Converting good intentions in to greater impact

Service Enterprise

Service Enterprise Model Spreads Nationwide

By Kaira Esgate, executive director, Reimagining Service - For the past 18 months, Reimagining Service has partnered with CaliforniaVolunteers (the state service commission in California), Points of Light, and seven HandsOn Network affiliates/volunteer centers to develop the CaliforniaVolunteers Service Enterprise Initiative (CVSEI). Through this pilot initiative, HandsOn Network affiliates/volunteer centers support local nonprofits in completing a comprehensive assessment, training and consulting model that leads to nonprofits reimagining the way they strategically engage volunteers as well as earning certification as a Service Enterprise.

To date, 76 California nonprofits have met certification requirements and/or have completed the training and consulting portion of the model. Initial six-month follow-up data from nonprofits participating in the initiative is positive:

60% of nonprofits increased the number of volunteers engaged;
50% of nonprofits increased the number of skills-based volunteers engaged;
52% of nonprofits increased the number of service hours donated; and,
57% of nonprofits increased the number of service hours donated by skills-based volunteers.

Volunteerism’s Positive Deviants

By Katie Fahey, Program Associate, Arts, Kenneth Rainin Foundation - The approach to the subject is exciting in that from the outset, TCC sought to highlight “positive deviants” – in other words, organizations doing things right when it comes to “Investing in Human Capital to Drive Greater Impact.” It makes me think of Helicon Collaborative’s Bright Spots work which serves to remind us that rather than asking ourselves, “What’s the problem?” or, “What are we doing wrong?,” it can be more productive to consider “Who are the models? And, “What is it that they are doing well?”*

Resource Generation Collides with New Realities and Opportunities

The meaning of resource generation is colliding with new realities, such as limited resources and innovation, thus creating an opportunity for a fresh definition. In today’s landscape, cash is not synonymous with resource generation- volunteers have to be a part of the equation. There is a thirst by people to serve as volunteers in meaningful roles, and cash is not as plentiful as it once was. But how does a nonprofit begin to expand its viewpoint on resource generation?

Can a City be a Service Enterprise?

By Shirley Sagawa, Reimagining Service Council Member - A decade ago, that would be hard to imagine. Certainly mayors on occasion used the bully pulpit to call for civic engagement and enjoyed handing out Thanksgiving turkeys at soup kitchens. These traditional activities, however well-intended, fall outside the purview of what Reimagining Service calls a service enterprise – entities that target volunteers strategically to address high priority community needs. Then in 2009, Mayor Michael Bloomberg decided to make New York City the first “City of Service,” creating a high-impact service plan and appointing the nation’s first Chief Service Officer, a senior city official dedicated to developing a citywide volunteer service plan to address priority city challenges. NYC Service, the unit of the mayor’s office charged with implementing this plan and measuring its results, engaged New Yorkers to participate in volunteer-driven initiatives that best fit their