Collaborate with Bates

Nonprofit organizations can work through the college’s Harward Center for Community Partnerships to request participation from Bates students in their organization’s work. The Harward Center has several different programs that connect students to local organizations. Brief descriptions are provided below, along with information.

Volunteer Program

  • This is exactly as it sounds. . . Students volunteer their time with an organization. They are not paid, and they are not doing the work as part of a class or another program. 
  • Some volunteers are wonderfully reliable; others are less so. Most volunteers start out with good intentions, but when other commitments such as classes or job intensify, volunteering may take a back seat. 
  • When an organization wants Bates volunteers, they should contact the Harward Center (Fatuma Haji – to make a request. Fatuma will then consider the nature of the request and will either share it with students directly or will pass the opportunity along to one of the programs described below.

Community Liaison Program

  • This program organizes Bates clubs and teams to respond to volunteer requests from the community. If an organization needs a group of volunteers, the request might be directed toward this program.
  • Depending on the nature of the community need, Harward Center staff might solicit a particular club or team whose mission, size, or availability meshes well with the expressed need. 
  • We need advance notice to mobilize clubs and teams.

Community-Engaged Learning Courses

  • Many Bates classes include a community-engaged learning (CEL) component. This is where students undertake some form of community work as part of an academic course they are taking. This work is typically related to the course topic and serves as an opportunity for students to apply their in-class learning to a real-world context. Because students’ community work is factored into their course grade, they usually take the work seriously and some produce truly excellent work for their host organization. 
  • While a volunteer request typically starts with an organization contacting the Harward Center to request a volunteer, CEL usually goes in the other direction, with a Harward Center staff member reaching out to an organization and asking if they could possibly host one or more Bates students for all or part of the semester.
  • Typically, CEL work is tied to a particular academic course, so it ends when that course ends. If the organization needs the work to continue, Harward Center staff work with them to find other possible ways to sustain the work.

Community-Engaged Research Projects

  • All Bates seniors complete a senior thesis or capstone project. Some of these students have the skills and desire to undertake a community-engaged research project, which means they do a project designed to address a question of interest to a community organization, often in deep collaboration with the organization.
  • Organizations are encouraged to share potential research project ideas with Darby or Morgan Kinney at the Harward Center. We can also share examples of past projects.

Civic Leadership Programs

  • The Harward Center offers several programs designed to help students develop the knowledge and skills to become exemplary citizens and leaders. Among these programs are the Bonner Leader program, the Bonner Racial Justice Fellows program, and the Community Outreach Fellows program. In each case, students are paid a modest amount (minimum wage or slightly higher) by the Harward Center.
  • Students in these leadership programs have made a commitment to spend a designated number of hours each week contributing to the work of a local nonprofit organization. Because these are competitive programs to get into, most students are good, reliable workers for their partner organizations. When they aren’t, Harward Center staff can work with them to improve, or as a last resort, remove them from the program.

Community Work Study

  • In this program, students who have Work Study in their financial aid package work their hours with local nonprofits instead of in on-campus jobs. These students typically need these jobs to help pay for their education, so they tend to be pretty reliable. Students work 4-10 hours/week.
  • Organizations pay 25% of the student’s hourly wage, and Bates pays 75%. Bates invoices the organization once each semester.
  • Sometimes, the same student stays with their local organization for more than one year, providing increasing capacity to the organization.

With all of the above programs, a key to success is good communication. 

  • At the Harward Center, we promise to do our very best to keep our partners informed about how things work on our end, what we need from you, how to reach us, and what you can expect from students. We also promise to reply to your emails or calls ASAP.
  • We hope our partners will also prioritize communication with us and with the students who are working with you. In particular, if something isn’t working well, please reach out to the Harward Center sooner rather than later. We can’t address problems we don’t know about.
  • To see a description of our Values, click here.
  • For a staff directory, click here