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Families Moving Forward Becomes the First in the State to Receive Social Enterprise InITIATIVE Certification for Volunteer Support. 

April 6, 2017, Durham, N.C.— Families Moving Forward is pleased to announce that they 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.

Families Moving Forward completed an intensive assessment, over 20 hours of training and consulting and extensive internal planning and change to better integrate volunteers in their day to day operations. By achieving this level of excellence and certification, FMF is now better equipped to leverage the time and talent of volunteers and better meet their mission.  In 2016, over 900 volunteers provided more than 7,000 hours of service, enabling FMF to serve 67 families in the crisis of homelessness, with 79% of exiting families attaining permanent housing. FMF is the first organization in the state and the entire southeast region to achieve this certification.

Families Moving Forward made significant changes to its service model in 2016, leveraging the skills and passions of volunteers from 36 congregations and 22 partner agencies throughout Durham. One of the most important additions was the “Dine and Learn” program offered 4 nights a week, offering a variety of adult enrichment workshops coupled with dinner and children’s programming. Other important focus areas for FMF during the SEI certification process were volunteer input and recognition; and in March 2017 they established an FMF Volunteer Advisory Board.  According to Ryan Fehrman, Executive Director of Families Moving Forward, "The opportunity to participate in SEI training came up just after the merger of two organizations forming Families Moving Forward.  We were bringing together two agencies that had very different volunteer cultures, and it was critical that both volunteers and staff were well informed, that processes were put in place, and that senior leadership, including the Board, was continually reinforcing how important our volunteers were to FMF. At the same time we were asking some of our volunteers to serve in new ways. The transition has been extremely successful and we feel we made progress much faster, and that it is more sustainable, because of SEI."  

For further information regarding the Service Enterprise Initiative, please contact Activate Good here.