Service Enterprise Initiative

Service Enterprise Initiative

Activate Good is excited to continue the Service Enterprise Initiative (SEI) in 2017-2018. 

First piloted in partnership with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) Foundation in 2016, the goal of the Service Enterprise Initiative is to train and certify nonprofit partners to become Service Enterprises. A Service Enterprise is an organization that fully leverages volunteers and their skills to successfully deliver on their social mission. These high performing organizations have deeply integrated volunteers into their strategic plan and organizational infrastructure thereby allowing them to maximize resources and increase efficiency and effectiveness.

The Service Enterprise training and certification process includes:

  • A Service Enterprise diagnostic and assessment to establish your organization’s baselines in volunteer management practices
  • A one-time 2-hour Orientation
  • A pre-training site visit and meeting to discuss your diagnostic and goals
  • 4 Training sessions (approximately 4 hours each)
  • 5-10 hours of additional coaching
  • Work conducted internally at your organization by your team to execute strategies learned in training
  • A final meeting to certify your organization
  • An official badge and certificate showcasing your Service Enterprise status!

Why become a Service Enterprise?

SEI has been launched in other cities across the nation with amazing results. More than 60 percent of organizations who have become Service Enterprises report they had an increase in both volunteers and skills-based volunteers and a more than 50 percent increase in volunteer hours. Additionally, Guidestar is in the process of developing a partnership with Points of Light to specially recognize organizations with Service Enterprise certification on their website. Additionally, becoming a Service Enterprise means your organization will:

  • Strengthen its strategically and effectively engage volunteers to address community needs.
  • Gain a greater return on volunteer investment and better achieve your mission. Service Enterprise organizations are shown to generate a $3-6 return for every $1 invested in effective volunteer engagement.
  • Become more adaptable and better resourced to do your work. Service Enterprises are able to operate at double the capacity of peer organizations with the same budget.

Through SEI training, nonprofits will have access to:

  • A thorough and research-based assessment of existing organizational volunteer engagement practices called the Service Enterprise Diagnostic (SED).
  • Up to 16 hours of team based change management training to help you reimagine ways to better engage volunteers and develop and implement an action plan to achieve success.
  • Individualized coaching to address unique organizational opportunities and challenges.
  • National certification signifying the organization’s commitment to and proficiency in appropriately leveraging the time and skills of volunteers to meet the social mission of the organization.


Congratulations to the members of our 2016 Service Enterprise cohort: Families Moving Forward (certified), Farmer Foodshare (certified), Urban Ministries of Wake County (certification in progress), Wade Edwards Learning Lab (certification in progress), DPS Hub Farm (certification in progress)

We are currently gauging the interest and availability of our Nonprofit Partners to participate in a 2017 Service Enterprise training program. Might your organization be interested in participating? Complete our Interest Form below: