Becoming a Community Partner

Dallas has an incredibly dynamic social and cultural landscape, providing limitless opportunities for SMU students to learn from—and with—community organizations. Let's partner for mutual benefits.

Below, community organizations can learn more about Engage Dallas, submit an initial interest form, and connect with our team. 

About Engage Dallas

An SMU student serves a child a snow cone at an Engage Dallas event. 

Engage Dallas is a place-based community engagement initiative via SMU’s Residential Commons to address community needs focusing on South and West Dallas. The initiative is a long-term, university-wide commitment led by students to partner with local residents, organizations, and other leaders to positively impact the community. There is equal emphasis on campus and community impact stemming from the initiative.

We encourage community organizations to learn more about the Engage Dallas framework, SMU's motivations behind the initiative, and our goals. Community organizations may also be interested in how the Engage Dallas initiative is experienced by SMU students. Explore the initiative's components and flow from our students' perspective.

Opportunities for community organizations

Community organizations have a variety of opportunities to work with Engage Dallas. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Host student volunteers to help with an event or project
  • Participate in campus events, such as information fairs and community service days
  • Participate in selection committees for student Engage Dallas recognition programs
  • Participate in planning committees for student/community events
  • Attend the Engage Dallas annual Community Partner Reception

Express Interest

  • Fill out our online Community Partner Interest Form. This allows us to learn about your organization and how you hope to partner.

  • A representative from the Engage Dallas team will be in contact with you to set up a time to visit within 10 business days. The purpose of the discussion is to ensure the partnership is a good fit for the community organization and Engage Dallas. During the discussion, we will go over the function and logistics of the partnership (how the students will serve, how many hours, etc.) as well as expectations.

  • Once we have our discussion, the Engage Dallas team will determine available opportunities for you to serve as an Engage Dallas Community Organization and work with Engage Dallas to connect with SMU students.

  • If matched as an Engage Dallas Community Organization the Engage Dallas team will set up a one-hour training for you to get administrative access to the Engage Dallas' volunteer recruitment and tracking platform.

Connect with our team

Community organizations possess invaluable expertise and experience in demonstrating the ideals of civic engagement. Engage Dallas seeks West-and-South-Dallas-serving non-profit and government organizations who wish to join as co-educators by providing valuable opportunities for student involvement. In offering these volunteer co-curricular experiences, you are helping to teach students the importance of being informed and responsible citizens.

A major focal point of Engage Dallas partnerships with community organizations is to provide entry-level civic pathways to students. This means offering mutually beneficial opportunities with minimal barriers to participation such as advanced or technical skills, long-term commitments, or significant amounts of training. These types of opportunities allow SMU students to explore community needs and their own values in order to find a cause or organization they wish to pursue farther.

If you have opportunities for students to participate in the mission of your organization and you wish to contribute to their educational experience, please consider partnering with Engage Dallas. To begin, connect with the Engage Dallas Initiative Manager.