EveryStep Earns Service Enterprise Initiative Certification

EveryStep is now recognized as a certified Service Enterprise Initiative organization. A Service Enterprise organization fundamentally leverages volunteers and their skills across all levels of the organization to successfully deliver on its social mission. Less than 15% of organizations nationwide can be characterized as Service Enterprises.

“At EveryStep, volunteers play an important role in the organization's ability to live out its mission, said EveryStep president and CEO Tray Wade. "Without our dedicated volunteers, EveryStep would not be able to provide care and support to thousands of patients, clients and families. Last year, nearly 600 volunteers made a difference in the lives of those we serve. They provide companionship to dying patients, veterans and homebound Iowans; bake treats for families at our hospice homes; lead grief support groups; record voices of inmates reading books to their children; and they unload, clean and price donations at EveryStep Giving Tree thrift store. Our volunteers make a difference in their communities and to the people EveryStep serves.”

To be designated as a Service Enterprise, organization staff, board members and volunteers must participate in the research-based assessment, training and consulting. This process allows the organization to leverage the skills and expertise of volunteers at all levels. The designation strengthens the capacity of nonprofits to leverage the skill sets and talents of volunteers to address community needs.

"EveryStep had a tremendous resource going through the Service Enterprise Initiative — the staff and programs that were already involving volunteers in meaningful ways. The team participating in Service Enterprise identified that by learning from what already existed, and replicating it through a consistent and cohesive process throughout the organization, the impact of volunteers could be even greater,” said Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service senior program officer Michelle Raymer. “Through their efforts they’ve built systems that provide training and support to staff on engaging volunteers, have helped identify new roles for volunteers to partner with staff and support EveryStep’s mission, and have ensured that volunteers will have a great experience in the process. EveryStep staff and leadership are clearly dedicated to involving volunteers at all levels of the organization to expand the reach and quality of services provided.”

This honor is awarded through Volunteer Iowa by Points of Light - the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service. EveryStep joins fewer than 50 organizations across Iowa that have received the Service Enterprise certification.

“Volunteers are vital to nonprofit organizations like EveryStep,” said EveryStep director of Human Resources Cara Hannam. “Volunteers strengthen our organization and the communities we serve. Service Enterprise will allow us to have an active, engaged volunteer base. We will be able to attract and use volunteers in a meaningful way. The goal is to align the mission of the volunteer with mission of the organization. Service Enterprise will be able to help us do just that!”

“The more connected to a community people feel, the more likely they are to take responsibility for the community, feel pride and build a sense of commitment,” added Wade.  “Active and engaged volunteers strengthen the community.”

Thank you to the members of EveryStep’s Service Enterprise Leadership task force, including Megan Jensen, Susan Joynt, Hannah Rivas, Amanda Seaton, Cindy Winn, Leslie Taft, Kristyn Mercer, Marie Kayser and Tammy Stapp. All EveryStep staff and volunteers should also be recognized for the work they do each day that make this designation possible.

To learn more about Service Enterprise visit volunteeriowa.org/SEI and read more about EveryStep’s certification as a Service Enterprise Initiative at https://www.volunteeriowa.org/press-release/2021-11-16/everystep-receives-national-service-enterprise-certification.