Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service, has certified ILI a Service Enterprise, the first such designation in western Massachusetts! WeAn historic brick building. join more than 500 organizations in the Points of Light network across the United States and in 37 other countries around the world.

“Achieving the three-year Service Enterprise certification is an exceptional accomplishment, especially considering the many changes to our operations necessitated by the COVID pandemic over the past two years,” according to ILI executive director Caroline Gear. “And it would not have been possible without the hard work of our volunteers, teachers, and staff and the support and guidance of the Massachusetts Service Alliance, which is the Points of Light affiliate in our state. A big thanks to the Alliance and Points of Light for their recognition of the work we have done to improve and expand the volunteer experience at ILI.”

Service Enterprise certification is the culmination of a rigorous two-year process—from an intensive assessment and more than 20 hours of training and coaching to the development of comprehensive internal planning and change procedures. As ILI volunteer coordinator Laura Robinson notes, “Certified organizations comprise the top 11 percent of nonprofits nationwide in volunteer management and organizational performance. It means we have the capability and management expertise to better integrate the time and many talents of volunteers in carrying out our mission.”

Examples of changes ILI made during the certification process include the initiation of online training for our volunteer tutors, a dedicated volunteer tutor website and newsletter, improved coordination of online one-on-one tutor/student sessions and reporting and evaluation procedures, institution of online monthly volunteer meetings, and identification of new volunteer opportunities across the organization.

“We are excited to continue our work with Massachusetts Service Alliance and Points of Light and look forward to an enduring partnership into the future,” Gear said. “Community volunteers play an important role at ILI, and we aim to make sure their experiences here are fulfilling to them as well as beneficial to our students, teachers, and staff.”