Partnership, in this case, is a community organization working with a class, student organization, or campus department to meet shared goals. Good partnership requires communication, flexibility, genuine relationships, and a shared understanding of each other's needs. Partnership is not hierarchical and, most of all, requires reciprocity and mutual benefit to all parties.
Through a reciprocal partnership, the community organization benefits from an injection of new energy, enthusiasm, and perspectives into the organization's work. An organization can also see cost savings through additional volunteers and projects, as well as an increase in their volunteer pool. Partnerships also allow an organization to build relationships with faculty and the university.
University-community partnerships benefit faculty members because the partnerships help faculty accommodate students' multiple learning styles while also increasing faculty's satisfaction with the quality of student learning. These partnerships also provide collaboration opportunities, as well as additional opportunities to publish or present research on the service learning.
Collaborative partnerships benefit students by providing opportunities for career exploration. Students often develop important skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, communication, and leadership. They also benefit from an increased sense of social responsibility and citizenship skills.
Finally, partnerships benefit the community as a whole when students learn about community issues and develop a greater awareness of prevalent social issues. These students will become tomorrow's civic leaders.
If you would like to recruit volunteers for your organization, rather than setting up a specific partnership, the Center for Civic Engagement offers the opportunity to post one-time and ongoing volunteer needs on our website. Volunteer needs can be emailed to communityengagement@IllinoisState.edu. We cannot guarantee your volunteer needs will be fulfilled, but we are glad to promote them.
The Center also features volunteer needs in a weekly Community Engagement News email that goes to the approximately 3,000 students, faculty, and staff who opt-in to receive it. Fill out this form to subscribe.
Festival ISU is also an opportunity to be on campus to recruit student volunteers at the beginning of the school year.
If you would like to reserve space on campus, Illinois State University has several spaces that are available for community organizations to rent for events or meetings. Please contact these areas directly: