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Service Enterprise Recap

Polly Roach  | Published on 1/7/2021

2020 was a busy year for the Service Enterprise. As MAVA entered its seventh year of hosting Service Enterprise in Minnesota, both expected and unexpected changes made it a year to remember. 

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was felt within Service Enterprise Initiative, as well as by Service Enterprise organizations. Out of concerns for public health and safety, MAVA pivoted to providing all Service Enterprise support functions – diagnostic assessment, consulting and coaching – online. With its Service Enterprise partner, HandsOn Twin Cities, MAVA launched a long-planned, but especially timely, virtual version of the 16 hour Service Enterprise training series, working with three organizations to begin the process of earning or maintaining certification as a Service Enterprise organization. 

Despite coping with the unique challenges of shifting volunteer engagement programming and meeting expanding community needs throughout a stressful year, Minnesota organizations still made space for pursuing innovation and demonstrating excellence through the Service Enterprise Initiative. During 2020, three organizations were newly certified, and nationally recognized, as Service Enterprises:

  • American Indian Family Center

  • Girl Scouts River Valleys

  • People Serving People

Certified Service Enterprise organizations demonstrate their commitment to continuous improvement by renewing their certifications every three years.  In 2020, twelve organizations - our most ever - achieved this milestone: 

  • Community Action Partnership - Ramsey and Washington Counties

  • City of Roseville

  • College of St. Benedict

  • Hastings Family Service

  • Jeremiah Program

  • Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly Minneapolis/St. Paul

  • Make-A-Wish Minnesota

  • Neighborhood House

  • Our Saviour's Community Services

  • Ruff Start Rescue

  • St. Cloud Area School District 742

  • United Way of Central Minnesota

This year also saw changes for MAVA’s role with Service Enterprise. After collaborating to launch the initiative in Minnesota, MAVA and HandsOn Twin Cities concluded their six year partnership serving as the state Hub for Service Enterprise. MAVA is now the home for Minnesota’s Service Enterprise work, while HandsOn will continue as an advocate and resource for the initiative, through its work with HandsOn affiliates and development of skilled-based volunteer opportunities. In support of this role as the sole provider of Service Enterprise, MAVA was awarded an expanded three year Volunteer Generation Fund continuation grant by AmeriCorps/the Corporation for National and Community Service, through its partnership with ServeMinnesota. This grant provides increased support for all of MAVA’s capacity-building activities, such as the Volunteer Impact Leadership Training Series and the annual Volunteer Engagement Leadership Conference.

MAVA’s capacity-building activities included competitive awards for community-based Volunteer Connector organizations to encourage innovation and expansion of volunteer engagement in their areas. In December 2020, Volunteer Connector grants were awarded to:

  • Community Thread, Stillwater

  • United Way of Bemidji Area 

  • United Way of Steele County

We are looking forward to working with these outstanding organizations to spark new ideas and approaches to local volunteerism in the coming year.