Start a Service Focused Club

Start a Service Club

Community Service & Civic Engagement supports the Center for Student Involvement’s new organization certification process by offering guidance to new and existing student clubs and organizations that fall under the community engagement or philanthropic umbrella. Our goal is to ensure that new student organizations that seek to engage in service or philanthropy are responding to goals identified by local communities, do not duplicate efforts already being made by nonprofits or other student organizations, and are structured to be sustainable.

Create a Club

If you are interested in starting a club focused on philanthropy or community engagement, you will need to receive a letter of support from Community Service & Civic Engagement. Prior to contacting Hilary Sullivan, Director of Community Service and Civic Engagement, be prepared to respond to the questions below.

Is the community interested in the service you are offering? How do you know?

Many times, students and student groups have good intentions, but the service you envision might already be offered by another group or organization, or the need might not exist in the community. CSCE uses an “asset-based” approach to community development, so we first consider the existing assets that communities have, rather than assuming what they don’t.

Are any other student organizations doing similar work?

Great minds think alike, and with many great minds at Northeastern, often there is already an organization or group doing community engagement work similar to what you envision. Have you researched whether similar groups exist, and have you talked with them about the possibility of collaboration? View a full list of service-focused clubs here.

Have you established a partnership?

Often, the best way to ensure that a community need is being met is by partnering with an existing nonprofit organization, school, or government agency, because they have close connections with a deep understanding of the communities they serve. For example, it is better to work with a local soup kitchen to identify what types of food or volunteers they need, rather than trying to prepare meals in the residence halls to give to homeless individuals. If you do not yet have partnerships developed, our office can help with that!

How are you planning a sustainable future for your organization?

Community-based organizations need consistent levels of resources and volunteers. We want to hear how your club is planning ahead: for example, what will happen if members leave for co-ops, or the founding members graduate?

Once you have answers to these questions, email Hilary and she will consider your request for a letter of support.

Interested in learning more about the existing Northeastern student clubs and organizations that have a community engagement or philanthropic focus? Visit the Center for Student Involvement for a full list!

Are you looking to engage your peers or student organization in a volunteer project? The CSCE team can offer ideas and support.

Contact Us

Hilary Sullivan

Director, Community Service & Civic Engagement

Phone: +1 617 373 5838