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.

Below is a listing of recommended compensation, based on the type of engagement that your partner has provided.  Please remember that these are just guidelines!  There will always be collaborations that don't fit clearly into these guidelines, or that cross categories, or require more work than seems rewarded by the suggested amount.  Faculty should always feel free to contact us for advice.


Type of Partnership Suggested Amount Additional Guidance Examples
Single class visit by one or more members of an organization $150 Payment is for the organization and so doesn't vary depending on number of representatives from the organization who come to the class; pay for parking with a voucher from SLS A sustainability staff person from city government comes to speak, off the cuff, to a class about the projects she leads
Guest Lecture and Presentation or Activity $250 Requires preparation on the part of the speaker and will usually consume the whole class period Staff from the local food bank facilitate Hunger 101 with a class and lead a reflection session afterward
Partial Term Collaborative project entailing meeting with students or student teams $350 Requires the support of a partner during a particular part of the term through student meetings or more than one class visit Students visit a civil rights museum and its education liaison sends feedback on drafts of their digital exhibits
Collaborative project entailing multiple meetings with students or student teams over a whole semester; SLS-sponsored capstone projects fall into this category* $500 Varies depending on number of meetings, visits, consultations, and on number of students or teams the partner is supporting An ISYE capstone team designs a food delivery and collection system for a food bank
Service event for students in a course or site visit hosted by the organization $500 Amount reflects the scale of event/ # of students and whether the event is organized specifically for the class (as opposed to a regularly held service event that students join) A community garden hosts students for a two-hour tour and harvest activity, guided by garden staff
Major event or all day site-visit hosted by the organization Approx $750 Event in this category would entail the work of more than one staff person at the partner organization and extensive pre-planning A local organization supporting refugees hosts a full-day event, on site, specifically for students in a course

*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. In those cases, SLS pays the fee the department or program requests of the client. If there is no fee, SLS will provide a stipend- as suggested above-to the collaborating nonprofit or grassroots partner, to compensate them for their time as co-educators and mentors. SLS also provides other funding that will support the project, even if that funding isn't paid directly to the partner; an example is SLS's providing of Subject Matter Experts. These “SMEs” are faculty from outside the discipline who advise the team in creating a stronger and more equity-oriented deliverable. In some very special cases, partners from other organizations with special expertise may be paid to participate in a consulting capacity in a capstone project. You'll find more information about our Capstone Projects program here.

Tip: Looking for Funding? SLS often has minigrants available of up to $500 for affiliated courses and we also sometimes offer course development funds; contact Ruthie Yow, Service Learning and Partnerships Specialist, to discuss.


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. Please read the following instructions closely and carefully and consult with YOUR UNIT's Financial Analyst first with any questions.  The process differs depending on whether your partners is being paid as an individual or an organization, and whether your partner is being paid by SLS durectly or by funds that have already been transferred to your unit.

Is your partner being paid as an INDIVIDUAL?

If your partner is being paid as an individual, they will register under their name following the instructions below.  Once they are registered and approved in the vendor system, they do not need to submit any additional paperwork.  To process the honorarium that you have offered, once the service or visit has occurred, you will simply submit a copy of an email as the documentation.  The email can be your invitation to the partner to participate in your class prior to the event OR an email after the event, thanking them for their participation.  In both cases, the email should detail the date(s) of the service, what was provided by the partner, and the amount of the honorarium.


Is your partner being paid as an ORGANIZATION?

If your partner is being paid as an organization, they will register their organization following the instructions below.  This registration process should occur well in advance of any anticipated visit or event.  Once they are registered and approved in the vendor system, they will need to submit a quote for the agreed upon stipend prior to the date(s) of service.  The quote should be entered by your unit Financial Analyst into the Workday system and a Requisition will be issued.  Once that is approved, the service can be provided by the partner.  After the date(s) of service, your partner should then submit an invoice to you for payment of the agreed upon stipend.  This invoice can be identical to the original quote - but the title should be changed to say "INVOICE."  Your Financial Analyst will then submit the invoice for payment against the requisition.

Please provide your partners with the following information to assist with the vendor registration 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 the online registration for 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.  
    3. Otherwise, please take 5-10 minutes to complete the GT online vendor registration form. Please check out these instructions 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. Once the profile has been submitted, please complete the following so your payment can be processed:
    1. If you are being paid as an organization, please submit a quote for services (sample found  HERE), prior to your date(s) of service.  Following the date(s) of service, submit a final invoice for payment.
    2. If you are being paid as an individual, please just notify the appropriate person (see below) that you have completed the registration process by forwarding the email you will received from the system with your registration confirmation.
    3. If requesting payment to your organization, please submit the quote and invoice on letterhead.  If your organization does not have official letterhead, please ensure the name of the organization is on your quote and your final submitted statement of services or invoice. 

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 the appropriate person so we can work to get your payment expedited.


Is your partner being paid by SLS Directly?

If you partner is being paid directly by SLS, please contact Jamie White with any questions, for assistance with the vendor registration process, with notification of vendor registration, and with documentation of the services provided and the agreed upon compensation (email confirmation, quotes, invoices, etc.).  


Is your partner being paid by you, through funding (grant, mini-grant, etc) that you already received from SLS?

If you are paying your partner with funds that SLS has already provided to you for this purpose, please work directly with your unit's financial analyst staff to assist your partner in completing this process.  SLS staff can discuss any questions about the process with the appropriate analyst, and that person can contact Jamie White with questions.

Tip: If you need to create an invoice or quote from scratch, Microsoft Word and Google Docs both have multiple invoice/quote template options available that are acceptable for the payment process.  A sample invoice can be found HERE.