Excellence and Expertise

October 5, 2016


Excellence and Expertise Task Force

October 5, 2016 – Regular Meeting


Commissioners Present: Ross Cunningham, Robert Liscord, Nicole Pellenz, Carol Rancourt, Barbara Wentworth-Chair

Other members: Janice Dako

Absent: (Commissioners) Joe Young, (Other members) Meaghan Arzberger, Lisa Laflin

Staff: Michael Ashmore




1.     Welcome and introductions

a.     BW checked in with RL concerning his request to be involved in Service Enterprise (SE) communications and the group welcomed former Commissioner JD as a public member of the Task Force.

2.     Service Enterprise, key message – Final Draft

a.     MA noted that one item in the draft key message related to Guidestar recognition of the certification would not be happing.  BW filled in the group on the information from Guidestar regarding this decision.  It was noted that this benefit can be added if it does eventually happen.

b.     JD noted that the current draft is concise and clear and described that it resonated and gets at the intent of SE. NP concurred noting that the intro is simple and east to remember. RL also identified the simplicity of it as an asset but questioned the order of the bulleted elements, pointing out that people tend to remember the top three and asked the group what they saw as their top three and asked what we wanted the take away to be.

c.      Re-ordering of the bullets: BW initiated a discussion of which points are most important.  It was suggested that the bottom two be moved up and then other members took positions on what they saw as the most important for different constituencies. The group elected to emphasize the benefits of increased performance and the limited expense.  The bullets were reordered as a result.

d.     The bullet with National certification was incorporated into the bullet header to simplify and shorten the list.

e.     The group also wrestled with the term “not-for-profit” and considered a variety of alternatives.  Final decision was to use the term as is and collect informal feedback on its efficacy.

f.       Final Key Message:

Service Enterprise is the ability of a not-for-profit organization to look at internal staff capacity in a new way and leverage skilled volunteers to expand that capacity to achieve mission. 

A nationally certified Service Enterprise organization typically benefits from

  • Outperforming similar organizations on all measures of organizational capacity
  • Increased human resource capacity with limited additional expense
  • Significant increase in volunteer hours contributed annually
  • Retooled operations that intentionally use skilled volunteers
  • Community needs better addressed through organizational growth
  • Ability to take programs to scale

The Maine Commission for Community Service and Service Enterprise Trainers help organizations realize these benefits through assessment, training, and coaching.


3.     Service Enterprise "Lite" workgroup update

a.     MA shared the work that the “Service Enterprise Lite” group has been doing in trying to craft a session that is between the full scale orientation and just marketing materials.  Members felt that it was reassuring to know that the conversation is progressing and that other groups were finding similar challenges.

b.     JD noted that it was important to  encourage people to “join the conversation” as a way to bring them to the table, as the key message is only an introduction rather than a final step.  It was suggested that the designed session may also be useful as a webinar and even as a self-directed one.  Having an interactive opportunity to accomplish the self-examination proposed could be done through virtual break-outs and group polling. 

c.      The group agreed and reiterated the importance for regional groups to be able to support one another and even develop some national learning clusters or communities of practice.  What drives change is utility, functionality and opportunity.

4.     Authorizing organizations as hubs - when, how and how much?

a.     As time was an issue, MA introduced the elements of authorizing agencies and described, briefly, some of the related or implicit issues that will need to be decided by the Commission.  Members agreed to make this the initial topic of the next E & E meeting.

5.     Building the business model for SE - developing the Commission stance (initial thoughts)

a.     MA also described, briefly, the trainer discussions related to how organizations who are authorized would charge for SE, noting the wide range of costs discussed and the differences between organizations that are using SE to move already funded issues forward versus those that would use it as a training consultancy model in a business plan where an organization needs to recover the full cost.  This discussion was tabled until after some of the issues in item 4 are decided.

6.     Other

a.     It was noted that the Blaine House Conference was approaching and that the Fall 2016 Novice Certification of Volunteer Managers course will be starting soon thereafter.