“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.”
~Oscar Wilde

Why should you volunteer in the community?

There are many reasons why you should considering volunteering in the community. Benefits to those who regularly serve in the community are:

  • Personal growth and development
  • Skill building and career development
  • Enhanced education by applying academic theory to real-world situations.
  • Increased social and relationship skills
  • Increased self-confidence and reduction of social isolation
  • Health benefits that increase with the age of the volunteer
  • Inclusive for people with all abilities and talents
  • Easy and fun way to explore your interests and passions
  • A closer connection with your community and with the Greater Inland Empire community.
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What are some different types of service?

  • Community Service - Students can choose to volunteer with any off-campus organization that is a non-profit or government agency and may volunteer once, long-term, or in a group.
  • Volunteering - For our purposes, student volunteer work completed with an approved on-campus group (such as Dept. Peer Ambassadors, or R'Course Instructors).
  • Service-learning Courses - Service-learning ties the student experience in the community with an academic course for credit. Service-learning provides students the opportunity to apply academic theory in a meaningful community setting. (Some SL courses at UCR can also be Academic Internships when they have both a community and an academic portion).
  • Community-based Research - Students are working in collaboration with an external organization or community partner to conduct research that meets the needs of the organization or the broader community. 

How to get involved?

The easiest way to get involved is to start looking for volunteer opportunities using the Community Service Portal. There are a wide variety of opportunities depending upon how involved you want to get. 

If you are part of a student organization on campus that has a service requirement, we can set you up in the portal so your members are all located in one roster. Read through the Student Volunteer Training Guide for more information, or contact us at

What counts as service?
Counts as service
Doesn't count as service

Community Service (off-campus). Paid or non-paid work including Federal Work Study:

  • Non-profit agency
  • Public agency
  • Local fire/Medical or Police Services
  • Public Hospital (except for shadowing - contact us for more info)
  • Community-based Research
  • Advocacy
  • Event Organization or Logistics (can be for a for-profit business if the event benefits the community)
  • Tutoring/mentoring students
  • Coaching a youth sports team
  • Assisting with a church event that benefits the community
  • Assisting with local theater, music, or art performance

Community Service (off-campus):

  • Any paid or volunteer work for a for-profit business (unless it directly benefits the community)
  • Any work for your own family or friends
  • Fundraising for a church
  • Attending religious services
  • Attending community meetings (unless you are on an event organizing committee)
  • Attending an event for charity
  • Participation in a sporting event (unless it directly benefits the community)
  • Shadowing a medical office or hospital (HPAC students can still log shadowing hours, but the over-all hours will not count as UCR service)

Service-Learning Course (non-paid):

  • Your instructor may limit you to opportunities that are posted on your Course/Group profile

Service-Learning Course:

  • Work for a for-profit business

Community Internships, (paid or non-paid):

  • MUST be for a non-profit, public agency, or other community-based organization


  • Campus Internships (unless your internship directly benefits the community, e.g. - the R'Garden, Office of Sustainability, etc.)
  • Community Apprenticeships

Volunteer Service (on-campus), non-paid only:

  • All Student Volunteer work on campus
  • Peer Mentoring/Peer Ambassadors
  • Tutoring/R'Course facilitation
  • Work within a student org that directly benefits the community or assists with national humanitarian or other social issues
  • Work for a student org event that is open to all of campus and/or the community (free event)
  • Participation in a theatre, art, or music production that is open to the public (free event), or benefiting the community
  • Voter engagement or political campaigning
  • Campus advocacy for a social issue
  • Work in a research lab

Volunteer Service (on-campus), non-paid:

  • Student Government
  • Student Leadership within an organization
  • Attending student org meetings
  • Participation in a sporting event (unless it directly benefits the community)
  • Paid work on campus (unless it directly benefits the community, e.g. - UECC, AmeriCorps, etc.)
  • Campus advocacy for a religion/religious group or a labor union