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Service Enterprise Initiative (SEI)

SEI offers service and research-based volunteer management strategies to transform California nonprofits into certified Service Enterprises. SEI is not solely volunteer management training, but a comprehensive organizational realignment which empowers nonprofits to more efficiently engage volunteers and effectively address community needs. Participants in CVNL’s SEI program have access to an organizational readiness assessment, as well as training and consulting leading to certification as Service Enterprises.

A Service Enterprise is an organization that makes volunteers central to its operations by leveraging their skills across all levels of its work. Research shows that organizations who are volunteer-centric develop stronger leadership capabilities, are more adaptable, sustainable, better-resourced to do their work, and able to carry out their missions more effectively.

In 2013, Points of Light began working with CaliforniaVolunteers to launch a nation-wide SEI and certification process. With the support from CaliforniaVolunteers and the Corporation for National and Community Service, over 250 nonprofits nation-wide will have participated in the initiative. As a part of the original design team, CVNL is now helping lead the effort by providing assessment, training, and consulting to nonprofits to help them implement strong volunteer management models. To date, CVNL has supported more than 50 Bay Area agencies in achieving their Service Enterprise certification.

Participating SEI nonprofits receive:

  • A thorough assessment of its existing volunteer management practices
  • Up to 16 hours of training to assist in reimagining the ways it engages volunteers
  • Individualized consulting to address organizational challenges and opportunities
  • State and national certification that signifies the organization’s commitment to working with volunteers to achieve social impact

To apply for upcoming SEI cohorts, contact Elaine Tokolahi, Director of Volunteer Services, at 415.448.0340 or

To apply directly for a partial or full-scholarship please apply here.

This video highlights how The Downtown Women’s Center in Los Angeles operates as a Service Enterprise.


SEI Training Dates – 2016 (Marin)
Wednesday, July 27 – Orientation
Wednesday, August 17 – Laying the Foundation
Wednesday, August 24 – Building Support
Wednesday, September 7 – Creating Sustainability
Wednesday, September 28 – Moving to Success

SEI Training Dates – 2017 (Napa)
Wednesday, February 15, 2017 – Orientation
Wednesday, March 1, 2017 – Laying the Foundation
Wednesday, March 15, 2017 – Building Support
Monday, April 3, 2017 – Creating Sustainability
Wednesday, April 19, 2017 – Moving to Success

CVNL has Certified dozens of Bay Area organizations in Marin, Napa, Alameda and San Francisco Counties as Service Enterprises, including:

Alameda County Community Food Bank
Canal Alliance
California Film Institute / Mill Valley Film Festival
Catholic Charities
Cedars of Marin
Center for Domestic Peace
Community Resources for Children (CRC)
Connolly Ranch Education Center
Cope Family Center
Gilead House
Hospice By The Bay
Marin County Bicycle Coalition
Marin County Civic Center Volunteers
Marin County School Volunteers
Marin Villages
Napa Humane
Napa Valley Hospice & Adult Day Services
Operation Access
Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center
San Geronimo Valley Community Center
Slide Ranch
The Marin Literacy Program
West Marin Senior Services

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