Since the spring of 2019, ILI has been working toward certifying as a Points of Light Service Enterprise Organization (SEO)* with support from coaches Chris Woods and Lisl Hacker at the Massachusetts Service Alliance, a partner of Service Enterprise. The certification process has helped us rethink and reorganize the volunteer program to create the best experience possible for ILI volunteers and build a stronger human capacity to help sustain the entire school as we carry out our mission. The work has inspired productive conversations across all levels of ILI regarding the positive impact of community volunteers on our programs and operations.
To certify as an SEO, ILI must demonstrate excellence in the following categories:
- planning and development
- effective training
- leadership support
- onboarding and supervision
- resource allocation
- technology and communication
- tracking and evaluation
- partnering to extend reach
Much of this work is behind the scenes in the form of staff and teacher involvement, but many outcomes are more evident to the volunteers. As examples, we provide ongoing communication and support for volunteers starting right at the beginning of their ILI experience with the submission of their applications. We hold monthly online, interactive meetings open to all volunteers and facilitated by the volunteer coordinator. We write and publish online volunteer newsletters and have created a dedicated volunteer website; both the newsletters and website contain information that is geared to help volunteers increase their skills and contributions to ILI students, teachers, and staff.
Our Volunteer Mission Statement, now displayed on the volunteer website and inside the entrance to ILI’s classrooms, is yet another sign of ILI’s transformed volunteer program as we continue striving to ensure the best possible volunteer experience.
Interested in volunteering at ILI and joining our revitalized volunteer program? We offer a broad range of volunteer opportunities, from tutoring to staff and teacher aides, digital marketing, numbers crunching, and more. Contact Laura firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more. We welcome your participation!
* Service Enterprise is a program of Points of Light, a nonprofit organization arising from President George H.W. Bush’s inaugural address in 1989 and now with partners across the United States and around the globe. The program aims to “strengthen nonprofit capacity through the fundamental and strategic use of volunteers and their skills to address community needs.” An organization that earns Service Enterprise certification “strategically leverages volunteers to achieve operational efficiency and greater social impact.”
(Quoted information from Points of Light website.