After your proposal is subnmitted, we'll follow up within a week to confirm or to discuss any concerns.
Common Good Project Teams
CGPT introduces students to community organizations and provides community partners with volunteers to help tackle projects that require some extra hands.
Common Good Project Teams is a new program that continues where Common Good Day left off. Instead of a single day in the fall, CGPT matches volunteer groups with partners’ projects, to be completed whenever is convenient for the organization. Community organizations can propose a project by following the links below to complete our project intake form. Bowdoin community members can sign up as a project team using the other button. We’ll match teams to projects and put the parties in touch so they can work out the scheduling.
As the project date approaches, the McKeen Center will ensure the group has the orientation, transportation, and supplies needed for a successful day. Read our volunteer FAQ and our Community Partner FAQ to see how it all works.
Bowdoin volunteers will begin signing up for CGPT in late August. We'll begin matching groups to projects ASAP after that time. We cannot predict how quickly groups will sign up, so we can't promise all projects will end up being matched to a volunteer group. When we make each match, we'll send an email to both the team leader and to the Community Partner contact, so both parties can follow up and identify a time that works for everyone to complete the project.
CGPT is designed to support one-time projects. Ongoing service opportunities are published in the McKeen Center's weekly Service News email, which goes out to all students. To submit a post to SN, contact Avery Friend.
Reach out by both email and phone for the best chance of making efficient headway. On the call, introduce yourself and explain what your team is. Invite questions they may have about you, and invite suggestions from the host about how you all can be best prepared to get the most out of the day.
If you need a rental vehicle to transport your team, your first step is to schedule the date/time of service with your host organization. Then you can request a Bowdoin Fleet rental vehicle here. Add commute time when calculating the length of your reservation request. Enter Project #230073 for payment of the rental fee, and in the comments section mention Common Good Project Teams; we have vehicles already set aside for certain days and times.
If you have a volunteer who is eligible and willing to become van certified, they should begin the self-guided process ASAP following the steps HERE. They should also email CGPT@bowdoin.edu to schedule the final step of certification, which is a Commentary Drive. If you need to get a driver from outside your group, then after you have scheduled the service with your host, send the timing of your project to this email address and we will reach out to our network of drivers to find a volunteer.
You are not required to schedule both projects for the same time. Since your group won’t physically share a project place, it may not be worth the trouble of trying to synchronize them. You can still plan to meet up and debrief both groups together after they’ve completed the work, and CGPT staff are happy to facilitate that conversation if it would be useful for you.
In this meeting, the McKeen Center rep will facilitate a conversation among your entire group about the purposes of your CGPT work, and how it connects to your group’s collective, and individual, interests and experience. They will share some background information about your host organization and invite members of your group to reflect on the project as a possible component of their developing civic identity. Finally, this meeting is when we’ll collect size info for your group’s tshirts.
You probably could use a snack break during your project, or maybe even lunch depending on the timing. If you'd like a lunch packout, then the McKeen Center will gather info at your in-person meeting and will request ood from Bowdoin dining. Volunteers on board plans will be charged for a meal. The morning of your project, you will pick up the food before departing campus.
Alternatively, the McKeen Center can provide Nature Valley granola bars to your group. These are free from most common allergens but if you have concerns about food safety, email Andrew Lardie.
When your group meets with a McKeen Center rep, we’ll collect everyone’s names and tshirt sizes. A day or two before your project, our rep will meet up with your group leader to hand off shirts and any other supplies needed for your project (eg work gloves).
If possible, find a substitute(s) to ensure that the # of volunteers matches what you agreed on with your host. If your group size will be different than planned, just communicate with your partner so they know what to expect (and CC email@example.com on your note).
If your group becomes too small to tackle the project, it is ok to reschedule but lead time (at LEAST 3 business days) is a critical courtesy. Do everything you can to avoid canceling at the last minute. If your group disintegrates on the eve of a project and you have to cancel, you should regroup to discuss whether they really want to try to tackle a Common Good Project or not this semester.
If you have a packout lunch order with Bowdoin dining, it cannot be changed within 4 business days of the project; volunteers who drop out at the last minute will still have their board transferred for the meal.
Of course this happens and it’s always fine to reschedule. If you cannot identify a new date that works for both you and your host then notify the McKeen Center and we can re-match both you and your host to someone else.