a view of the front of Nancy Nicholas Hall, where the Center for Community and Nonprofit Studies is housed

Learn about all of the different ways you can engage with us!

Get Involved

The Center for Community and Nonprofit Studies (CommNS) is a campus-based center that hosts research, teaching, and outreach related to civil society, community work, and nonprofit organizations.

No matter who you are – student, faculty, another campus unit, or community organization – there’s probably more than one way for you to engage with the us! Check out the list below for opportunities available to you and to see who to contact for more information.

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Affiliate with the CommNS

Affiliates of the CommNS are collaborators, friends, experts, scholars, and practitioners whose work connects with the CommNS, who contribute to and collaborate with our Center, and whose work we strive to lift up. 

Visit our people page to view a list of our current affiliates.

To affiliate with the CommNS, please fill out this form.

Collaborative grant-writing and research-to-action projects

The CommNS often partners with on-campus faculty and with off-campus community partners to collaboratively pursue funding to support research-to-action and outreach projects which are aligned with our mission. To explore whether a collaborative grant project with us may be a fit, please contact Associate Director Amy Washbush Hilgendorf, at ahilgendorf@wisc.edu.

Match-making with faculty

The CommNS assists with matching faculty with community groups that have aligned research interests. To explore possibilities, please contact Associate Director Amy Washbush Hilgendorf, at ahilgendorf@wisc.edu.

Service-learning projects through CommNS courses

Many of our CommNS courses pair undergraduate and graduate students with community partners on a range of projects which support community partners’ work. If your organization would like to learn more about these opportunities, please contact Executive Director Mary Beth Collins at mecollins@wisc.edu.

Guest speak in CommNS courses

The CommNS welcomes many community and campus partners to guest speak in our courses. If you have expertise that you would like to share, please contact Executive Director Mary Beth Collins at mecollins@wisc.edu.

Visit our programs and courses page to see what we offer within the School of Human Ecology.

Engage Co-Create for a project

Co-Create is an initiative of the CommNS that partners with nonprofit organizations, community groups, and researchers to answer the pressing questions facing communities around Wisconsin and the world. If you are an interested UW faculty member or community organization that would like to learn more, visit Co-Create’s page and check out some of their resources.

Participate in outreach events

All students, faculty, and community organizations are welcome to engage us to participate in outreach events. Check out our past events page to see what has been done. Please contact our Outreach and Engagement Team if you have specific ideas for content or would like to participate at thecommns@gmail.com.

Apply to be a community fellow

This is a new opportunity, beginning in 2022. Stay tuned for more information coming soon.

Provide financial support

The CommNS seeks additional funding support to help us grow, deepen, and broaden our work and reach. If you are interested in sponsoring an event, providing a gift, or learning more, please contact Executive Director Mary Beth Collins at mecollins@wisc.edu.

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You can always follow us on social media and get on the CommNS email list!

Join our email list