COVID-19 and the Engaged Campus

March 11, 2020

updated 7/21/2020

Featured Resource:

Webinar: Community Engagement in Online Courses

resource pages – indiana

resource pages – nationwide


The best way to start making contingency plans is to reach out to all community partners. Set up a time to talk through possibilities if classes are canceled and ask how it would impact their work. An overall communications plan that covers different contingencies is a great way to make sure you and partners are prepared.

Community engagement professionals and others can also support faculty in shifting their course plans. Some projects may be able to continue online or in a condensed format. Others may need to be postponed.

Community partners are very likely unable to accept in-person SLCE students during new restrictions.

We suggest you ask how your community partner’s response to the new restrictions is impacting the services they provide and consider shifting your resources to the areas where community partners most need support, even if that doesn’t align with your original goals. Flexibility and communication are key to maintaining partnerships. 

Indianapolis tech firm and Serve Indiana, a division of the Department of Workforce Development, have launched an initiative to identify a cadre of ready volunteers and match them with nonprofit volunteer opportunities that can be accomplished while still social distancing or staying at home. Several organizations like IYG, Girls Inc., Indiana Bulldog Rescue, and Young Actors Theatre have signed on and are transitioning their volunteer programs to a virtual platform. With a workforce that is adjusting to working remotely and the nonprofit community that needs increased support, has opened its platform to nonprofits at no cost. There are currently hundreds of volunteers ready to help. If your nonprofit is interested in learning more, contact at hello {at} selfless(.)ly.

Virtual Engagement Ideas:

In some cases, students’ community-engaged work may be able to shift in ways that still meet community needs and learning outcomes. Here are a few ideas:

  • conducting background research or gathering best practices or other information requested the partner(s)
  • taping, recording, or streaming performances or workshops to benefit community partner(s)
  • creating digital and other social media content, print program materials, or other methods for information-sharing
  • undertaking assessment, evaluation, or feedback via phone or web-based services;
  • offering (or compiling, researching, or brainstorming) strategies that provide indirect support from volunteers as a result of coronavirus
  • conducting virtual or phone-based educational supports for youth and adults

If work with an existing partner is not possible, you may be able to find suitable opportunities through these channels:

The United Way is currently looking for the following volunteers:


  • Click here to learn more about how you can provide telephone reassurance for our senior community members through CICOA (3/25/2020)
  • Click here to learn more about how you can help make face masks for our community’s healthcare workers and nursing home residents (3/26/2020)
  • Click here to learn more about how you can share your love of books through a Virtual Storytime (3/30/2020)
  • Click here to learn about how you can help Coburn Place Safe Haven through volunteering at home (4/2/2020)
  • Click here to learn more about how you can share a message of hope with men, women and families through Volunteers of America (4/3/2020)
  • Click here to learn more about how you can connect with Seniors in Hamilton County (4/3/2020)
  • Click here to learn more about how you can share well wishes with Seniors in Hamilton County (4/3/2020)
  • Click here to learn more about how to make Hygiene Kits at home for HVAF veterans (4/3/2020)
  • Click here to learn more about students connecting with seniors as phone buddies (4/3/2020)
  • Click here to learn more about how you can be a volunteer community navigator for the Indiana 211 Partnership to assist those impacted by COVID-19 (4/6/2020)


A national database,, allows people impacted by COVID-19 to search for available resources by zip code. So far, the network has helped nearly 4 million connect with organizations in their communities.

As campuses consider closing or shifting classes online, low-income students will need extra support to ensure they can continue to be successful. These students may not have a place to go if dorms close, food to eat if cafeterias close, or the technology to participate in online classes. It is important to advocate for the resources these students will need. This can include:

  • Seeking philanthropic resources to provide temporary housing and food support to students
  • Setting up a resource center to connect students to community housing, food, health care, mental health support, and other resources
  • Offering loaned laptops, wifi hot-spots, and other technology resources needed for online classes
  • Adding to existing emergency funds or creating one to support students who may be impacted by job losses, school closures, and other unexpected issues

Students may also face additional mental health concerns during this time. Here are some great resources on mental health and coping with the situation.

In addition to students, campuses also have many hourly employees who would be significantly impacted by a campus closure. Advocate for them to have access to sick leave, emergency funds, and community resources as well.

Unfortunately, this public health emergency has brought out bias, discrimination, and hate in some, including racists attacks against Asian people. It’s important to proactively remind ourselves and others around us not to project fears of the virus onto marginalized groups or spread unfounded associations. People of Chinese heritage or those who look East Asian are not genetically predisposed to carry or spread the disease. It’s important to pay attention to what is happening on your campus to be able to respond quickly to any attacks or statements that may impact whether all students are welcome on your campus (here’s a great poster from the Minnesota Department of Health). There are a number of resources on responding to incidents of hate on campus, including this one from the Chronicle of Higher Education. These incidents also offer an opportunity to engage students in dialogue about racism and xenophobia. Make this a “teachable moment” in your classroom with our local and national dialogue resources.

