Community Partnerships with Center for Community Engagement of the University of Arkansas

300+ community partners, over 200 student programs and clubs, 17,000 engaged students, faculty and staff, 100,000 impact stories, and 300,000 service hours with an estimated impact of over $8 Million.

This is a brief story of University of Arkansas’s (UArk) community engagement impact.  

A few years ago the Center for Community Engagement of the University of Arkansas embarked on a journey to enhance volunteer and community engagement initiatives.

Embedded into the University’s culture is the  institution’s interest and goal to scale their community partnerships.

For a large anchor institution, the university has deep rooted partnerships with public and private organizations . With that, brings complexities that make managing community engagement for the diverse set of partnerships difficult, for instance:

  1. An inflexible legacy database
  2. Multiple liabilities and existing partnership agreements
  3. An archaic matching and management portal

To address the above complexities, the institution debated whether to develop something internally would be better than using multiple tools… or is there even one tool out there that would encompass most if not all the University’s requirements.  After due diligence and analyzing all the technology options available in the market, they chose one platform to address all their complex concerns and additional features that would improve processes and help expand all community engagement programs. Specifically, the system they chose enabled the following:

  1. Flexible Database: A multi-tenant relational database that can integrate with other systems and customized to  capture all types of data for reporting outputs, relationships, activities and impact.
  2. Workflow & Form Management: A workflow to accept and approve customized liabilities and agreements between its volunteers and community partnerships annually, semesterly or a unique defined duration.
  3. Modern, Mobile-Friendly Portal: A responsive website that is accessible for all devices (and downloadable in the app stores) allowing students, faculty and staff to  be matched with community partner profiles and opportunities as well as having a way to update and track their engagement.
  4. Free capabilities for nonprofit agencies: A version for community partners to leverage for their own volunteer management, reporting and tracking purposes.
  5. Partnership Management: One place for different departments, clubs, programs and initiatives to track their own separate relationships with their unique partners.

The above abilities has enabled the institution and it’s broader community to come together using technology to scale their operations collectively. To view the Center for Community Engagement of the University of Arkansas’s portal, and how it’s implemented, you can visit https://uark.givepulse.com

To learn more, please let us know, we would be happy to introduce you to the UArk team and will be sharing more about collective impact and networks.