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Hanover’s Perspective

Hanover Nonprofits Bolster the Community & Local Economy

Learn how the community and local businesses can assist nonprofits serving Hanover County.

Nonprofit organizations play a vital role in building healthy communities by providing critical services that contribute to the economic stability and mobility inclusive of all citizens.  While nonprofits are often most recognized for their mission-based achievements and results, their economic impact as dynamic businesses in local communities is substantial.  Nonprofits directly contribute to the local economy in several key ways by:

  • Employing nonprofit staff and paying associated wages, taxes, and benefits
  • Providing work opportunities through job training and placement services
  • Purchasing goods and services from local vendors, therefore, creating more jobs
  • Spurring other ancillary economic activity
  • Attracting employers by providing community assets such as cultural amenities

Nonprofits also strengthen communities by forging strong community relationships while possessing intimate local knowledge enabling these organizations to fully understand the communities’ needs and the best ways to meet them.

However, in an era of growing needs and shrinking resources, nonprofits are being asked to do even more with less, placing additional strain on their already limited resources. As a result, many nonprofits are struggling to find support that can strengthen their operations, enable them to deliver their services more effectively and ultimately help create a strong economy that is good for all sectors.

How can the business community help? In addition to financial and material support, nonprofits are also in need of skills-based volunteerism and network creation. By directly engaging with these organizations, the business community can make the connections that nonprofits need to support their mission.

As a prime example, Hanover Habitat for Humanity (Hanover Habitat) makes a tremendous impact on the lives of homeowners by offering a “hand up” not a “handout” to hardworking families who, through no fault of their own, struggle to make ends meet.  In its 30th year in Hanover, the organization’s work of helping to provide home ownership has direct impacts on the net worth, educational achievement, civic participation, health, and overall quality of life for Hanover citizens.  Affordable and responsible homeownership builds brighter futures, stronger families and a stronger Hanover community.  To date, Hanover Habitat has constructed 72 homes and regularly features the families that are now homeowners.  In addition to various ministries in the county, Habitat is the only housing nonprofit serving Hanover.

Hanover Habitat is also seeking to grow its critical repairs program to assist those who lack sufficient disposable income to make necessary repairs to ensure a safe and healthy home environment.  The repair program offers free or reduced cost repairs to local homeowners to make their houses accessible, livable, and energy efficient.  Habitat recently launched a pilot program serving low income senior citizens that live in the 23111 or 23116 zip code in the Hanover suburban service area, or “Old Mechanicsville.”

Using in-house modeling software, Hanover Habitat’s 2019 local economic impact analysis report reveals that every $1.00 invested by Habitat results in a return of $1.40 injected into the local economy.  In other words, Hanover Habitat’s slightly more than $870,000 invested in 2019 operations, construction, rehabilitation and renovations resulted in more than $1.2 million in economic impact by way of increased household discretionary income and spending, goods and services locally purchased whenever possible, and taxes paid on payroll.

In order to achieve its mission, Hanover Habitat relies on several funding sources.  Established in 2005 to provide a self-sustaining funding source, the ReStore located at 9159 Atlee Road in Mechanicsville, is a nonprofit home improvement store and donation center that sells new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials and appliances to the public at a fraction of the retail price with proceeds from sales used to build Hanover Habitat homes.  As an added benefit, the recycling of unsellable items, and evens parts of unsellable items that contain precious metals, helps to diminish landfill waste.  Other significant funding sources include direct financial donations, scheduled recurring donations, gifts of securities and/or land, employer matching gifts, and donations of materials and labor including construction materials, tools, equipment, skilled construction labor, and office/program supplies.   To explore various donation options, visit Hanover Habitat Donations page.

To view a directory of nonprofit organizations and programs serving Hanover County, visit Community Foundation’s Connect VA.  Visit each organization’s website to learn about ways to support its mission.  To add an organization to the directory, visit Community Foundation Connect’s organization registration site.