BlogVolunteerism 42 Community Service Ideas for Your Club Volunteerism 42 Community Service Ideas for Your Club Author: Marlena Moore November 3, 2023 Contents 🕑 14 min read The club you’re a part of brings immense value to your community, why not push this even further through community service? We’ve got 42 awesome community service ideas for your club that are: Based on volunteer age demographics Donation-based Perfect for a specific time of year Virtual And more! Ready to be inspired for your club’s next community service effort? Let’s go! What is Community Service I’m sure you’ve had your fair share of hours volunteering your time to help others. Have you ever walked a neighbor’s dog without asking for compensation? Perhaps you’ve donated your clothes or books to an organization. But what is considered community service for clubs? Community service for clubs is when your club members come together to do an activity that improves your community. This is typically done as a physical act of service; as simple as hosting a canned food drive or as complex as repairing community buildings. The time you and your members spend volunteering for the community should align with the purpose of your club, we’ll dive into that next. Why is Community Service Important for Service Clubs Your club was created due to a need in your community, whether it was social, professional, cultural, athletic, the list goes on. Being able to give back to your community is an important part of many clubs, especially if you’re a part of a service club – this is your foundation! Here are a couple of reasons why community service is important for service clubs: Establishes your organization as active community members Contributing to your community will bring legitimacy to your club as champions of your cause. Those in your community will see the work you put in and view your club as involved leaders. Introduces you to potential new members Putting on community service opportunities will raise awareness about your club to anyone local. This is the perfect opportunity for those who share the same passions to hear about your club and call them to join. Make sure you bring some information about joining your club to any service event you hold! Gives your volunteers space to be active -Teaches you more about your community’s needs People are always searching for spaces to contribute their time to a greater good. Your service club will be that hub for individuals to get involved and volunteer their time. Furthermore, by receiving feedback from the community, you will be able to see where you can make the biggest impact. 42 Unique Community Service Ideas for Your Club Now that we’ve covered the background of community service for clubs, we’ll share some great ideas to get your creative juices flowing. Use these suggestions to plan your next community service event at your club. 16 Ideas for Community Service for All Ages Partnering with schools is a great way to host community service events – involving different age groups will bring more power to your cause! Don’t forget to tailor your event to those who are participating. The skills of children versus adults are drastically different and you want to ensure everyone is having fun while participating! 6 Community Service Ideas for Kids Children love to be involved with what adults are doing. Encouraging their participation in your community service will give them a space to get their energy out and make them feel important. Good strategies to implement with kids will be to reward those who want to be helpers and gamify the experience when possible. Remember, keep it fun! Toy or game drive: asking kids to bring in toys or games and give them to kids in need. Make sure to drive home the cause so the children understand why they are giving – we want other children to experience the joy and excitement of a new toy/game. Book donation: an educational and fun way to donate! Children can bring in their favorite book so another child in need can enjoy the story. Penny war: a fundraising competition where kids can bring in coins and bills to earn points for their team. You can make the competition between different classes or split a classroom into groups if you’re working with a smaller group. The money brought in will be donated to your cause! Singing in nursing homes: This is a fun way to change up the scenery for kids and bring joy to both children and the elderly. Park clean up: Not only does this get the kiddos out in the fresh air, but you can gamify the clean-up! See which child or team collects the most trash and provide rewards through simple prizes like candy or events like lunch with the teacher. Thank you cards for nurses: activities like this will tap into the creativity of children and give them a chance to be as elaborate or simple as they want with their card creations. 5 Community Service Ideas for High School Students High school students tend to be some of the most motivated for volunteer opportunities. Many of them are a part of school clubs where they need to earn community service credits. Others are looking for ways to boost their college resumes or skill-building for apprenticeships. Car wash: one of the tried-and-true ways for students to be involved in community service efforts. Utilize school parking lots or partner with a local business to have a space for people to get their cars washed. Provide leadership opportunities to students by giving them the responsibility of making signs, promoting the event and recruiting others to work the event. Bake sale: This is another great way to raise money for your cause and give students a lot of responsibility. They can manage the sale and creation of goods, plus this event can be done during any season! Local town beautification: This service idea is great for those wanting to donate time to your cause rather than finances. Finding an area in your community that needs landscaping, painting or litter removal is key for this idea. Consider playgrounds, community centers, parks, greenways, the list goes on! Leading school or community fundraisers: This is great for high schoolers looking to have leadership opportunities. They can lead the planning of a fundraiser, recruit teams for implementation, assist in promotion and manage the actual event. Pancake breakfast: A super simple and fun community service event! High schoolers can recruit other students to put on a breakfast event before class starts for a small fee that will be donated to the cause of their choice. 