Stats on Service

“In September [2011], LinkedIn, the professional networking site, added a field for members to list their volunteer work in their profiles, after a survey found that 41 percent of employers said they considered volunteer work as important as paid work, and that 20 percent said they had made a hiring decision based on volunteer work.” -New York Times 

“Volunteering can also lead directly to paid work: in 2009, nonprofits accounted for 9 percent of jobs and 5.4 percent of the gross domestic product." -National Center for Charitable Statistics

“Sixty percent of hiring managers said volunteering increases the candidate’s marketability. Volunteerism is a testament to a person’s character and work ethic.” -Harvard Business Review

“The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that approximately 62.8 million people volunteered through or for an organization at least once between 2009 and 2010.” -AOL Jobs

“In an opinion poll conducted by Opinion Research for the Deloitte Volunteer Impact Survey, a large amount of workers responded positively as to whether volunteering impacted their career. Workers said that volunteering increased their networking contacts, enhanced business skills, and helped them develop leadership abilities." -AOL Jobs

Award Program FAQs

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Why should I participate?

Serving will afford you the opportunity to explore careers, apply course work, fulfill personal values and develop meaningful relationships while deepening your roots in our community.  Your participation in this program will provide you with quantifiable hours and real-life scenarios for graduate school and job applications as well as the prestige of noting the honor and award on your resume. We are positive that, when coupled with reflection, participation in this program will prove valuable. Your participation will also aid the larger mission of quantifying and summarizing the impact that the collective community at Brandeis makes, which helps us achieve funding as well as set future goals and standards.  

What is required of me to participate in the program?
  • Complete online registration in Sage.
  • Complete and document community service hours regularly (at least monthly) in Sage.
  • Submit a brief reflection essay
  • Commitment to Community Service Pledge
  • Complete a Community Service Waiver and CORI form (if required)
What is the Community Service Pledge?

The community service pledge represents an ongoing commitment to represent Brandeis as an agent of the institution during your service work in the community. The pledge reminds you that participation and the tracking of hours for the Commitment to Service Award is founded on trust and honesty to ensure its prestige and success. The pledge is inspiring in its nature, but also grounded in Brandeis University’s Rights and Responsibilities.

What are the three tiers of the Commitment to Service Award?

Bronze- Documenting of 300 hours of service

Silver - Documenting of 600 hours of service

Gold - Documenting of 900 hours of service

What are the approved types of service?

Please review this FAQ, program website, and handouts for full disclosure of approved programs and service hours.

How do I log and track my volunteer hours?

The process is rather simple. You simply log into Sage after each service opportunity (or at least each month).  Only hours logged in the official system will be approved. All hours should be logged in decimals and rounded to the nearest 15 minutes.

Should I track hours related to transportation and reflection?

Yes, we understand the importance of both in your community engagement and permit all students to track up to a combined total of 15 hours of reflection and transportation per semester.

Do my community service hours during the summer count toward this program?

If you are enrolled as a Brandeis student then yes, hours from volunteering over the summer can count toward the program. All hours must adhere to the approved community service standards.

Can I include my community service hours while abroad?

Yes, if you are in an approved study abroad program then your hours abroad can count. Please continue to document your hours while abroad on an ongoing basis.

If I am a transfer student can the hours I completed at my previous institution count for part of this program?

Yes, these hours can count, but you must have a staff advisor from your previous institution submit a letter on official letterhead documenting your community service experiences hours. A hard copy of this letter can be mailed to Lucas Malo, Brandeis University MS 203, Waltham, MA 02453 or emailed to commitmenttoservice@brandeis.edu.

What if I am completing service with an organization that does not have an affiliation with Brandeis or is not already in the SAGE system?
If as a volunteer you are representing yourself as a Brandeis student, although not through a structured Brandeis program, then yes, you can count these hours if you are enrolled in courses at Brandeis University. Be advised that if Brandeis is unfamiliar with the organization we reserve the right to contact your volunteer site supervisor. Students are able to add projects directly on to SAGE. However it is required that all requested fields are fully filled out (contact info, description of service, volunteer supervisor etc.) so that the project can be approved as legitimate service hours. Before you add a project, be sure to check that it is not already an existing project in the system!
Should I document participation in the Commitment to Service program on my resume?

Yes, we strongly encourage you to meet with a Hiatt advisor to best represent this opportunity on your resume and during interviews.

What does the award include?

Your Commitment to Service Award will include a certificate from Administration and a memorable medal keepsake. Your name will also be listed on the Department of Community Service Website. 

Is the reflective essay mandatory to complete the program?

