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Topeka Habitat for Humanity earns prestigious Service Enterprise certification

Organization becomes first Kansas-based nonprofit organization to earn accomplishment

Topeka Habitat for Humanity is the first nonprofit organization in the state to become Service Enterprise certified, the Kansas Volunteer Commission announced. The prestigious award was approved by Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service.

This certification recognizes Topeka Habitat for Humanity as a leading organization in volunteer engagement. To earn the certification, Topeka Habitat for Humanity completed an extensive organizational assessment, 19 hours of training, 10 hours of coaching, intensive planning, and implementation of change management practices.

Topeka Habitat for Humanity joined the top performing 11% of nonprofits nationwide by achieving this level of excellence. Meeting the certification criteria means the organization is fully equipped to utilize the time and talent of volunteers to expand and enhance services.

“Being a part of the Service Enterprise has allowed us to see the full-scale impact of volunteers across the organization and adopt a mindset of the value of volunteers, even when they cannot participate in a traditional sense with the building and repair of affordable housing,” said Janice Watkins, CEO of Topeka Habitat for Humanity. “This opportunity allowed us to maintain a positive mindset and think forward as the global COVID-19 pandemic has impacted volunteer opportunities. With thoughtful planning, we were able to become more efficient, create new opportunities and retain engagement, despite the current environment.”

The Kansas Volunteer Commission in July 2019 became the first Service Enterprise certified organization in Kansas. While obtaining the credential, the Commission also trained to become a Service Enterprise training hub for the state. Topeka Habitat for Humanity was in the first cohort that went through the training in 2020. Three other organizations also went through the program at the same time and are approaching certification, said Jessica Noble, executive director of the Commission.

The Commission in July 2021 announced that seven additional organizations were selected to work toward achieving their Service Enterprise certification in 2022. Funding for this certification process is provided by AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and community volunteerism.

The organizations announced in July 2021 are:

  • CASA of Johnson and Wyandotte counties
  • CASA of the 17th Judicial District Inc.
  • Douglas County CASA Inc.
  • Eagle Nest Inc.
  • Johnson County Library
  • Peace Connections Inc.
  • United Way of Greater Topeka


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. In fact, 80% of Service Enterprise organizations report an increase in both volunteer and skill-based volunteers.

The Service Enterprise Initiative is a national change management program that helps organizations gain a greater return on volunteer investment to better achieve their mission.

For more information regarding Service Enterprise, email volunteer@ksde.org.


The mission of the Kansas Volunteer Commission is to empower all Kansans to meet community needs through service. The Commission's primary role is to provide resources and leadership to support local initiatives that tackle community needs. As the state service commission, the Commission directs effective national service programs, provides volunteer management training opportunities and supports the work of Mentor Kansas. For more information, visit www.kanserve.org.

Posted: Sep 14, 2021,
Comments: 0,
Author: Ann Bush

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