NHAVA History


It was a snowy November day in 1997 when a group of volunteer administrators had a vision and met to brainstorm for a state association for volunteer administrators. Their mission would be to strengthen the profession of volunteer administration through education, networking and recognition.


This group hit the road running to launch their first meeting on January 28th, 1998. They needed to establish sub-committees, elect officers, gather information on becoming a nonprofit, set goals and objectives, build membership guidelines, obtain a post office box and develop bylaws. All of this within six weeks time!


Thus, on January 28th, 1998, the New Hampshire Association of Volunteer Administrators was born … NHAVA! The rest is history. The professional group celebrated the 10th anniversary of its inception at Canterbury Woods Country Club during our October 27th, 2007 annual meeting and celebrated our 20th anniversary on October 25th, 2017 annual meeting at the Common Man Restaurant in Concord, NH.

Over the past twenty years, NHAVA has provided its members with:

  • Education to improve their knowledge and skills based on a professional competency list through workshops at every quarterly meeting,

  • Educational articles in the quarterly newsletter, email updates and bulletins;

  • Special programs such as Legislative Day (learning how bills become laws, how to have influence on them, as well as education regarding attending and giving testimony at hearings of the NH legislature);

  • Network opportunities including meeting and working with other professionals in the same field;

  • A "volunteer administrator on call" to answer questions, give advice, and guide to resources;

  • Formal recognition of a colleague through the Judith Lonergan Volunteer Administrator Award and the NHAVA Rookie award, as well as an article in each newsletter “spotlighting” a member and his/her work;

  • A manual titled "Risk Management for Volunteer Program Administration" written and published in 2007 by six NHAVA members, and revised in 2012 and 2018.


    In collaboration with VolunteerNH, the NH Center for Nonprofits, and the Davis & Towle Insurance Group and with the help and support of the NH Office of the Attorney General, Charitable Trust Division, and the NH Department of Labor, NHAVA moved to a new level of leadership in 2008 to offer a full day conference, “Essentials of Risk Management for Nonprofits” attended by well over 100 conference participants. 


    We have been very fortunate over these last twenty years to have had passionate leadership by many colleagues throughout the state, and the mission today continues just as it was conceived in those early days … supporting and strengthening the profession of volunteer administration through education, networking and recognition.  If you are interested in learning more about NHAVA or attending a membership meeting as our guest, please contact us through the website.