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Service Enterprise benefits Maine non-profit through change management process.

Michelle Surdoval says she’s one of Service Enterprise’s biggest cheerleaders, but in the beginning she was the “most grumbly” about the program. Michelle’s organization, the York Community Service Association, participated in last Fall’s Southern Maine Service Enterprise training cohort.

“Service Enterprise is an organizational change model that uses volunteerism as a point of entry-but it’s applicable to all aspects of your company”, says Michelle. The initiative supports organizations to leverage highly-skilled volunteers to expand the organization’s capacity.

In addition to the expected benefits - better recruiting and engagement of skill-based volunteers - Michelle reports the Service Enterprise process was valuable professional development for her whole team. They developed a common language and shared understanding of change management concepts. Plus it helped them operate as a team more effectively, supporting each other while they provide critical services to those in need in York County.

Service Enterprise is a program of Points of Light, a national organization dedicated to volunteerism and community service. Nationally, organizations of all sizes and budgets have become certified “Service Enterprises.”

However, Michelle pointed out “It’s equally important for small non-profits. When everyone is just working hard to provide services, you don’t think about the systemic, you are just putting out fires…Service Enterprise will help the staff support each other.”

Service Enterprise is the ability of a not-for-profit organization to look at internal staff capacity in a new way and leverage skilled volunteers to expand that capacity to achieve mission. 

A nationally certified Service Enterprise organization typically benefits from

  • Outperforming similar organizations on all measures of organizational capacity
  • Increased human resource capacity with limited additional expense
  • Significant increase in volunteer hours contributed annually
  • Retooled operations that intentionally use skilled volunteers
  • Community needs better addressed through organizational growth
  • Ability to take programs to scale

The Maine Commission for Community Service and Service Enterprise Trainers help organizations realize these benefits through assessment, training, and coaching. To learn more and to sign up for the 2017 cohort, visit the Commission website.