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 ginsberg.students@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.

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.

Matchmaking support to establish community partnerships

  • 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 learning more about Ginsberg Matchmaking, click here.

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 ginsberg.grants@umich.edu 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. Find out more information here and contact ginsberg.grants@umich.edu with any questions. 

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 ginsberg.grants@umich.edu 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 projectsforpeace@umich.edu for additional questions.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT OUR GRANTS

How much time in advance should we submit an application to fund our org’s work?

  • 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.
  • Community Engagement Grant and Delta Delta Delta 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. 

What should we keep in mind when writing our grant application?

  • 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!

What are some of the main criteria or requirements for orgs getting grant funding?

  • 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. 

What are grant funds NOT allowed to go towards?

  • 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 ginsberg.students@umich.edu.

Who from our org should be involved in this grant application process?

  • 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!

What are the differences between the different grant programs?

  • The Alternative Break Grant provide 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 Delta Delta Delta Grant 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.This program has a recurring monthly deadline. 
  • 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, click here.

What types of work with communities can student orgs get funding for?

  • 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. 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

  • 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