The Edward Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning

At the Ginsberg Center, we help student groups further organizational goals and member development while meeting community-defined needs and priorities. Whether we're connecting groups to new community partners, providing consultation to group leaders, or preparing member for their experiences, our team is here to support student learning and leadership. 

If you have any questions about how the Ginsberg can provide support for your group please email

Advising, Workshops, and Trainings: Whether you’re just starting out or your organization has been working with communities for years, we provide consultation and training to support your community engagement initiatives.

Advising for your Student Organization

  • Our advisors offer support for one-time, ongoing, or short-term service experiences for your student organization. Depending on the collective interests of your group, advising topics may include engaging in domestic or international service, finding service opportunities, developing relationships with community partners, reflecting on community service activities, and more!
  • To schedule an appointment to meet with a Ginsberg Center advisor, please complete this service advising form.

Alternative Breaks Support

  • An Alternative Break is an experience where a group of college students (usually 10-14 per group) engage in an immersive service experience. University of Michigan students have been traveling locally, nationally and internationally for community engagement experiences that contribute to student learning and positive social change since 1989.
  • Alternative Break support from the Ginsberg Center includes potential funding through our Alternative Break Grant, training for group leaders, and advising and consultation on best practices, safety, and reflection.
  • To meet with one of our team members or learn more, please complete this form

Request a Workshop

  • The Ginsberg Center offers multiple different workshops to student groups in any of the following categories below. If you would like more information on any of these workshops please complete a request form here and a Ginsberg Staff member will reach out to you. For more information about workshop topics head here.
  • Entering, Engaging, Exiting Communities- Explores how to thoughtfully and intentionally enter, engage, and exit community by diving into social identities and community identified needs. 
  • Amplifying Positive Community Impact - Works with leadership of student organizations to better define  mission, values, and purpose to create a more equitable community partnerships.
  • Continuity & Change: Maintaining Community Partnerships during Transitions - Develops a succession plan for leadership transitions, with a focus on continuing an established community partnership for your group.
  • Engaged Philanthropy - Introduces principles of ethical and impactful philanthropy, including aligning community-defined needs that align with the philanthropic aims of the student organization.

Funding for Community-Engaged Projects: The Ginsberg Center has four different grant programs for student organizations working with communities locally, nationally, and globally.

Alternative Break Grants

  • Alternative Break Grants provide up to $500 for student groups planning an Alternative Break, or immersive service experience. Grant recipients receive advising and training to plan strong, meaningful alternative breaks for their members. Find out more information here and contact with any questions. 

Community Engagement Grants

  • The Community Engagement Grant provides up to $800 to support partnerships between UM student groups and external community organizations or agencies (i.e. non-profit, government office, etc), who are working together address a community identified need. This may include events, projects, and collaborative initiatives. Community Engagement Grants are offered on a rolling basis until funds are depleted. For more details and deadline information, click here.
  • Applications can be found through MaizePages. Student organizations must use their updated MaizePages account in order to access and submit their application.

Special Projects Funding

  • Delta Delta Delta Community Based Project Grant - Alumnae of the U-M Delta Delta Delta Iota House endowed this fund to support positive community engagement in current students. This funding supports project costs (materials, supplies, evaluation support, transportation, etc.) for off-campus, direct service and social action initiatives, and prioritizes projects from sororities and fraternities. On-campus projects will only be considered if their focus is primarily benefiting off-campus community members at an on-campus location. Learn more here and contact for any additional questions.
  • Davis Projects for Peace - Funded by the Davis Foundation, the Davis Projects for Peace provide $10,000 for summer projects designed and implemented by undergraduate students working to build peace in their communities and around the globe. This is a competitive process; one proposal is selected from the University of Michigan, and advanced to the Davis Foundation for consideration. The application process takes place in January each year. Learn more here and contact for additional questions.

Transportation: If your student group needs transportation to get to your community work, we have a few options. NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ginsberg Center will not offer transportation resources for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Ginsberg Center Vehicles

  • The Ginsberg Center is unable to provide vehicles for student organizations this fall due COVID-19. We encourage you and your organization to engage remotely with community partners, by visiting our  Connect2Community portal. 

Non-Ginsberg Vehicle Transportation Options

  • For Ann Arbor or Ypsilanti-based service sites:
    • The Ride (Free bus for UM students, faculty, and staff with an MCard)
    • ArborBike (Bike share program with Hourly, Daily, and Annual rates)
  • For Detroit-based service sites:
    • Detroit Connector: University bus service to and from Detroit sponsored by the UM Detroit Center

Short-term Group Service Opportunities: Want to find a service or volunteer opportunity for your student group or organization? These two resources will connect you to community-identified needs in our area:


  • Connect2Community is an online portal that connects students to engagement opportunities with non-profits, schools and other community agencies. Student groups can use the “Accepting Teams” filter to find opportunities appropriate for groups. Then, you can filter the available opportunities further by interest, date, distance, and more. Use our Guide to Group Volunteering to help plan your experience.

Readers & Best and Family Reading Nights

  • The Ginsberg Center has two programs that are appropriate for group to volunteer at for a short time period:
    • Visit our literacy initiatives page to learn more about either of these programs.
    • Readers & Best provides the opportunity for the UM campus to come together and share the joy of reading with local elementary-aged children while promoting literacy. Student organizations can sign up in groups up to 6 to read to a classroom of children on Fridays from 12pm-2pm. 
    • Family Literacy Nights give parents and children a space to read and learn together here at the Ginsberg Center. Student organizations can sign up to facilitate.

alternative breaks group meeting

Ginsberg is an incredible resource for all students. Whether a student is looking for student organization funding, a service-oriented spring break, or an opportunity to engage with other students and staff around issues of social justice, Ginsberg is the place.

Caroline Kelly '19