Collaborating With Partners

Content Overview

  1. How do I get help collaborating with partners?
  2. Once I have a partner, will SLS support other aspects of my course and SLCE planning?
  3. Where can I learn about how to do good community engagement in my course?
  4. How do I navigate the many offices at Tech that do community engagement?
  5. Will SLS provide funding for my SLCE work?
  6. Once I have funding and a community partner, what do I pay my partner?
  7. Now that I’ve determined what to pay, HOW do I pay my partner?

How do I get help collaborating with partners?

We can offer you support for a broad spectrum of SLCE activities, from guest lecturers for courses to direct service opportunities to larger-scale, longer-term projects. If you and your students are collaborating on a project with a partner, we recommend you use our Collaboration Agreement Template which you may download HERE.  We are happy to help you use that agreement -- just let us know.  For help with that agreement or for an kind of SLCE-related support, feel free to connect with us via in-person appointment, e-mail, or a phone call for course assistance; the Service Learning and Partnerships Specialist (Ruthie Yow) will be delighted to hear from you. In the meantime, you’ll find outlined below some key means by which we can support your SLCE teaching.


SLS Course Affiliation Basics:

To begin your collaboration with SLS and get our support for your community-engagement and service-learning teaching and activities, please affiliate your course! SLS offers faculty the opportunity to affiliate the courses they teach that align with SLS' approach to sustainable communities education. With SLS affiliation comes funding in the form of mini-grants, connection to community and non-profit partners for course projects, and opportunities to partner with SLS for campus-wide and community-wide events.


Once I have a partner, will SLS support other aspects of my course and SLCE planning?

Yes! SLS has worked with a variety of partners to create a web-based Teaching Toolkit of which this Nuts ‘n Bolts resource is just one small part.  The Toolkit is a library of lesson-planning resources to enhance your SLCE teaching and teaching related to sustainable community development. The Teaching Toolkit features easily adaptable instructions for projects and activities suitable for most disciplines, and we encourage you to peruse it in its entirety! Some terrific tools for your course planning are included in the Assessment Section of the Toolkitthe tools in that section will help you “backward design” your course with student learning outcomes in mind as you craft units and projects.


Where can I learn about how to do good community engagement in my course?

The Atlanta Community Engagement Playbook,  developed by West Atlanta activists and Christopher Le Dantec, Associate Professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication, is a treasure trove for those both new to and experienced at SLCE.  We are developing several tools associated with the Playbook; they will be available via the toolkit: Community Engaged Courses.


How do I navigate the many offices at Tech that do community engagement?

We are happy to be your first point of contact and to connect you with the people and resources you need for successful SLCE. We work regularly with the offices listed below, and SLS will gladly reach out to the appropriate office after discussing your SLCE plan and needs.

 The Office of Government and Community Relations works with academic, government, community, and industry partners to help make Georgia Tech a good neighbor and the GT community one of active citizens. If you want to invite an elected official to campus as part of your SLCE teaching, please let the SLS Service Learning and Partnerships Specialist (Ruthie Yow) know so we can work with the folks at Government and Community Relations to coordinate the campus visit of either the official or their staffers.

The Office of Student Engagement supports student organizations and individual students in shaping and executing co-curricular learning experiences and projects that strengthen the entire campus community.

The Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics and Computing (CEISMC) primarily works with Georgia Tech students, student groups, and faculty on K-12 community/school partnerships.

The Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business at the Scheller College of Business engages, students, faculty, corporate leaders, and industry partners in cultivating solutions to sustainability challenges in local, national, and international business practices.


Will SLS provide funding for my SLCE work?

Serve-Learn-Sustain offers a variety of funding opportunities, from $300-500 mini-grants to larger grants of between $1,000 and $5,000, which support student learning, as well as research related to creating sustainable communities. Subscribe to our listserv to receive the latest funding calls. 


Once I have funding and a community partner, what do I pay my partner?

Honorarium and Compensation Guidelines:

In many cases it is appropriate –and even essential—to offer financial compensation for the partner’s efforts, especially when you know you are working with small non-profits, neighborhood associations, or social enterprises. These organizations frequently have limited budgets (if any), and often the people you work with are not being paid for the time they spend with you. Please remember that arranging an honorarium or other forms of financial compensation can take time. Your visiting partner will need to provide you with information to get set up in the Georgia Tech procurement system. Check out the answer to the next FAQ, “How do I Pay My Partner?” for detailed instructions.

