DOROT Recognized for Volunteer Engagement

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DOROT becomes first New York metropolitan area entity to be certified as a Service Enterprise

DOROT has proven its commitment to high quality management of volunteers, and its willingness to be measured against the highest and most rigorous standards of performance

In recognition of DOROT’s expertise in utilizing volunteers to fulfill its mission of alleviating social isolation among the elderly, DOROT has been certified by Points of Light as a Service Enterprise.

Founded in 1990 to create a culture of volunteerism, Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service, has inspired, equipped and mobilized millions of people to take action on causes they care about. To facilitate this mission, Points of Light helps nonprofits effectively engage volunteers and utilize their skills. In response to research indicating that organizations that leverage volunteers are better able to address community needs and expand their reach than other organizations, Points Of Light formalized its program to help nonprofits and created the Service Enterprise Initiative in 2013. The Initiative works to strengthen the capacity of nonprofits to maximize the value generated by volunteer time and talent. Through the Initiative, Points of Light will certify as a Service Enterprise an entity that demonstrates that it fundamentally leverages volunteers and their skills across all levels of the organization to successfully deliver on its social mission. Over 150 organizations have been certified as Service Enterprises, including chapters of a wide range of national organizations such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Boys and Girls Clubs, the American Red Cross, Girl Scouts, and Habitat for Humanity. The certification process is a rigorous one involving an extensive assessment of the organization’s operations and its use of volunteers.

DOROT received Service Enterprise certification due to its many years of experience successfully mobilizing volunteers to leverage its organizational resources. “DOROT has been a volunteer-based organization since inception and relies heavily on our vast corps of 8,600 volunteers of all ages to fulfill its mission”, says Mark L. Meridy, Executive Director. It is often DOROT volunteers who reach out to older adults on behalf of the organization. “Our volunteers are the ones who deliver holiday packages and provide friendly visits to their elderly neighbors. These services are at the core of our efforts to relieve social isolation and it is only by relying on volunteers that we are able to reach 3,000 older adults as we do,” explains Mr. Meridy. DOROT also utilizes volunteers to coordinate many of its social and educational programs including University Without Walls telephone and video conference classes and holiday dinners. DOROT volunteers help with support services like office work as well. Throughout its 40 year history, volunteer engagement has been at the heart of DOROT’s mission and vision.

“This nationally recognized certification is an indicator that DOROT has proven its commitment to high quality management of volunteers, and its willingness to be measured against the highest and most rigorous standards of performance as outlined by Points of Light,” adds Judith Turner, Director of Volunteer Services.

As part of the certification process, DOROT benefitted from a comprehensive assessment of its volunteer engagement model along with training and consulting services that provided an outside perspective on its methods. At the same time, DOROT used the opportunity to undergo an extensive internal review. As a result, it was able to identify new ways to utilize volunteers’ time and talent to extend its organizational reach. DOROT’s newly identified areas for volunteer engagement include using skill-based volunteers instead of staff to fill a wide range of roles, from coordinating volunteers to writing to photographing events, and a number of program initiatives designed to encourage older adults to volunteer.

UJA-Federation of New York worked with Points of Light to educate and engage area social service organizations in the Service Enterprise Initiative. DOROT was among the first to receive this training, and was the first to receive the Service Enterprise certification. DOROT is an affiliated agency of UJA-Federation of New York and has been a grant recipient and partner of the organization for more than 30 years. DOROT received a grant from UJA-Federation’s Live With Purpose Initiative to launch the newly identified volunteer opportunities over the next few years.

To learn more about DOROT’s volunteer opportunities and how you can help DOROT extend its reach, contact Judith Turner at (917) 441-3722 or check out the Volunteer tab at

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Audrey Stein
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