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Mayor Announces ‘Excellence in Volunteer Engagement’ Recipients

March 23, 2012

42 Nonprofits Recognized for High-Quality Volunteer Management

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Mayor Karl Dean announced today the 42 nonprofit organizations that received  the  first round of the Excellence in Volunteer Engagement (EVE) certification, an initiative to recognize high-quality volunteer management by nonprofits and to help increase the number of volunteers in Davidson County. It is the first such certification effort in the nation.

Excellence in Volunteer Engagement was developed last year by the Mayor’s Office, in partnership with Hands On Nashville and the Center for Nonprofit Management, to recognize nonprofit agencies with effective volunteer programs and to encourage other organizations to join them in improving their volunteer opportunities so they can maximize their resources and provide the best quality services possible. Dean recognized the recipients at an event this morning at the Center for Nonprofit Management at Rolling Mill Hill.

“I have always been proud of the strong volunteer spirit that Nashville has,” Dean said. “I commend these nonprofits for providing the types of meaningful volunteer experiences that engage the passion of our volunteers and put their skills to the best use. These organizations have also been important in increasing the number of volunteers in our city. I congratulate them on their achievements, and I thank Hands On Nashville and the Center for Nonprofit Management for leading the implementation of this significant program.”

The 42 organizations that achieved certification include such groups as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle TN, Nashville Area Habitat for Humanity, FiftyForward and Pencil Foundation.

“These nonprofits are accomplishing their missions by managing successful volunteer programs,” said Lewis Lavine, President of the Center for Nonprofit Management. “We are pleased to recognize them as the first agencies in the country to achieve EVE certification.”

A panel of judges representing the community determined which agencies qualified for a two-year certification. Certified organizations showed effectiveness in specific areas of volunteer management, including a defined volunteer program with an identified, dedicated and trained manager, a screening process that aligns volunteers’ skills and abilities with appropriate tasks, orientation for all volunteers and an evaluation process to affirm a volunteer’s impact on the community and agency.

“Volunteers are an invaluable community resource,” said Brian N. Williams, executive director of Hands On Nashville. “When nonprofits empower volunteers to maximize their potential, service increases in meaning and impact. This inaugural group of EVE-certified nonprofits does just that.”

Application is open to all nonprofit agencies in Davidson County with no restrictions on the size or budget of the organization and no application fee. EVE applications are due quarterly, and the next group of certified nonprofits will be announced mid-summer. Applications can be found on the Center for Nonprofit Management’s website,, or Hands On Nashville’s website,

Excellence in Volunteer Engagement is part of the Mayor’s Office “Impact Nashville” initiative, which Dean launched on Sept. 30, 2010, as part of the national Cities of Service movement.

Impact Nashville directs volunteerism toward two top priorities, public education and the environment. Aligned with the goals of the Cities of Service national coalition, Impact Nashville strives to improve the impact of volunteerism across our city in four areas: the impact for those being served, the impact for the volunteer, the impact on the agency’s mission and the impact on our community.

The 42 nonprofits certified for the first round of the Excellence in Volunteer Engagement are the following:

Alive Hospice
American Red Cross/Nashville Area Chapter
American Red Cross/TN Valley Region Blood Services
Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle TN
CASA Inc., of Davidson County
Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art
Christian Women’s Job Corps of Middle Tennessee
Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum
Family and Children’s Services Crisis Center and 2-1-1
Friends Life
Friends of Warner Parks
Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville
Interfaith Dental Clinic
Martha O’Bryan Center
Nashville Adult Literacy Council
Nashville CARES
Nashville Public Library
Oasis Center
Pencil Foundation
Room In The Inn’s Campus for Human Development
Safe Haven Family Shelter
Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee
Siloam Family Health Center
Sports 4 All Foundation
St. Luke’s Community Center
Susan G. Komen for the Cure Greater Nashville
Ten Thousand Villages
Tennessee Voices for Children
Frist Center for the Visual Arts
The Nashville Food Project
The Next Door
The Salvation Army – Nashville
Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence
Tennessee Performing Arts Center
W.O. Smith/Nashville Community Music School
Youth Encouragement Services
YWCA of Nashville and Middle Tennessee