Share Our Strength's Cooking Matters Colorado is pleased to announce that we have been certified by Points of Light as a Service Enterprise! A Service Enterprise is an organization that fundamentally leverages volunteers and their skills throughout their organization to successfully deliver on its social mission.
Research conducted by the TCC Group, a national program and evaluation firm, found that organizations operating as Service Enterprises outperform peer organizations on all aspects of organizational effectiveness, and are more adaptable, sustainable and capable of scaling their work.
Cooking Matters Colorado completed a yearlong process, including an extensive assessment, over 20 hours of training and consulting and extensive internal planning and change to better integrate volunteers in our day to day operations. By achieving this level of excellence and certification, Cooking Matters Colorado is now better equipped to leverage the time and talent of volunteers and better meet our mission.
Projects of Note:
- Community Engagement Vision
- To empower Coloradoans everywhere to act on their role in ending childhood hunger. We aim to do so by building strategic, mutually-beneficial volunteer relationships and cultivating an atmosphere of fun, growth, and diversity.
- Volunteer Impact Council
- Volunteer Mentor Pilot Program
- Chefs Up Front Volunteer Team Leads
- National Training and Coaching Volunteers Webinar
- Colorado Trainings:
- Hunger in Colorado
- Cooking Matters' Shift to Priority Audience
- Early Childhood Development in the Cooking Matters Classroom
- Increased Staff Training on Volunteer Management
- 2016 Volunteer Needs Assessment
- 2018-2020 Community Engagement Strategic Plan
- 2016 Return on Volunteer Investment: $2.46
- Less than 15% of organizations nationwide can be characterized as Service Enterprises.
- For every $1 an organization invests in effective volunteer engagement, they can expect $3-$6 in return.
- The average SE Certified organization experiences a 23% increase in volunteerism annually.
- George H.W. Bush founded Points of Light twenty-five years ago, calling on “the only resource we have that in times of need always grows: the goodness and courage of the American people.” He described what he saw at work in the country as “a thousand points of light…a new engagement in the lives of others, a new activism, hands-on and involved, that gets the job done.”
For more information about our Service Enterprise projects, contact Becky Mares at email@example.com.
For more information regarding volunteer opportunities with our organization, please visit co.cookingmatters.org/get-involved.
For further information regarding the Service Enterprise Initiative in Colorado, please contact Kristy Judd at Metro Volunteers (firstname.lastname@example.org).
"Working towards Service Enterprise Certification was a wake-up call for Cooking Matters Colorado, which has a long history of engaging volunteers. In my opinion, we came to the certification process as successful practitioners of volunteer engagement, so it has been really very exciting to learn and to conceive of expanded parameters for successful community engagement. For example, developing a vision statement for our community engagement efforts has engendered organization-wide clarity, pride, and cohesion about our purpose and efforts related to the intersections of staff- and community- led roles in achieving our mission. As a result, we’ve renewed and re-imagined our organizational understanding and measures for success, which in itself is auspicious for CMC’s ability to drive beneficial outcomes on behalf of those we serve."
~Kelleen Zubick, Colorado Director
"The component of Service Enterprise (SEI) that I have seen evolve the most is our shift in intent and desire to leverage skilled volunteers at all levels of our work. Of course, efficient and effective processes are important, and those have certainly been enhanced during SEI. The most notable change, however, is a renewed spirit around our community engagement vision, inspiration, motivation and strategic planning - which are the true drivers of mission success."
~Becky Mares, Community Engagement Manager
"Cooking Matters' vision is to increase food skills and nutrition education for low-income parents and caregivers of kids 0-5. As we embark on expanding our work beyond direct programming, so too are we now poised to grow and evolve the ways that volunteers contribute to our mission.
A class assistant isn't just there to wash dishes - our team now thinks more about, "What other skills do you have? How else can you help us achieve our mission?"
Our development staff and volunteers are excellent models for skilled volunteer engagement - we have more volunteer structure in place, we more strategically fill gaps with special event promotion volunteers, and consider the mutual benefits to both volunteers and the organization.
Service Enterprise has helped us develop that "think bigger and more strategically" mindset."
~Service Enterprise Team