volunteer programs

Community Service Challenge

Challenge Cup award


Team Contacts

Download the 2013 team contact list here.

Getting Started

Excited about the community service challenge but not sure where to start?

Questions to consider when connecting with community organizations

  • Group Opportunities? 
    • Are group opportunities available? 
    • How many volunteers can you accommodate?
  • Project Design?
    • How can I use my skills/talents to help your organization?
    • Will I be interfacing with the clients that you serve?
  • Time Commitments?
    • What times do you offer volunteer shifts?
    • Is there a long-term time commitment for volunteers?
  • Resource and transportation needs?
    • Will supplies be provided?
    • Is public transportation accessible at the service location?
  • Contacts and partnerships?
    • Who is the contact person for the day-of the event?
    • I can announce more opportunities to my team, is there anything else that you could use help with?

Sometimes you organizations may offer a limiting scope of volunteer opportunities.  If you are passionate about the cause, don’t let that stop you from getting involved!  It doesn’t hurt to ask the volunteer coordinator or an administrator if you can help out in another manner.  Brainstorm projects that you can initiate by yourself or with your team.  Some examples include improving the facility, organizing databases, implementing a supplemental program for clients, and raising awareness of the organization’s services.  You can also e-mail servicechallenge@mit.edu to discuss how you can utilize your skills to impact the community.

Rally your Team

Don’t hesitate to contact servicechallenge@mit.edu to discuss ways to motivate your team throughout the challenge. We have seen past team leaders encourage their peers in a variety of ways - and we’d be happy to discuss strategies that fit your group.

Apply for Funding

Have a project in mind but don’t have the funding to get it off the ground? The MIT Public Service Center can help you with that! The Public Service Center's grant program helps members of the MIT community solve real-world problems by funding local, national, and international public service projects. Grants can cover travel to the community in need, materials, food that facilitates the service and individual or group work. Check out funding opportunities here.

Reporting Accomplishments

Team leaders are asked to submit two Team Updates and one Final Report to compete in the Service Challenge. Due dates are March 7th, April 4th, and April 23rd, respectively. All updates must be emailed to servicechallenge@mit.edu.

For mid-challenge team updates, team leaders must submit a few photos and a paragraph of text explaining the team’s progress and accomplishments thus far into the Service Challenge. Receiving these team updates helps us to provide assistance as well as to identify teams with whom we can follow-up with to gain more detailed information to publicize their community service undertakings. It is to a team’s advantage to send these updates to the PSC, as it can lead to much more publicity for your group. Submission of both updates will be factored into the judging process.

The Final Report is due at the end of the challenge. This final update should provide both quantitative and qualitative information in the form of a 1-2 page report. Use this as a means of describing your team’s service accomplishments, especially service contributions completed between February and April.

It is recommended that you address the following questions in your updates and your report:

  • How many people participated? how many hours? etc.
  • How did your team unite around your service theme?
  • What projects did your team complete or contribute to?
  • What did your team learn about selected service theme?
  • Did your team learn from initiating service projects?

Please refer to the Criteria section to see the rubric that judges will be using when reviewing your Achievement Reports.