5 Community Service Ideas for College Students College students are always looking for ways to make new friends and community service opportunities are the perfect way to do so! Participating in these opportunities can also be great resume builders for their first job or internship. Showing dedication to your community is a highlight many employers look for in their employees. Canvassing for charitable campaigns: Canvassing is a great way to be face-to-face and share information about your cause and gain donors. College students will gain public speaking skills and become more involved with their club’s mission. Tutoring program: These programs are a great way for college students to share the skills they’ve gained in school with peers in their community and younger students. This is a great example of a resume builder and a community contribution. Mentorship program (Boys’/Girls’ Clubs): Similar to a tutoring program, college students can share their time and skills with the kids in their local community. This allows college students to build long-term relationships in the community and benefits the youths who live there. Running a food drive: For college students, when running a food drive they will gain experience planning an event and contributing to the community. It’s important to note when the drive will take place, where people can drop off food, where the food will be donated and how promotion will be handled. Blood drives: Blood drives are a great way college students can contribute to the community that accommodates their busy schedules. Frequently blood donation drives occur right on or near campus and only takes about an hour of their time! 14 Seasonal Community Service Club Ideas No matter what time of year it is, there’s always an opportunity for community service. Creating theming around your service idea will bring more buzz to the event and hopefully more impact for your community. 6 Community Service Ideas for Summer Summertime is a great season for outdoor activities and volunteer opportunities. Take advantage of having fun in the sun for your local community! Fun Run for charity: Many people love to take part in races and fun runs in the summer. Use tis to your community’s benefit by donating the entrance fees to a local charity. Park or beach clean-up: Gathering a group of people to clean up your local beach or park is fun for everyone. Not only will you be able to enjoy the space once you’re done as a reward for your hard work, but the whole community will appreciate a litter-free space. Beehouse and birdfeeder building: Many communities have a shared garden, park or greenway that birds and bees live in. Creating a home for these critters will help improve your local flower population and produce honey you can then donate! Gardening and mowing for the elderly: Many elderly individuals no longer have the capability to maintain their own yards or gardens. Your club members can donate time and labor to mow lawns, weed garden beds and plant new flowers to bring joy to your local seniors. Building wheelchair ramps: Accessibility is an important part of any shared community building. Being able to build a ramp will allow more people to use the amenities in your community and bring a long-term benefit to future community members. Sports tournament: What better way to spend a summer day than out in a field playing soccer, baseball, kickball, tennis or more! Putting together a tournament brings the community together and registration fees and concession profits can be donated to a local cause. 4 Thanksgiving Community Service Ideas Thanksgiving is the season of being thankful, so giving thanks will already be on the minds of individuals in your community. These ideas should be a hit for your next Thanksgiving community service event. Turkey trot: A classic yearly tradition for many communities. Utilize merchandise sales and registration fees to donate to the local charity your club supports. Don’t forget to include a 1-mile fun run to the trot so people of all ages and skill levels can participate! Thanksgiving food drive: Many people are already planning their thanksgiving dinners around this time of year, use this to your advantage by promoting a food drive to benefit those in need in your community. Partner with grocery stores, churches, libraries and other shared spaces in your community. Special soup kitchen event: A soup kitchen event allows you to not only contribute your time to those in need but also gives you an opportunity to make connections. Having face-to-face time with those you’re helping is a wonderful way to hear their stories and experiences. Meal delivery for the elderly: As we’ve mentioned in our other community service ideas, many of our local seniors don’t have the ability to cook for themselves. During the holiday season, it’s important everyone has a meal they can enjoy, and this is where your club can come and supply this for your local elderly population. 4 Christmas Community Service Ideas Christmas is the time of year when people are buying gifts for one another and thinking about year-end charitable giving. This is the perfect time to have community service events themed for the holidays, have fun with snow, Santa, reindeer, trees and more! Toy drive: Toy drives are huge during the holiday season. Establish donation drop off locations where people are already doing their holiday shopping – think malls, Walmart, Target, Toys R Us, etc. Santa visits to kids: Santa is always a huge hit with children. Benefit the local kids in your community by having someone dress up as Santa to visit and hear their Christmas lists – bring along some candy canes for extra holiday joy! Holiday photography: Your club can do a fundraiser where individuals can purchase raffle tickets for a free holiday photo session. The proceeds can go to the charity your club supports! Another avenue could be if there are members of your club who are either amateur or professional photographers. They can donate sessions to families in need in your community. Caroling: Caroling is fun for the whole family! Gather your club members and their families together and spread holiday cheer in your community! 