The TRW Foundation has awarded a $120,000 grant to the Packard Center Group and the Heritage Resources program. The two Fairfax County nonprofit organizations will use the money for coordinators responsible for recruiting, organizing and managing volunteers.
"Community service organizations are often unable to take full advantage of volunteers' skills or to integrate volunteers into the mainstream of their organizations because the level of management expertise required to do so simply isn't affordable," said Alan Senger, vice president of the foundation.
Each organization received more than $28,000 for the first year of the three-year project.
The Packard Center Group is made up of the Fairfax County Council of the Arts, the Fairfax Choral Society, the Northern Virginia Youth Symphony, the Virginia Chamber Orchestra and Artisans United, all based at the Packard Center in Annandale.
The member groups will share the volunteer manager, centralizing volunteer activities. Duties will include operating a ticket office and class registration center, organizing existing volunteer forces, recruiting and training new volunteers, scheduling volunteer activities and supervising volunteers.
"Because we're in a changing work force, there's a diminishing volunteer force," said Toni McMahon, president of the Fairfax County Council of the Arts.
Heritage Resources is an organization that supports historical preservation. Its volunteer manager will develop opportunities for weekday volunteering and recruit senior citizen and disabled volunteers.
The coordinator will also be in charge of renewing the high school summer enrichment program, revising a program to certify archaeology volunteers and establishing an architectural history volunteer program.
The grant program was created "to try to fill the void created by cutbacks in the federal government," said Kohann H. Whitney, manager of external communications for TRW Systems Integration Group. More than $1 million has been donated nationally in the five years since the project's implementation.
TRW "believes that it is important as a corporate citizen to give something back to the community where it does business," Whitney said.