Service Enterprise Program History

Service Enterprise’s Evolution

The goal of the Service Enterprise program is to strengthen the capacity of nonprofits to strategically and effectively leverage volunteers to address community needs. Here is a brief look at the timeline of how the initiative developed:

  • June 2010: CommonGood Careers, Deloitte, Taproot Foundation, and TCC Group conduct four Reimagining Service research projects that provide additional perspective on the world of service and volunteerism. Additionally, the term Service Enterprise is coined.
  • Fall 2010: CaliforniaVolunteers applies for a Volunteer Generation Fund grant from AmeriCorps Corporation to support the creation of the CaliforniaVolunteers Service Enterprise Initiative (CVSEI). The initiative is designed to create a model that would expand the capacity of nonprofits to become Service Enterprises while expanding the capacity of volunteer centers. The Program Design Team is formed with representatives of four California volunteer centers.
  • June 2012: Points of Light and Reimagining Service partner to provide project management in support of the second year of the CVSEI. This partnership would result in a revised curriculum piloted by six California hubs, research-based assessment tools developed by researchers, marketing materials, and additional tools and resources.
  • Fall 2013: Points of Light scales pilot to 17 Service Enterprise Hubs in 11 states and certified over 60 organizations
  • 2014-2021: Pilot ends; Points of Light scales Service Enterprise to 31 states and certifies over 640 organizations
  • 2021 - 2022: Points of Light worked with the RGK Center to further update the Service Enterprise Diagnostic tool
  • October 2022: AL!VE becomes the Service Enterprise Program licensee and begins to write the next chapter of Service Enterprise

Key Partners and Contributors

Association of Leaders in Volunteer Engagement (AL!VE) is the national professional association for leaders in volunteer engagement. In addition to leading the Service Enterprise Program, the association provides networking, professional development, mentoring, and advocacy for Volunteer Engagement Professionals in North America boasting almost 1000 members. Members attend monthly AL!VE Academies, participate in Communities of Practices, leverage personal or local association mentors, and gain access to a wealth of professional resources for free. They can also gain a discount to host or attend the International Hybrid Conference annually. To learn more about their services or to become a member visit

Points of Light 
Points of Light is a nonpartisan, global nonprofit organization that inspires, equips and mobilizes millions of people to take action that changes the world. We envision a world in which every individual discovers the power to make a difference, creating healthy communities in vibrant, participatory societies. Through 145 affiliates in 39 countries, and in partnership with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages 3.7 million volunteers in 16.7 million hours of service each year. We bring the power of people to bear where it’s needed most. Learn more at   

CaliforniaVolunteers is the state office that manages programs and initiatives aimed at increasing the number of Californians engaged in service and volunteering. Programs administered by CaliforniaVolunteers include AmeriCorps, the California Volunteer Matching Network, and the Business Partners Program. CaliforniaVolunteers conceived the CVSEI as a way to build the capacity of nonprofits throughout California; engaged volunteer center staff on the Program Design Team; and continues to guide development and secure funding in support of the initiative. In addition, CaliforniaVolunteers coordinates volunteers and donations in times of disaster. For more information visit
RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service builds knowledge about nonprofit organizations, philanthropy, and volunteerism and prepares students as well as practitioners to make effective contributions to their communities. Based on their expertise in volunteering and nonprofit capacity, researchers from the RGK Center have contributed to the development of the Service Enterprise Diagnostic (SED), which evaluates a nonprofit’s current volunteer engagement practices as well as how these practices impact organizational capacity. For more information visit
TCC Group is a national program and evaluation firm that develops strategies and programs that enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of nonprofit organizations, philanthropy, and corporate citizenship programs to achieve social impact. Data analyzed from TCC Group’s Core Capacity Assessment Tool (CCAT) first documented the advantages to nonprofits operating as Service Enterprises, and TCC Group has taken an integral role in developing the SED. Further information can be found at

Algorhythm is a cooperative impact science organization that combines social science, outcome measurement, next-generation analytics, and technology to place highly accurate and actionable insights into the hands of social change agents. Algorhythm grows out of our team’s collective work to help nonprofit organizations, philanthropies, and for-profit impact companies use data to strengthen their social change strategies. Additional information can be found at