Is Your Organization a “Service Enterprise”?
Posted Thursday, February 5th, 2015 by Verified Volunteers Staff
Ten critical practices for nonprofit Service Enterprises (Source: Research provided by Points of Light, Deloitte, Algorhythm and RGK Center for Philanthropy)
Is your organization a “Service Enterprise?” If you aren’t sure, think about how you would answer this question: How effectively does your nonprofit organization leverage volunteers’ skills across all levels of the organization to deliver its social mission?
At Points of Light, we call nonprofits that have adopted this model of volunteer engagement “Service Enterprises.”
Research shows that organizations operating as Service Enterprises exhibit ten characteristics in critical practice areas including planning and development, leadership support and resource allocation. The key is putting in place practices and processes to get your organization to the next level.
“Volunteers of the past were used just to help out in different ways. A volunteer would come to our organization and we’d try to find somewhere to put them,” says Ron Jordan, CEO of Northeast Compass, Ltd. in Illinois. “Now, the purpose of a Service Enterprise is to build an infrastructure where you can strategically deploy skills-based volunteers.”
A study conducted by TCC Group and Deloitte demonstrates that Service Enterprises outperform peer organizations on all measures of organizational capacity, enabling them to address community needs more effectively and operate at almost half the median budget.
When an organization leverages its volunteers and deploys an effective volunteer management model, it is significantly more adaptable, more sustainable and better resourced to do its work – and therefore, better able to go to scale. Research shows that Service Enterprises deliver a 600 percent return on investment in volunteer capacity (Source: Reimagining Service).
Points of Light has helped deliver the Service Enterprise model in more than 15 states across the U.S. with over 200 organizations so far. And we’ve seen the Service Enterprise model deliver in every case.
“Service Enterprises can be a game changer for the charitable sector,” says Adam Lounsbury, Executive Director of the Iowa Commission. “In today’s world, we’re all being asked to do more with less, and Service Enterprise provides a real game plan to allow us to do more with more.”
For tips on how your organization can put the Service Enterprise characteristics into practice, visit our Free Downloads page and download Service Enterprise Characteristics.
Points of Light is a strategic partner of Verified Volunteers, and the leading organization in the world dedicated to volunteer service. For the latest resources, events and trends in volunteering and service, visit www.pointsoflight.org.