Tips From Service Enterprise Trainers

Pro Tips from a Local Service Enterprise Trainer

Photo of Jason Ketterick

Service Enterprise is a change management process led by peer trainers in your community that increases the effectiveness of volunteers. Benefits and outcomes for organizations include increased capacity, more efficient operations, and growth to meet community needs.  Trainers are certified by the Points of Light Foundation to lead cohorts of local organizations through this process of evaluation, training, and coaching. Trainers must lead one cohort pro-bono in their region.

Thinking about taking advantage of this great opportunity? Jason Ketterick is a Service Enterprise trainer with United Way of York County. Here are Jason’s seven tips for Service Enterprise success:

  1. Try this even if you are a micro non-profit. Small, “Maine-scaled” organizations with just a handful of staff members can really expand their impact using this model  - even though the initiative was launched by large non-profits in other parts of the country. 
  2. Service Enterprise is a process, not a neatly packaged solution. When organizations give their all to this process, they can reap great benefits. It’s a highly effective tool, but it only works if you pick it up and use it.
  3. Individuals from all levels of your organization must participate and must buy into the process. Board, administrative, managerial, and direct service levels must engage in order to be successful. 
  4. Don’t worry too much about your current volunteer management systems; whether you think your system is a mess or one of the best, there is still an opportunity to learn and improve through the Service Enterprise model. It starts with a baseline assessment, the Service Enterprise Diagnostic,  that tells you exactly where your organization stands and helps you set appropriate goals and outcomes. 
  5. You will benefit from rubbing shoulders with other non-profit, government, or faith-based organizations going through the same experience. Service Enterprise offers a great curriculum and there are stellar trainers out there, but do pay attention to the cohort in the room. 
  6. Expenses to participate are relatively low. It’s a wonderful model at a reasonable cost with great benefits at the end of the journey. The  in-kind commitment of participants’ time is significant and should not be underestimated. 
  7. Stick with it. The trainings and assignments may seem awkward at first, but it gets better and it works.