In addition to compensation, it’s always a great practice to thank partners via e-mail message or phone conversation, but an old-fashioned handwritten thank-you card also goes a long way! Getting your students involved in the process by asking them to write out their thanks to course partners is a reliable and effective way to nurture partner relationships.


Here’s a listing of recommended compensation, based on the type of engagement that your partner has provided:


Partner’s Level of
Engagement with Class

Recommended Range of
Honorarium to Consider

Give a guest lecture

$100-200, depending on necessary prep time and length of lecture

If you wish to provide a gift to a partner from a larger organization or for-profit, contact SLS and we will assemble a goody bag and thank-you card for you!

Input on projects

A thank you should suffice. SLS also has small tokens of appreciation (ex. coffee mugs, umbrellas, t-shirts, etc.) that we can give you to give to your partner with a thank you note. Partners often appreciate these little gifts! Contact SLS to request tokens of appreciation.


Host a community or site visit (not involving service)


$100-200, depending on necessary prep time and the length of the activity.

Host a community service activity

$150-200, if the activity has been designed especially for your students, depending on necessary prep time and the length of the activity.


Note: if the activity is something that they host anyway and that depends on volunteers (ex. Trees Atlanta planting days or Chattahoochee Riverkeeper River Rendezvous), then no payment is necessary.


$300-400, depending on necessary prep time, number of times the partner visits/interacts with class, and whether they have follow-up work (commenting, critiquing, grading work, etc.).

Short-term collaboration (assignment or project)

$250-300, depending on necessary prep time and the number of times the partner visits/interacts with class.

Long-term collaboration (project or capstone*)

$400-500, depending on time commitment (see note on capstones below).

 *Capstone Projects at Tech are often funded by the client. Some non-profit partners regularly pay for capstone projects, but most community organizations do not have sufficient funding to do so. It may seem counterintuitive to suggest that Tech pay these organizations to allow us to do work for them, but this suggestion builds on the key partnership principles associated with the concept of reciprocal teaching and learning. We view community partners as collaborators and co-educators of our students and as such, want to compensate them for their contributions in helping our students succeed.


Tip: In the case of several speakers or a longer-term project, look out for our SLS funding calls for new course development, which offer anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 for community-engaged courses!


Now that I’ve determined what to pay, HOW do I pay my partner?

Working with the SLS office can help you quickly and easily get community partners listed as vendors in Georgia Tech’s procurement system so that any honorariums you have requested can be processed. To be compensated, your partner must submit a statement of services (or invoice) requesting payment for the services they rendered. Payments are typically processed by the Institute within 30 days of statement receipt.


Please provide your partners with the following information to help expedite the process.

  1. Decide whether you want to receive your payment as either:
    1. Yourself as an individual, OR
    2. A payment to your organization.
  2. Complete paperwork for SLS to enter you or your organization in the Georgia Tech Procurement System as a vendor:
    1. If you are requesting a payment for yourself, you need to be listed in the system. If you are requesting payment to your organization, your organization needs to be listed.
    2. If you (payment for yourself) or your organization (payment to your organization) have received payment from Georgia Tech in the past, please let us know. We will confirm that you/your organization are still listed as a vendor.
      1. For more help with this process, please contact Jamie White-Jones in the Center for Serve-Learn-Sustain at or (404) 385-8135. 
    3. Otherwise, please take 5-10 minutes to complete the GT online vendor registration form. Please check out this series of screencaps for more detailed guidance on vendor registration!
      1. The person registering as a vendor (whether for self or organization) must choose an appropriate category for the type of services rendered.
      2. If completing the vendor registration process as an individual, you will need to use your social security number (SSN) in place of a Tax ID number in the required field.
      3. Please contact Jamie to let her know that you have completed the online vendor registration process.
  3. Once the profile has been submitted, e-mail Jamie with the following information so she can process your payment:
    1. A statement of services or invoice requesting payment.

Tip: If you need to create an invoice from scratch, Microsoft Word and Google Docs both have multiple invoice template options available that are acceptable for the payment process.

  1. In your e-mail or statement of services, include a phone number where Jamie can contact you if she has any questions.
  2. If requesting payment to your organization, please submit the statement on letterhead.
    1. If your organization does not have official letterhead, please ensure the name of the organization is on your final submitted statement of services or invoice.
    2. Payments to both individuals and organizations are typically processed within 30 business days. If that time has elapsed and no payment has been received, please follow up directly with Jamie so she can work with the appropriate departments to get your payment expedited.