Criteria, Requirements & Further Information

Criteria

Grants will be awarded only to full applications, based on:

  • Positive impact on the community.  How will your project build on the assets of and meet the needs of the community with whom you're working?  Preference is given to students working with grassroots and community-led projects.
  • Positive impact on the student.  How will you take what you learn and apply it to future studies, career and life choices?  How will you intentionally integrate critical reflection into your work?  Are you prepared to be effective in this community setting (with appropriate skills and knowledge of the issue and community)?
  • Appropriateness of financial request.  Preference is given to projects where funds support community projects or your own reasonable expenses, rather than a third-party provider fee.
  • Degree of student's financial need.  Preference is given when students are contributing to expenses themselves or face difficult financial circumstances.
Requirements
  • All awardees must submit an evaluation of their experience, due on February 1 for winter break CEGs and September 1 for summer break CEGs.  Guidelines for that evaluation will be included with your award information. 
  • Community Engagement Grant Awards are subject to tax, and must be reported as taxable income to the IRS.
  • Community Engagement Grants will not fund service that takes place during scheduled finals.
  • Community Engagement Grants will not fund credit-bearing projects.  
  • All recipients must return to campus at William and Mary for at least one semester after receiving a Community Engagement Grant.
  • All recipients traveling to international destinations must purchase international travel and health insurance through the College (CISI insurance) that includes medical coverage and evacuation, as well as evacuation for natural disasters or political instability; and submit their travel plan details, so we can ensure that you have considered your plans carefully and so we can be in touch with you in case of emergency.  This money ($34 per month of coverage) will be deducted from your award total.
  • If the project occurs in a country listed on the State Department's Travel Warning list, the travel must gain prior approval from the Travel Warning Committee.  Guidlines for gaining prior approval may be found on the Travel Warning Policy website.  Please be aware that conditions in countries on this warning list may change or escalate rapidly and based on these changing conditions, the safey of this trip may need to be reconsidered even after gaining approval.  If the project occurs in a Travel Warning country, be sure to communicate with community partners that ability to complete the project depends on safety conditions.    
Further Information

You may design your own project by working with a nonprofit agency or NGO, or work with a program that connects volunteers to projects (this is more common for international service).  Previously, grants have been awarded for a great range of projects.  Some examples include:

  • Developing a marketing and publicity plan for a nonprofit agency
  • Keeping cooking and delivery shifts at Campus Kitchens at W&M going during the break
  • Developing a program to mentor middle-school girls doing service
  • Working with an NGO abroad to develop a future international alternative break trip for W&M students
  • Internships with an NGO or social entrepreneurship program abroad.

CEG funding is limited, and often highly competitive.  Some requests are more likely to be funded than others.  Consider the following components when planning your community engagement project:

  • Longer-term projects are more likely to be funded than short projects, as they allow for greater impact on the community and the student alike
  • Living expenses should not be extravagant
  • High program fees are not as likely to be funded as more reasonable costs; compare prices for programs to be sure that you are getting the best value
  • Local and US-based projects are more likely to be funded, since the costs are often lower
  • If you are considering an international project, explain why you need to travel to another country to do this work
  • Service that involves religious instruction or proselytizing will not be funded, but service as part of a faith-based organization that does not involve the above activities is acceptable
  • Grants are awarded to projects that are focused on direct service rather than research