Dear Partners & Friends:

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind of emotions. I’ve gone from sad to hopeful, angry to optimistic, and anxious to patient; though it hasn’t been necessarily a continuum. Rather, these feelings come over me in waves—never knowing which might strike next or when. While these emotions may seem counterintuitive, they don’t have to be mutually exclusive; feelings aren’t separated into neat boxes, despite how often I try. This has been the biggest a-ha for me during this strange time.

Maybe your experience has been similar?

I think what we’re going through is grief. We’re mourning the loss of a program we’ve spent all year building; we’re scrambling to learn new modes of instruction and communication as everything goes online; and we’re feeling for our students who’ve had to go home (some of whom are seniors).

While all this is happening in isolation, we want you to know that you aren’t alone. You remain our highest priority, and you have been on our minds.

  • Our team is still here (albeit remotely) to make sure you have the resources that will be most helpful for you during this time as you adapt programs, teaching, and learning in the face of COVID-19. We’ve organized these by topic on our COVID-19 and the Engaged Campus page to make it easier to find exactly what you need.

Also, we want to be as flexible as possible and realize that application deadlines might not be top of mind for you right now. With that, we have made some adjustments.

Lastly, we want to provide a space for you to come together, colleague to colleague. We want to learn how we can best support you, and for you to hear from your peers on what’s worked well and what hasn’t.

  • Virtual Conversations – Beginning this Friday, March 27th, we will host weekly Zoom meetings throughout the remainder of the semester. You can learn more and register here.

This past weekend my friend, the writer Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai, shared a Vietnamese proverb that I thought was appropriate for this moment in time: “Good luck hides inside bad luck.”

We will get through this and may very well come out stronger on the other side.

Reflecting on the proverb I’ve realized that I’ve called my nearly 80-year-old parents each day to check in on them (something, I hate to admit, I didn’t do before). I’ve taken the time to break up my day by going on a walk or run. I’m spending more time with my family. While the work remains, I’m finding a new balance that I thought I’d perfected but truly hadn’t. May you find some sort of peace through this as well.

Please know that we are here for you, we see you, and we understand you. Don’t hesitate to reach out.

In service  –



J.R. Jamison, MAEd
Executive Director

In recent weeks, it has become obvious that social innovation and entrepreneurs are highly valued as they help our communities respond to COVID19. Get quick access to capital for your idea from the Indiana Campus Compact Social Innovation Microloan program. Click here to get started. 

The Arts & Humanities Institute at IUPUI has started an oral history project to collect the experiences of people during the coronavirus epidemic. They’re looking for both interview subjects and interviewers; learn more here.

Books, Booze & Brains, Indiana Humanities monthly book club for science geeks, is going virtual. Tune in online at 6:30 p.m. for a fun talk about cyborgs, artificial intelligence, robotics and graphic novels. Get directions for how to participate via Zoom.

SAVI Indiana Coronavirus Data Hub. The Polis Center has developed an information hub to help practitioners, policy makers and grant writers during the COVID-19 public health crisis. The Coronavirus Data Hub includes three dashboards, which will be updated.
  • Tracking Indiana COVID-19 cases: Provides the latest statistics for Indiana, along with data from the Census and Indiana Dept. of Health showing at-risk populations.
  • Neighborhood-Level risk estimates: Models of which Central Indiana neighborhoods are at higher risk of severe and deadly cases, based on demographic data and health estimates.
  • County-level cases and risks: Real-time updates of county-level COVID-19 case data alongside indicators of high-risk populations.

funding for partner institutions

Indiana Campus Compact is committed to supporting the efforts of our partner institutions to respond to the needs of your communities—your students, your faculty and staff, and your community partners—during this unprecedented time. To this end, we have added two additional funding options within our popular High-Impact Community Engagement Practices grant and Strengthening Communities grant. Learn more here.

other funding

  1. Peace First’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants
  2. CcHUB Funding and Design Support for COVID-19 Projects
  3. Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting: Coronavirus News Collaboration Challenge
  4. The Mary Kay Foundation: Domestic Violence Shelter Grant Program
  5. Craig Newmark Philanthropies
  6. The Home Depot Foundation: Community Impact Grants Program
  7. Action for Healthy Kids
  8. Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation
  9. Coronavirus Local Response Initiative
  10. LGBTQ Funding Resources in the COVID-19 Response
  11. Grantstation- COVID-19 Related Funding

Indiana funding

Ball Brothers Foundation: Rapid Response grants to support critical needs in Muncie and Delaware counties.

Central Indiana Community Foundation: Provides community resources for residents and grassroots organizations to support the community’s most vulnerable populations. To recommend resources for its list, email COVID19 {at} cicf(.)org.

Central Indiana COVID-19 Community Economic Relief Fund: Latest update on CERF and inquiring human service agencies can email at covid-19cerf {at} uwci(.)org. It’s frequently-asked-questions page is a good starting place.

CICF and its affiliates have adopted a four-pronged approach to the COVID-19 pandemic in Central Indiana to ensure that the health, economic stability, and service to our most vulnerable communities are being met during this crisis.

