer questions.
- GSA volunteers only earn volunteer service hours for being available to assist guests at a front desk, as a docent, giving tours, or at an event.
Official Volunteer Support Partner Annual Rates
The NH Division of Travel & Tourism provides support to help offset the costs of our volunteer recruitment, training, and retention programming including volunteer badges, shirts, awards, perks etc. We leverage this by asking you to actively participate as a partner to keep your support level affordable for your organization.
Year-Round Center up to 1000 annual volunteer service hours $700 – each additional center added at $350 (Entitled to 6 seats in upcoming trainings annually. Additional seats can be purchased.)
Year-Round Center 1000-2000 annual volunteer service hours $1500 (value $6000)
Year-Round Center 2000-3000 annual volunteer service hours $3000 (value $9000)
Year-Round Center 3000-4000 annual volunteer service hours $4000 (value $12000)
Seasonal Center $350
For centers that operate on a seasonal schedule. Centers open year-round are not considered seasonal.
(Entitled to 3 seats in upcoming trainings – Additional seats can be purchased.)
Unmanaged Event Services
Any Official Volunteer Center in good standing can solicit GSA volunteers to staff your events at no additional fee. No limit to the number of events. Volunteers would report to your volunteer coordinator and you would be responsible for any pre and post event communications. We are happy to assist with general announcements and will include your volunteer opportunity on our website and in our newsletter. As with center shifts, you will have access to our online sign-up calendar system and yes, there is a way to allow non-GSAs to sign up to serve. If our involvement extends beyond general announcements and use of our online calendar center, the event will be considered managed.
Managed Event Services
GSA provides fully managed event services – you tell us how many people you need for how many hours and what you need them to do. We will solicit, train, and manage volunteers with an on-site staff person and provide an event-end report. To give you control of your expenses and assistance expectations, rates are based on # of hours spend by GSA staff and # of volunteer hours served.
Ask about options for our GSAs to report to your event/volunteer manager.Events are billed at the time of service. Volunteer Support Partner invoices are sent early January. We can pro-rate membership when joining at any other point in the year.
GETTING STARTED AS A NEW CENTER
Schedule a meeting with our staff and fill out our “New Center Information Sheet” and the “Volunteer Reference Sheet for New Center.” Submit those along with your Support Payment to our finance/billing office address at: NHGSA, 470 Mast Road, Goffstown, NH 03045 or email sheets to firstname.lastname@example.org for faster processing.
- Next – submit photos – inside and out – of your Center that we may use to showcase your center/museum to the GSAs. Remember – you want to entice them to come there – so make the photos inviting!
- As soon as your Official Volunteer Center forms and payment have been received, we will establish your presence in our program and your center can be opened up to GSAs as a volunteer opportunity.
- We do require you to provide some supervision and mentoring as your center gets started. Our staff works with you to set this up along with providing you with other needed GSA tools such as our GSA Policies and Procedures Manual, a GSA “Desk Book” about your center and GSA Tick Sheets.
- Make your volunteers feel appreciated. Thank them. Invite them to staff functions. Invite them to volunteer at your public events. Provide perks.
Often a new center needs to build relationships with GSAs and develop opportunities and interest. The best way to get started is to recruit and encourage local volunteers to attend one of the upcoming certification trainings – always held in the spring. (Remember – if you join you get seats at the training!) Building a local volunteer base, getting them involved and certified through GSA is the best way to get started. Offering tours of your area/center is another great way to bring new GSAs on board and to introduce them to your region.
We alternate our GSA Certification trainings around the state each year, so locations will vary. It will be able to be completed 100% online as well.
We can supply you with press releases, flyers, event listings etc., to help you promote the trainings with your potential volunteers. We can also consult with you to help get them started in your center this year (and in the future you can work with us to host a training in your region).
CENTER MANAGER TRAINING
We STRONGLY recommend that your Center Manager participate in the GSA Certification Training. It really is the best way to understand the program and how it works, plus it provides a great overview of the state’s resources!
One of our staff members will work with you to set up your center. They will introduce you to the online calendar system and make suggestions for your program.
General email: email@example.com (goes to Kelly & Emily)
Kelly Bryer, Executive Director (603) 851-8624 office firstname.lastname@example.org
Emily McMaster, Operations & Communications Director (603) 244-0757 cell email@example.com
Billing Address – Innovision Realty Group’s Michelle Demirjian is contracted to handle all contracts, billings and financial needs for Granite State Ambassadors. This address serves as our official company address.
Granite State Ambassadors
470 Mast Road, Goffstown NH 03045
Operations Address – for day to day, auction, programs… Mail to this location is picked up by Kelly.
Granite State Ambassadors
PO Box 417, Campton NH 03223
Not ready for volunteers but want to support Granite State Ambassadors?
Chamber/Organization provides: newsletter subscriptions and listing on website with link. Invitations to your member events. Promotion of our NHGSA Industry trainings and certifications in your chamber/organization newsletter.
Granite State Ambassadors provides: listing and link on our website; newsletter subscription; industry newsletter; submit up to 2 featured member/region articles or events to promote in our newsletter.
**Does not include volunteer services or complimentary seats in programs/trainings.