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DMU community service goals

The DMU community service initiative aims to provide meaningful engagement opportunities for staff, faculty, and students to volunteer their time, energy, and resources in response to community needs. DMU community service goals are to:

  • Organize or support community service activities that are reliable, of high quality and make substantive impact in greater Des Moines.
  • Inspire DMU participants to establish and deepen a personal commitment to community engagement.
  • Communicate opportunities to DMU employees and students for involvement in local activities in response to voiced community needs that align with our focus and resources.
  • Engage DMU participants in partnerships that are sustainable, effective, and of mutual benefit.
  • Facilitate collaboration among individuals and organizations with a common vision.

DMU collaboration policy

In general terms, any collaboration with outside organizations seek to:

  1. Build on the strengths and/or reduce the weaknesses of the partners.
  2. Take advantage of opportunities and/or overcome constraints in the environments facing partners.

In order to achieve the maximum benefit from collaboration, it should be expected that:

  1. There should be a high degree of commonality of purpose, shared values and cordial relations between partners.
  2. There should be mutual benefits outweighing any costs that are involved.
  3. There should be a shared willingness to commit resources in terms of leadership and communication and to measure outcomes and results.
  4. Whenever possible, the outcomes should be discernible in terms of enhancing the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of the partners. Outcomes also can be the impact in the community. Community impact can be defined as:
    • real people impact
    • policy development
    • systems development
    • resource development
  5. Collaboration should be focused on activities that would otherwise be difficult to accomplish without the partnership.

Criteria for community services projects

Des Moines University has three main criteria for community service projects which may change yearly. They are:

  1. The project should meet one of DMU’s community service focus areas (education, health, poverty issues).
  2. The project should be located in the greater Des Moines area
  3. The project should be facilitated by a nonprofit organization having 501(c)(3) status.

Types of projects

DMU allots resources yearly for community service programs and activities. DMU may choose to help one or several projects in a given year. To be considered, projects must:

  • Align with the set criteria for community service projects.
  • Meet the objectives of the DMU collaboration policy.
  • Ask for DMU volunteers to help complete the project. (On occasion, DMU also may provide sponsorships and donations to support projects.)

Ineligible projects include those that support a political party, include any element of religious proselytizing or provide a direct benefit to a for-profit entity, a labor union, a partisan political organization.

Limitations

Once a community service project is approved, DMU will make every effort to meet the volunteer needs of the project. However, DMU cannot guarantee the availability of volunteers for your activity. Volunteering is optional at DMU. DMU volunteers must register an interest in your activity before your need can be filled. Employee participation is subject to manager approval. DMU’s participation in community medicine events is dependent on availability of students and exam schedules.

Your organization must apply for community service assistance on a yearly basis.

Influencing factors

The DMU Community Service Committee is responsible for the employee volunteer program project decisions and DMU Community Medicine is responsible for decisions on projects involving medical services. To ensure the best possible success, all project applications are subjected to the same vigorous scrutiny so as to eliminate any questions as to the project’s validity.

Factors influencing the award decisions include, but may not be limited to, the following criteria:

  • Need
  • Project design
  • Anticipated and actual benefit
  • Sustainability
  • Capacity to use volunteers
  • Funding and support
  • Recognition