5 Virtual Community Service Ideas Everyone is utilizing technology in every aspect of their lives in today’s day and age, why not incorporate it into your community service? Many of these ideas are great for your club members that may not be able to participate in your in-person events. Teaching the elderly how to use computers: Technology is constantly changing and can produce a huge learning curve for our elderly community. Taking the time to provide tech support, either in person or over the phone to seniors will make a huge impact in your community. Social media campaigns for a cause: There are multiple resources available online where you can start a fundraiser, like GoFundMe. Check out this resource to see the 21 best fundraising software options. Promote the cause you’re raising money for on social media. You’ll be able to share information about your cause, share your goals and reach father than your local community with the power of the internet! Bullying chatline support for teens: Sometimes the biggest impact you can make for your community is just providing support. Having a team dedicated to supporting teens who experience bullying is an easy way to improve the mental health of your community’s youth and help eliminate bullying from your area. Virtual pen pals: Keeping your community connected by developing a virtual pen pal network is a fantastic way to keep the ‘community’ in your community. Send out a sign-up sheet via email or post a physical copy in shared spaces for people who would want to participate. Old family photo restoration: Finding a local business that does photo restoration and sending photos from your community’s members is another way to positively impact your neighbors. Send out an email to your community and have individuals send in their family photos to be restored. You can then (with their permission) share the photos with your whole community! 7 Community Service Partnership Ideas Your club is made up of a bunch of people who may be involved with a variety of organizations in your community. Utilizing their relationships to build partnerships for service opportunities is key when brainstorming ideas. Here’s a couple of organizations you should work with for service: Animal shelter: Your club can do a variety of things to service an animal shelter like donating time to clean, feed and play with animals. Another option is to put on an adoption event to encourage those in your community to adopt a new pet. Children’s hospital: Spending time bringing joy to the patients at your local children’s hospital with toys, activities and socialization is the best way to volunteer. Domestic violence shelter: You can benefit a DV shelter by donating clothes, toiletries and food to those who are staying there. Many individuals who seek shelter there won’t have many of their belongings and having resources available is really important. Homeless shelter: Similar to a domestic violence shelter, having resources will drastically improve the quality of the individuals staying there. A great service opportunity is to host a donation of toiletries, clothing, bedding, books and food. Local schools: Partnering with the local schools in your area provides endless opportunities for community service. Check out our earlier ideas for different age groups but another great way is to volunteer as a helper for sports, classrooms, tutoring and field trips. Causes around an individual (raising money for a sick child, for example): There are many times on social media where those in your community will share opportunities to help an individual. Fundraising, donating resources or holding a charity event for this causes is how your club can make an impact. Political causes: Your club can service your community by being champions for local political causes. Participate in fundraising for these causes and put on events like races, raffles or auctions. 5 Examples of Community Service From Real Service Clubs and Organizations We’ve given you some great examples of ideas for your club to participate in some community service. Now we have 5 fantastic real service clubs to inspire you, plus they’re WildApricot users! The Woman’s Club of Albany: One of the oldest not-for-profit community organizations in the Capital Region. Three recent community service accomplishments by the Women’s Club of Albany are: Arranging and delivering flowers to Shaker Place Rehabilitation & Nursing Center. Donating over 100 children’s books to migrant children through Grassroot Givers. Cleaned up the grounds at Ten Broeck Mansion. Kappa Epsilon Psi (KEΨ) Military Sorority: These women honor, unite and mentor past present and future female service members in the armed forces. They have multiple chapters that put on individual events to raise money for their capital campaign, which has a goal of $300,000. Some of their recent events include: Breast cancer awareness fundraisers Scholarship galas Donut fundraiser The Junior League of Flint (JLF): an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Some recent ways they service their community are: Wine tasting fundraiser Annual festival of trees Kids in the Kitchen Burleson Lions Club: Serving the Burleson community for 76 years. Some recent accomplishments include: Sleep in Heavenly Peace bed build day – 160+ beds built. Conducted eye screenings and hearing screenings in the Burleson Public schools, Holy Cross Christian Academy, The Center for ASD, and Keene Elementary School. An Xbox integrated gaming station was donated to Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth, TX. UNICO National:The largest Italian-American service organization in the United States. Some examples of their service projects are: Providing scholarships to local SP-F graduation high school seniors of Italian descent. Annual St. Bartholomew/SP-F UNICO Italian Labor Day weekend festival Donating to the Preserve Shady Rest Committee How Membership Management Software Can Level Up Your Next Community Service Project Having a membership management software makes every part of having a club easier, especially handling community service projects. Here at WildApricot we have an all-in-one software that will Manage your member database – making it easier for you to organize your members and collaborate with other club members when planning your community service event. Connect with members – using our email and contact database, you can inform your members with ease about what service projects are coming up, actively happening and results from completed projects. Help you plan events – with easy-to-build registration forms and payment processing, your next community service event can be organized easily on WildApricot. Keep you mobile – we have a mobile app that allows you to keep your service projects running smoothly when you’re on site during the event. Try a 60-day free trial of WildApricot and see how you can level up your next community service project. We hope you found this blog helpful and inspiring for your club when brainstorming opportunities to make an impact in your community! 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