  • Hamilton County Crisis Response Fund. Operating grants will provide support to community-based organizations serving Hamilton County that work with seniors, youth, and economically vulnerable populations. Grants will range from $1,000 to $20,000 to provide support for organizations. For details and grant applications, click here.
  • Neighbor Relief Fund for Marion County will provide support up to $35,000 for projects and services that align with CICF’s mission and commitment to equity, be resident-engaged and prioritize neighborhood-based, grassroots organizations serving marginalized neighborhoods. For details and grant applications, click here.
  • Women’s Fund of Central Indiana announced the distribution of $106,390 emergency grants to support women and girl serving organizations affected by the impact of COVID-19. The application process was adjusted to allow for funds to be distributed easily and quickly. Women’s Fund made a significant change to their grant process for 2020 to focus solely on addressing the impact of COVID-19. Read more.


Community Foundations Coronavirus Relief Efforts: The Community Foundation Public Awareness Initiative is complying a list of response funds from community foundation. Updated as funds are announced.

The Dubois County Community Foundation: Funds to address “urgent, critical needs” with expedited grant process. Contact Clayton Boyles at clayton {at} dccommunityfoundation(.)org.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program: Indiana is an approved state to receive U.S. Small Business Administration low-interest loans for nonprofits at 2.75% that are severely impacted by COVID-19.

Fort Wayne-based Foellinger Foundation: Critical response grants: Innovative Rapid Grants (up to $25,000 each) and Emergency Rapid Response Grants (up to $5,000 each), and there are other funds available.

Huntington County Emergency Relief Fund: Targeted to help support those in our community that will be most affected by the health and economic effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Indy Arts & Culture COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund: Supports local artists experiencing severe financial losses due to arts and culture cancellations and closures. Artists do not have to be connected to an arts organization.

Lilly Endowment: As the challenges relating to the COVID-19 pandemic evolve, Lilly Endowment will post updates on this page about our grantmaking and how the pandemic may affect our initiatives.

Muncie-based Ball Brothers Foundation: Rapid Response grants to support critical needs.

National Center for Family Philanthropy: NCFP hosts an interactive map of local COVID-19 funds and with regular updates.

National Council of Nonprofits loan comparison chart: A quick overview and analysis of the CARES Act loans available for the sector.

National funding

Funds for coronavirus relief: Candid’s list, primarily focused US-based foundations that serve nonprofits, provides resources for nonprofits, individuals and artists.

Community Foundations Coronavirus Relief Efforts: The Community Foundation Public Awareness Initiative is complying a list of response funds from community foundation. Updated as funds are announced.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program: Indiana is an approved state to receive U.S. Small Business Administration low-interest loans for nonprofits at 2.75% that are severely impacted by COVID-19.

National Center for Family Philanthropy: NCFP hosts an interactive map of local COVID-19 funds and with regular updates.

National Council of Nonprofits loan comparison chart: A quick overview and analysis of the CARES Act loans available for the sector.

The National Endowment for the Arts: NEA will distribute the CARES Act’s $75 million funding to be used for general operating expenses. In addition, arts organizations do not have to provide matching funds to receive their grant. Read more.

NonProfit PRO: Partnering with GrantStation, this publication shares available grant funding opportunities for nonprofits in four categories: COVID-19, national, regional and federal. Updated weekly.

TechSoup’s COVID-19 Response Fund: Provides funds to underwrite technology hardware and tools, training and services from its growing list of resources. The funds particular focus is supporting small organizations that provide social services.

Indiana Campus Compact is hosting several virtual conversations in order to support stakeholders at partner campuses as they respond to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. Calls will focus on resource sharing, ideas, and camaraderie. Calls will take place via Zoom. We encourage participants to utilize a webcam* if available, as it can be helpful when connecting across technology during this time of socially distancing.

Calls for community engagement professionals (CEPs) will focus on the community engagement needs of the entire campus community, such as how to support faculty implementing virtual engagement experiences, or working with campus administrators to adapt SLCE policy changes. Connect with your colleagues across the state to talk through what they are doing, what is working, what is needed, and the big picture for your campuses.

Calls for CEPs are scheduled from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. (EDT) on the following days:

  • Friday, March 27th
  • Friday, April 17th
  • Friday, May 1st

Calls for ALL campus stakeholders will focus on a wide range of topics including how to support students, faculty, and community partners during this evolving situation. Connect with colleagues across the state to talk through issues, ideas, and resources. Community engagement professional are welcome to join this call.

Calls for any campus stakeholder are scheduled from 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (EDT) on the following days:

  • Friday, March 27th
  • Friday, April 3rd
  • Friday, April 17th
  • Friday, April 24th
  • Friday, May 1st

Sign-up for the calls via the Engagement Portal. Find these opportunities under the PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT, WORKSHOPS, AND TRAINING tab then click on Register for a Professional Development Opportunity.  

*If you do not have a webcam available, you can utilize the Zoom app on your mobile phone or tablet. Download the Zoom app in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store for free.

If you have questions, contact Laura Weaver, Director of Professional Development and Engaged Learning, at laura {at} incampuscompact(.)org.

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