National Volunteer Month: Service Enterprise

April 12, 2017 | United Way Team

The Service Enterprise Initiative helps nonprofits strategically engage volunteers and use their time and skills to address community needs. United Way of East Central Iowa has certification and provides training for local organizations including Aging Services, Catherine McAuley Center, Cedar Rapids Public Library, Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity, HACAP, Horizons, Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service, and Young Parents Network.

Gems of Hope is one area nonprofit currently working on their Service Enterprise certification. The organization, and its volunteers, provide cancer patients and their families support and resources to inspire hope. Norah Hammond, Executive Director, shared Gems of Hope's experience with Service Enterprise training.

What challenges at your organization will Service Enterprise help you address?
Service Enterprise is defining a more comprehensive volunteer on-boarding process, developing thorough position descriptions, and evaluating the return on volunteer investment.

What was your “Aha!” moment during training?
The return on volunteer investment and what it brings to our organization. We need to show all of our supporters and the community the enormous impact our volunteers have on Gems of Hope and throughout the Corridor!

Why would you recommend Service Enterprise
Because sometimes you need the discipline and structure to get the things that have long since been on your to do list done!

How is volunteerism important to your organization?
We could not serve our mission if volunteers did not come together and devote the countless hours they do to making our cards and gifts. And, of course, the other great things volunteers do including serving on our board and on our committees. Gems is about hope, but also about being thankful and grateful and giving back. These are some of the basic principles that shaped our organization, and they continue to guide us today!