What Counts as Service?

The date range for eligible service hours for this year’s awards are April 21, 2017, thru April 16, 2018.

What Counts As Service?

Service hours must meet the guidelines set by the university. These guidelines are based on the definition of community service established by the federal government’s Corporation for National and Community Service. According to the Corporation, community service activities may include but are not limited to community-engaged scholarship (service-learning), volunteer activities, as well as Work-Study community service and paid community service internships. Community service includes both direct service to citizens (e.g., serving food at a soup kitchen) and indirect service (e.g., assessing community nutrition needs or managing a food bank).

Not all volunteer opportunities meet the service challenge guidelines.

The following are examples of activities that will be count as service:

  • Time spent providing direct service for a non-profit or similar organization (e.g., nursing home, school)
  • Time spent organizing and preparing for a service project
  • Time spent organizing a charity fundraiser or raising funds for a charity
  • Time spent participating in a charity event like a run/walk
  • Pro-bono professional and/or medical services provided to a non-profit organization
  • Service-learning activities that take place outside the classroom
  • Internships with non-profit groups that serve the community
  • Select board service will count towards the service challenge, including board service for non-profit organizations that provide services to the community or other similar charity.
  • Service-related Federal work study hours coordinated through the Office of Community Service and the Career Center (e.g., DC Reads, Jumpstart, AmeriCorps, PeaceCorps, Human Rights Watch)

NOTE: Hours served planning in preparation for a service event or activity should not be logged.

The following are examples of activities that will NOT be counted as service:

  • Paid employment (e.g., babysitting, service-related work tied to current employment)
  • Any activity related to the proselytizing of a religion or the campaigning for a candidate or policy
  • Internships with companies or organizations that do not provide a direct service to the community (e.g., issue advocacy group, government or congressional office)
  • Participation in non-service university-related events (e.g., working at Commencement)
  • Board service for any GW (or non-GW) boards or committees, advocacy groups, corporations and/or any board service where the member is paid will NOT count towards the service challenge.

The service hours of GW students, faculty, staff and trustees are eligible to be counted, and all participants will be required to affirm that their service meets the definition of service outlined above. Questions about the eligibility of specific service activities not captured above can be directed to the Honey W. Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service. You can e-mail your questions to gwserves@gwu.edu.