Partnering with the Community Service Center

The Community Service Center welcomes opportunities to collaborate with student groups on service events, civic engagement initiatives, and other programming!

Before reaching out to Community Service Center staff,  we ask you to consider the following:

  1. We love to collaborate on existing events! Check out our Events page to learn more about our existing events with established community partners. In many cases, collaborating with your center, department, or program would allow us to open these events to a wider range of community members.
  2. That said, we generally cannot carve out special groups. Central to our social justice and community engagement mission is connecting diverse members of our community through service, education, and reflection. Particularly when considering Fall Days of Service, Global Days of Service, FYSOP, or Alternative Service Breaks, we usually cannot create a trip, experience, or project for a single group of related students on campus.
  3. Days of Service and service learning can often be more work for our community partners than they receive from us in return. Choosing a community partner organization with the capacity to host large groups and with an existing infrastructure for one-time service opportunities is key to getting a high quality service experience for our students and not placing an undue burden on a community partner. 
  4. Education and reflection are as important to the experience as direct service. Providing a pre-service context session and a post-service reflection opportunity for volunteers enriches the experience and helps students imbue the service with bigger picture meaning and learning.
    1. Education activities may include: An article/video/audio share, a guest speaker or panel, a simple research task, or a facilitated discussion.
    2. Reflection activities may include: A read-around, a guided discussion, a journal entry, a crowd-sourced art piece, or blog compilation.
  5. Having a framework ready for the service experience is key to success. Before seeking a service opportunity, we should have all our necessary data ready to prevent wild swings in numbers or timing, or cancellations due to preventable obstacles.
    1. Approximately how many volunteers will you need space for? (Call and update a few days before)
    2. What is your schedule, both day and time?
      1. Don’t forget to include transit time in either direction
      2. Most organizations cannot host on weekends in the fall, and without notice of at least 2-3 months.
      3. September and October are generally off limits, as community partners are recovering from pre-orientation service programs.
      4. April is also challenging as the CSC and Development and Alumni Relations host Global Days of Service at that time. Due to the nature of this initiative, we cannot guarantee sites for groups by affiliation.
    3. What is your preferred method of transit? Have you factored this into a budget? (Walking, BU Shuttle, T, Van, Charter Bus, etc…)
    4. Will you be able to provide meals or snacks to volunteers? (Necessary if considering an all-day experience, or an experience that will leave before breakfast, in particular.)
    5. Do you have any special requests or needs for your group? (Accessibility, dietary, allergy, etc…)