For Community Partners

Classroom and Co-Curricular Partnerships with Students

The Center for Careers, Life, and Service has developed relationships with over 150 local nonprofit, grass-roots organizations, schools, and governmental agencies interested in engaging with Grinnell College students, faculty, and staff. Whether your organization is interested in hosting Service Leadership Work-Study students, would like volunteer or class assistance with a project, has a research question to explore with students, or just wants to learn what kinds of classroom or co-curricular partnerships are possible, we are here to help.


Recruit Student Volunteers

The Service and Social Innovation staff in the Center for Careers, Life and Service (CLS) seek to be a bridge between the campus and community. One key way we do so is by helping coordinate student community engagement, both through funded opportunities, like Service-Learning Work Study, and through volunteering. Volunteering is most successful when it is sustained and thoughtfully scaffolded. Our students care deeply about being involved in the community and love to volunteer their time. Our role is to help community partners leverage that passion in meaningful ways. If you are interested in having students share their time with your organization, we would encourage you to reach out to our office; together we can collaborate in building well-structured volunteer experiences that serve the needs of your organization, while also supporting students in their learning. Our commitment is to support you and our students to foster a productive volunteer experience.

For more information, contact Ryan Solomon, Associate Director of Civic Education and  Innovation.

group talking over partnership in a coffee shop

Explore a Potential Classroom or Co-Curricular Partnership

There are endless ways in which you may partner with students, faculty, and staff at Grinnell College. Here are just a few:

  • Work with a faculty member and their class on a project or research topic of your choice.
  • Share your expertise with students.
  • Host a Service Leadership Work-Study student.
  • Adopt an athletic team to volunteer with you.
  • Identify students who share your values and would like to learn from you so that you may both more consciously advocate for a common cause.
  • Partner with a group of students to delve deep into the root causes of an intractable issue your organization faces so that you may address the issue from a systemic perspective.

For more information, please contact Susan Sanning, Associate Dean and Director of Civic Education and Innovation

1127 Park Street -- The Office of Community Partnerships, Planning, and Research

Additional Partnership Opportunities

In addition to the curricular and co-curricular opportunities offered by the CLS, The Office of Community Partnerships, Planning, and Research has additional opportunities for campus and community collaboration. This office serves as a collaborative thought partner with college and community change makers for the common good.  By bringing together different skills and expertise, the office supports research, planning, and partnerships with those who are working to improve the lives of all Grinnellians, including Grinnell College students, employees, and members of the broader community.

Learn More

Community Partner Search: Volunteer Database

The Community Partner Search is a database that the Grinnell community, Grinnell college staff/faculty/students, and community partners themselves can access to learn about service opportunities and needs in the area.  This compilation of nonprofit organizations within approximately a 60-mile radius of Grinnell College is searchable by interest, needs, logistics of serving, location, and more.  This database is also a networking tool for community partners in the region, where nonprofit organizations can easily see others whose goals and work may be mutually beneficial.

If you would like your nonprofit organization to be included in the Community Partner Search, or if you currently have a database listing that you would like to update, please contact us via this form.

Grinnell’s Girls Who Code group strives to close gender gap in tech jobs

Grinnell College March 29, 2024

The Ragnar Thorisson ’11 Endowed Memorial Fund for Social Justice was used to purchase small, circular robots that can light up and change direction.

After learning coding in all-girl programs growing up, Mia Hines ’24

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How We Move Forward Together: Essie Justice Group

By Gina Clayton-Johnson, January 22, 2024, for Convergence Magazine

Gina Clayton-Johnson, pictured above with students at Saints Rest, was the recipient of our 2017 Grinnell College Innovator for Social Justice Prize. She recently shared the following about a piece she’s …

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The Principles for Equitable and Inclusive Civic Engagement

by Kip Holley, The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University

Executive Summary

Civic engagement is more than collection of meetings, techniques, and tools. It takes place in an environment made up of …

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Contact Us

(641) 269-4940

John Chrystal Center
1103 Park Street
Grinnell, IA 50112


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