A Service Enterprise is an organization that uses volunteers and their skills across all levels of the organization to successfully deliver its mission. This national initiative, led by Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service, helps nonprofits rethink the way they use volunteers to address community needs. Service Enterprise isn’t a volunteer management training program, but an organizational realignment designed to equip nonprofits with the tools and technical assistance they need to leverage the time and skills of their volunteers–resulting in expanded program operations and revenue, increased programmatic impact and more efficient operations.
Research conducted by the TCC Group and Deloitte found that the ten key characteristics below are common among the volunteer programs of Service Enterprise organizations:
Nonprofits participating in the Service Enterprise Initiative have access to:
- A thorough research-based assessment of their existing organizational volunteer engagement practices called the Service Enterprise Diagnostic (SED.)
- Up to 12 hours of training to help them re-imagine how their organization can engage volunteers.
- Individualized coaching to address unique organizational opportunities and challenges.
- National certification demonstrating the organization’s commitment to and proficiency in appropriately leveraging the time and skills of volunteers to meet the social mission of their organization. Certification is valid up to three years.
To learn more about the Service Enterprise Initiative, watch this video introduction or read about the research behind the Initiative. You can also take the self-assessment quiz to help determine if your organization is currently functioning as a Service Enterprise. For more detailed information about the program, including the process, time commitment, scheduling for the next cohort, and cost, refer to the HandsOn NWNC/Service Enterprise FAQ.
- “The process of becoming a certified Service Enterprise organization has helped our whole staff team to examine the ways in which we interact with volunteers. From this experience has come the creation of a team comprised of volunteers and staff who will reexamine our recruiting and training practices, for example. We are grateful for the opportunity to become an even better organization for both our clientele and our volunteers.” Margaret Elliott, Executive Director
- “Becoming a Volunteer Service Enterprise has helped Crisis Control Ministry enhance and expand the roles of our volunteers in helping our neighbors and community. We now delve deeper to find and use the talents each individual volunteer possess.” Vicki Jones, Director of Community & Volunteer Relations
- “Service Enterprise has helped us think more broadly and holistically about how we recruit, train, retain and recognize volunteers. It has pushed us to consolidate our processes and become much more efficient and effective.” T. Lee Covington, President and CEO
- “Service Enterprise has encouraged us to take an inward look at our volunteer recruitment, on boarding and training to the point that we have revamped the application process, orientation and training to better meet the needs of the organization and the volunteers.” Melissa Smith, Director of Innovation and Initiatives
For more information, contact the Program Director.