Resources for Student Organizations

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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 ginsberginfo@umich.edu.

 

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.

  • 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.
  • 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

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.

  • Foundations of Community Engagement - Explores how to thoughtfully and intentionally work with communities 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.

If you are a student group that is looking to establish a partnership around a specific project or collaboration with a community partner, consider our matchmaking process. To learn more about Ginsberg Matchmaking, click here.

 

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

Alternative Break Grants provide up to $1,000 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 ginsberginfo@umich.edu with any questions.

Community Engagement Grants 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. Find out more information here and contact ginsberginfo@umich.edu with any questions. 

Davis Projects for Peace - Funded by the Davis Foundation, the Davis Projects for Peace provides $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 opens in October, and decisions are made by the following January each year. Projects must take place in the following summer. Learn more here and contact projectsforpeace@umich.edu for additional questions.

 


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT OUR GRANTS

  • It depends on what grant you’re applying to. But in general, you're going to want to plan as far in advance as you can.
  • For the Community Engagement Grant, there is a monthly deadline, so you should submit your application at least 4-6 weeks out from your project or effort. 
  • For the Alternative Breaks Grant, there is one application deadline in November. 

We have a team of students that review your applications and make decisions about funding. One of the main things we look for in the work you are doing and the application you write are our principles. How is your work reflecting those principles? Incorporate them into your application!

  • Our grants are meant to fund efforts that are taking place off campus, in the community, and toward a need or priority that has been identified by the community/organization you are working with. This is rooted in our principle: starting with community. Working with a community partner is a requirement of our grants. Talk with your community partner about what it is that they are needing and how this grant will help them meet their needs or priorities. Once you have identified common goals and aligned your efforts, then write and submit your application to reflect your intended efforts. 
  • When putting together your budget request in the application, ask yourself the question: how is this funding going toward what our community partner is telling us they need support for while also supporting my student organization’s learning and growth? Funding should go towards helping you to do that. 

Our grant programs are intended to support student learning and development towards community-identified projects. So we don’t fund things like t-shirts, airfare & travel costs, personal scholarships, website costs, food for student org members, etc, as they do not directly contribute to either of those goals. If you have any questions or are concerned that your needs might not qualify, reach out to us at ginsberginfo@umich.edu.

It makes sense to have your finance person involved in this process for obvious reasons. It also makes sense to have whomever is leading the project/initiative, or going on the trip, to be a part of the application process too. A bonus would be including your community partner(s) in the application process as well!

  • The Alternative Break Grant provides up to $500 for student groups planning an Alternative Break, or immersive service experience. There is one grant application deadline, which is in November. 
  • The Community Engagement Grant is a monthly recurring program that 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 to address a community-identified need. This may include events, projects, and collaborative initiatives. Community Engagement Grants are offered on a rolling basis with monthly deadlines until funds are depleted.
  • The Davis Projects for Peace provides $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.
  • To learn more about any of our grant programs for students, click here.

There are a range of possibilities by which you can engage in and contribute to communities and our grants will fund many of them. We support efforts happening along many different pathways and encourage students to reach out with any questions regarding how their efforts could qualify for funding.

 


Transportation: If your student group needs transportation to get to your community work, we have a few options suggested below. NOTE: The Ginsberg Center will not offer transportation resources for student groups in Winter 2024.

The Ginsberg Center is not currently able to provide vehicle rental for student organizations beyond our Ginsberg SSOs. We will revisit this policy for Fall 24. 

  • 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? This resource 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.

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purple square with 'Do Good Well' in White letters and blue Asterisk

We can help you Do Good Well by putting the Ginsberg Center's core principles into action in your community-engaged student organization.

  • Click here to learn more about Doing Good Well!
  • Explore our resource platform for student organizations
  • Make sure to sign up for the tri-annual DGW Student Org Newsletter to get resources sent right to your inbox!