University of Illinois Extension
University of Illinois Extension
Community Services - Planning Guide for 4-H Clubs

Club Community Service Project Coordinator

Purpose: To assist club members in planning, conducting, and evaluating a club community service project. To assist with the processing of the experience with members as part of the overall experience.

Success Criteria: The successful completion of a club community service project where the members were actively involved in the planning, conducting, and evaluation of the activity.


Assist club in doing a needs assessment to determine needs in community.

Assist club in surveying members to determine interest in and abilities to use in conducting a community service project.

Assist club in listing possible community service options and then in deciding which project to pursue.

Assist club in developing a plan to conduct a community service activity. The plan might include the following:

  • Identify exactly what will be done. Determine both the overall goal and the specific tasks involved. Remember the time frame for the project: dates/times for beginning and completion.
  • Obtain necessary permission in advance.
  • Facilitate the application, screening, and enrollment procedure for all new volunteers.
  • Involve and supervise youth and adult volunteers to carry out needed functions.
  • Develop a financial budget for the project. A decision to use club funds should be voted on by the membership. If not available from club funds, seek a community sponsor. Extension staff may know of sources of grants-in-aid for such projects, especially if you plan far enough in advance.
  • Develop a risk management plan for the activity and review it with the club organizational leader.
  • Obtain special event insurance and/or certificates of insurance if necessary.
  • Obtain needed equipment or supplies.
  • Determine how many people will be needed. What is the minimum required to do the job correctly and what is the optimum number? Be sure you have at least the minimum before proceeding!
  • Ask members to volunteer for specific duties and get a commitment from them. Consider teaming up less experienced members with more experienced workers to maximize the learning experience.
  • Encourage members to report progress on their assigned duties.
  • Make safety a top priority!
  • Alert mass media representatives and Extension staff concerning your plans. Publicize the efforts of your club and the 4-H program.

Assist club in conducting community service project as planned. Monitor the activities taking place and make adjustments as needed.

Assist club in documenting the club's efforts with photos, videotape, and written notes. Be sure to have media release forms signed by all participants.

Assist club with publicity to share the project's success.

Compile a written summary report for the club.

Evaluate the experience with the club afterwards to discuss the successes and shortcomings as well as ideas for improvement or repetition. Use the experiential learning model to provide time for reflection by participants of the experience.

Target Dates: At least two months prior to community service activity through completion and wrap up of the event.

Resources Available:

The Kids Can Help Book by Suzanne Logan is published by the Putnam Publishing Group. It gives suggestions of ways kids can help the homeless and hungry, the elderly, the sick or disabled, other kids in need and the planet and animals. This resource is probably available in your local library but can be purchased for $9.95 at a bookstore.

Children as Volunteers: Preparing for Community Service by Susan J. Ellis. This is available through Energize, Inc. (215) 438-8342.

Club community service committee

Club volunteers

Training Opportunities:

Risk Management Training
Consultation with other club volunteers
Consultation with Extension staff

Report to: Club organizational leader

For Questions, Contact: Club organizational leader; Club executive committee

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