Fitchburg, Mass.  – United Way of North Central Massachusetts joined three local nonprofits that have been certified in volunteer management by Points of Light, a national nonprofit organization that promotes community service.

United Way of North Central Massachusetts, Leominster-based Boys & Girls Clubs of Fitchburg and Leominster, Loaves & Fishes, Devens, and Our Father’s House, Fitchburg, completed the extensive program requirements to earn Points of Light’s Service Enterprise certification.

Points of Light was founded in 1990 by President George H. W. Bush as an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization to encourage and empower the spirit of service. It developed a certification program, Service Enterprise, which provides research-based assessment, training and consulting tools to strengthen the capacity of nonprofits to leverage volunteers and their skills to address community needs.

United Way of North Central Massachusetts Volunteer Center spearheaded the initiative locally in partnership with Mass Service Alliance, the state volunteer agency.

“As the region’s volunteer center, we thought it was important to help nonprofits develop the very best practices when it comes to their volunteers,” said Fran Longton, volunteer coordinator for United Way of North Central Massachusetts. “Because volunteers are vital to nonprofits, it makes sense to utilize the very best practices when it comes to our most valuable resource.”

The United Way of North Central Massachusetts serves the communities of Ashburnham, Ashby, Athol, Ayer, Baldwinville, Devens, Fitchburg, Gardner, Groton, Harvard, Hubbardston, Leominster, Littleton, Lunenburg, Petersham, Pepperell, Phillipston, Royalston, Shirley, Templeton, Townsend, Westminster and Winchendon.