ASU Lodestar Center and Points of Light announce Center’s new role as statewide hub of national Service Enterprise certification program

ASU Lodestar Center and Points of Light announce Center’s new role as statewide hub of national Service Enterprise certification program

March 3, 2022

Service Enterprise Initiative certification badgePhoenix, Ariz. – The ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation is now the statewide hub for the Service Enterprise Initiative, in partnership with the Points of Light Foundation. The Service Enterprise Initiative (SEI) is a national program from Points of Light, the world's largest organization dedicated to volunteer service, that provides training and certification to nonprofits committed to implementing exemplary volunteer management practices to achieve their missions.

Previously, the ASU Lodestar Center served as one of four sub-hubs in the state under the Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family, which is now handing off the program to the Center.

“The Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family is proud to have partnered with the Points of Light Foundation to bring the Service Enterprise Initiative to Arizona between 2015 and 2020. During that time, 88 organizations completed the training process with 43 achieving certification by demonstrating the capability and management expertise to strategically engage volunteers and improve the performance of their organization,” said Emily Litchfield, director of AmeriCorps and volunteerism for the Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family. “We are excited to see the ASU Lodestar Center continuing this work by serving as the statewide hub for Arizona.”

As part of its capacity-building strategies to accelerate the social impact of nonprofit and public organizations, the ASU Lodestar Center aims to significantly increase the number of Service Enterprise certified organizations in the state.

“What few realize is that volunteers are the largest workforce in the nonprofit sector and, as such, they are essential to providing necessary services and programs to advance community well-being,” said Dr. Robert Ashcraft, executive director of the ASU Lodestar Center and Saguaro Professor of Civic Enterprise. “When one considers that those who volunteer also benefit by serving others, that means multiple benefits are accrued, which adds to our reasons for leading the Service Enterprise Initiative efforts to advance Arizona.”

In addition to providing training in volunteer management, SEI diagnoses strengths that organizations can leverage and challenges that need to be addressed to achieve sustainability.

Participating organizations have access to:

  • A thorough, research-based assessment of their existing organizational volunteer engagement practices through the Service Enterprise Diagnostic.
  • Four in-depth training sessions to assist in reimagining the ways in which the organization engages volunteers.
  • Up to 10 hours of 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.
  • A peer network of organizations from which to access best practices and support.

With a virtual program model and the development of partnerships with sub-hubs, any nonprofit in the state of Arizona has the opportunity to apply for SEI training and, if approved, get on the waiting list for one of the upcoming cohorts.

Over 90% of certified organizations report being better equipped to engage volunteers to meet their mission, while 80% said their organization experienced an increase in both traditional and skill-based volunteers (23% annually on average).

Hanna Smiddy, who as community outreach specialist for Mesa-based House of Refuge was deeply involved in the organization’s Service Enterprise training with the Center, says, “SEI provided us with the opportunity to learn, grow and improve, and to be able to reach our goals. If you as an organization want to grow and improve, and you’re using volunteers, then you should definitely take SEI into account.”

Is your Arizona nonprofit ready to unlock the power of volunteers? Submit an interest form today or contact the ASU Lodestar Center at nonprofit@asu.edu.

About the ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation

Arizona State University’s Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation educates, empowers and connects nonprofit leaders to accelerate social impact. Housed within ASU’s Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions and its School of Community Resources and Development, the ASU Lodestar Center believes that the quality of life in communities is enriched with impactful philanthropy and effective nonprofit leadership. For more than 20 years, the ASU Lodestar Center has provided education, research, practical tools and convenings for nonprofit professionals, philanthropists and volunteers who seek to solve problems and realize their communities’ highest aspirations. More information is available at lodestar.asu.edu.