Blank Park Zoo Receives National Service Enterprise Certification

Thursday, April 29, 2021

April 29, 2021


Ryan Bickel, Blank Park Zoo

Betsy Shelton, Volunteer Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa – Blank Park Zoo was recently 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 percent of organizations nationwide can be characterized as Service Enterprises.

According to Christine Eckles, Chief Engagement Officer, Service Enterprise has allowed Blank Park Zoo the opportunity to dive deeper into the volunteer program.  Being a Service Enterprise certified organization will provide volunteers at Blank Park Zoo the opportunity to match their skills and talents to the mission of the Zoo.

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, awarded by Points of Light, strengthens the capacity of nonprofits to better address community needs with the skill sets and talents of volunteers.

The initiative is currently delivered through Volunteer Iowa, part of a national network of Service Enterprise Hubs, which has certified more than 400 organizations across the country since 2012. Blank Park Zoo joins over 40 organizations across Iowa that have received the Service Enterprise certification.

To learn more about Service Enterprise visit Organizations and agencies that are interested in becoming a Service Enterprise can contact Michelle Raymer, Volunteer Iowa Program Officer, at or 515-348-6235.


About Blank Park Zoo

The mission of Blank Park Zoo is to inspire an appreciation of the natural world through conservation, education, research and recreation. The Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) The AZA is America’s leading accrediting organization that sets rigorous, professional standards for zoos and aquariums. The AZA is building North America's largest wildlife conservation movement by engaging and inspiring the 143 million annual visitors to its member institutions and their communities to care about and take action to help protect wildlife. Visit the Zoo online at

About Volunteer Iowa
Volunteer Iowa and its partner agencies work with organizations and individuals on three main fronts. The first is to help agencies develop quality programs that use service as a strategy to fulfill their missions and address Iowa’s greatest areas of need. The second is to help engage Iowans in their communities by promoting service and expanding the volunteer base. Finally, the third area of work is to connect individuals with appropriate service opportunities by building the volunteer infrastructure. More information is available at

About Points of Light
Points of Light – the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service – mobilizes millions of people to take action that is changing the world. Through affiliates in 250 cities and partnerships with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages more than 4 million volunteers in 30 million hours of service each year – we put people at the center of change. For more information, go to

Printed from the website on June 30, 2022 at 11:00pm.