Yes, written reflection is a powerful way to document your learning and enhance your service experience. We encourage you to complete this reflection at any point during your experience where you felt the greatest amount of development. Please do not save this to the very end.

Am I required to attend the Celebration of Service to receive my award?

You are not required to attend the event; however, we hope that you will make arrangements to be recognized for your contributions and celebrate both you and many members of our community.

Do I need a reference to participate in the program?

No, the program is open to all undergraduate students who commit to the four award requirements.

Do community service hours completed prior to enrolling in the program count toward my award?

This question will be explored on a case by case basis. In general, we encourage all students to enroll immediately. Hours completed during Volunteer Fest as an incoming student can be counted prior to enrollment. If you are an upperclassman being grandfathered into the program please see special requirements.

Can I count hours spent on interfaith work? How about the Brandeis Peace Vigil?

Interfaith hours can count; however, hours spent at the Peace Vigil cannot.

Do I have to complete a Community Service Volunteer Waiver?

Yes, if you are not volunteering as part of a Community-Engaged Learning course then a volunteer waiver is required for all community service projects. If you are unsure if you need to complete a waiver please contact the Department of Community Service staff.

If I graduate early do I need to complete the same number of hours to receive the award?

Yes, the requirements remain the same shall you chose to graduate early.

If I am a mid-year, do I need to complete the same number of hours to receive the award?

Yes, the requirements remain the same for mid-year students. If you participate in a Brandeis approved program prior to arriving to campus in January, the direct service hours can be included with the submission of an hours verification letter.

What is the hours verification letter?

If you are transferring to Brandeis and would like to count hours completed at a previous institution, a staff member from your previous institution/immersion program/volunteer site must submit a letter on official letterhead documenting your community service experiences' hours. A hard copy of this letter can be mailed to Lucas Malo, Brandeis University MS 203, Waltham, MA 02453 or emailed to commitmenttoservice@brandeis.edu.

What if I am a sophomore, junior or senior and did not track my previous hours?

At this time, if you are a senior then you will only need 3/4 of the program community service hours. This is because the program began in the 2012-2013 schoolyear. All students in the class of 2016, class of 2017 and class of 2018 will strive for the quantity of hours listed above.

Current Seniors need to complete 225 (bronze), 450 (silver), 675 (gold) hours

Can my volunteer hours for on-campus events and leadership positions be included (Fall Fest, OL, committee work, etc.?

At this time students cannot count these hours in the Commitment to Service Award program.

Can I count hours from my advocacy work or club membership?

At this time we are not permitting students to submit hours for participation and organization of advocacy activities. If you think you may have special community service related involvement please contact the Department of Community Service staff.

Can I track my hours spent fundraising?

Yes, you can count your hours spent fundraising for a non-profit or community organization. There are stipulations on the amount of hours that can count in the Commitment to Service Award program so please connect with a member of the Department of Community Service for verification. As an example, if you are in a dance performance group and are donating final performance proceeds to a non-profit, you are able to count the FINAL Rehearsal and performance, but not every rehearsal.

If I am participating in an unpaid internship at a non-profit or community site, can I count these hours?

The current structure of the program does not permit you to directly count all of your hours at these sites; however, if you think that you have extenuating circumstances we requests that you meet with a member of the Department of Community Service staff who will request that you outline your internship responsibilities and approval may be granted by the approval committee on a case by case basis.

Why do my hours from before we were able to track them in SAGE not coincide with the dates that I completed the service hours?
It is likely that if you tracked hours before we began using SAGE, that when they were transferred over that they were entered under a different date.This is OK! To confirm that you were given credit for all of your hours from before we began using SAGE, check the total amount of hours, not the date they were added.
I registered for Commitment to Service before we were able to track hours in SAGE, but did not track any hours. I want to start tracking my hours, but I am I being prompted to re-register. Will I still get credit for all service hours completed after the date that I originally registered if I did not record them online?

You are being prompted to re-register because only the the information of those who tracked hours was transferred to SAGE. Although you have to re-register, we will still count any hours completed after the date you registered  (which we have on file) that were not logged. Feel free to e-mail  commitmenttoservice@brandeis.edu and your hours will be added!

When can I add add my hours into SAGE?

Once you register, you will be able to begin tracking your hours. It's important that you log hours regularly, as you will only have access to enter hours for the current semester. The date range within which you can enter hours for each semester are listed below for your convenience:

Fall 2014: August 25-December 31
Spring 2015: January 1-May 15
Summer 2015: May 16-August 24
If you do forget to record your hours in SAGE, or if you have hours from previous semesters that were never logged (but you kept track of them another way), e-mail  commitmenttoservice@brandeis.edu and they can be added to your record as long as they occurred after you registered.