Service + Enterprise = Success!

Servicean act of helpful activity; help; aid

Enterprisea project undertaken or to be undertaken, especially one that is important or difficult or that requires boldness or energy

These two terms hint at the meaning behind the Service Enterprise process—a process that transforms a nonprofit or municipal entity into a high-performing, effective organization that utilizes the skills of volunteers to better meet needs in the community. Despite widespread use of volunteers, did you know that only 11% of organizations function as a Service Enterprise?

Those organizations functioning as service enterprises are more adaptable (a highly prized attribute in today’s fast-changing world), more flexible, and leverage their financial resources up to 6 times more than a comparable organization. Good volunteer engagement is more than traditional volunteer management training, yet that’s where many organizations focus their efforts. Recent research tells us that taking a broad organizational approach means better results for our volunteers and our organizational effectiveness.

SEI blog graphic


Nevada Volunteers has just completed its first training series for four organizations who want to become service enterprises. Their commitment extends to involvement of staff across the organization, not just the volunteer manager. They have undergone an assessment process that helped them see where they were already functioning well and where there were areas to improve. They participated in a 16-hour training series and will be receiving coaching in areas specific to their needs. After implementing the strategies they have identified as important, each organization will apply to become a service enterprise—probably about 9-12 months from now. They are truly leaders in taking this bold step to expand their capacity and meet their mission!

Transforming a nonprofit into a service enterprise is not to be undertaken lightly. As FredaMae, our AmeriCorpsVISTA who has seen this process first-hand says, “SEI is worth the time, energy and investment to any organization looking for a new way to rethink the value of engaging volunteers! “ But it does take time, boldness and energy! Another participant said, “This is more focused on how volunteer engagement impacts the capacity/success of the organization, not just dealing with the nuts & bolts of managing volunteers.”

Nevada Volunteers is now offering this unique process to organizations in northern Nevada, with southern Nevada eligible in the fall. If you think your organization may be ready to invest the time and energy needed to take a fresh look at volunteer engagement, please contact us. Applications for our summer cadre are being accepted now and need to be submitted no later than May 22, but a simple phone call or email can start the process! We are focusing our efforts on building the capacity of organizations—especially those that support economic opportunity for low-income communities or education success for our K-12 students.

Summer 2015 Cadre*Fall 2015 Cadre*
Tuesday, June 23, 2015Thursday, October 1, 2015
Tuesday, July 14, 2015Thursday, October 15, 2015
Tuesday, July 21, 2015Thursday, October 29, 2015
Tuesday, July 28, 2015Thursday, November 12, 2015

*Tentative training dates

For more information about the Service Enterprise process, the research that supports it, and the ten characteristics of a service enterprise, see our website at:




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