The Service Enterprise Initiative (SEI) is a leading capacity building certification program for nonprofits, led by AL!VE and administered in Massachusetts by the Massachusetts Service Alliance.
SEI helps organizations achieve a greater "return on investment" (ROI) for volunteer engagement and ultimately their mission statements.
Becoming a Service Enterprise allows an organization to leverage the full value of volunteer time and talent and leads to more efficient engagement of volunteers. It leads to program growth and increased capacity and sustainability. It also offers specific financial incentives by increasing the ability of paid staff to focus their time and energy on roles and activities for which they are uniquely qualified and as a result will fundamentally grow an organization’s operational capabilities.
An average Service Enterprise certified organization benefits from:
As of 2022, 113 Massachusetts organizations are either certified Service Enterprises or are participating in the program towards certification.
The Massachusetts Service Alliance administers Service Enterprise in Massachusetts, helping organizations achieve full certification through valuable training and organizational support.
Establishing the Foundation:
Best Practices in Volunteer Engagement:
5. Recruitment & Cultivation - Engaging individuals and groups to serve your organization is an ongoing cultivation process. Recruitment should be targeted to assure a diverse mix of community members with the skills, interest and abilities to further your mission
6. Onboarding - Providing a smooth pathway to service through careful screening, preparation, and guidance that includes both community members and staff involvement
7. Training - Education and skill development, as well as the knowledge of organizational parameters and boundaries, are critical to ensure that both volunteers and staff are equipped to perform their work and to work effectively together
8. Supervision & Support - Supervision assures that oversight and support are consistently provided to volunteers and community partners to ensure they are given the opportunity to succeed and to feel valued and appreciated
Impact & Outcomes:
9. Collaboration - Being a part of your community is vital to the work and services of nonprofit and public sector organizations. Collaborative undertakings with other organizations, your constituents, and your volunteers build relationships and sharpen the focus of service organizations
10. Communication - Effective communication takes many forms and operates through an increasingly wide and diverse array of channels including formal and informal means, print and social media to send information to external and internal groups
11. Growth & Change - Vibrant, exciting organizations seek ways to improve services, cultivate leaders, continuously seed new ways of thinking, and create new platforms for action and problem solving. Staying on the cutting edge of industry practices motivates staff, whether paid or unpaid
12. Tracking & Evaluation - Tracking and evaluation assesses the degree to which an organization monitors progress towards institutional goals and the performance of volunteers, staff and community partners in reaching these objectives of community partnerships.
Contact Lisl Hacker, MSA's Director of Training and Technical Assistance, for more information!