Community Partnerships

The CCE is committed to forming and sustaining long-term, reciprocal partnerships that provide transformative learning experiences for students, deepen faculty engagement, respond to community-identified needs, and have a positive impact on the region.

CCE partnerships are dynamic and continuously evolving; nevertheless, we seek to embrace a core set of shared values that guide our work.  These values include an emphasis on co-education, open communication, and reciprocity.

  • Co-education: In partnership, supervisors and Bonner Scholar staff work as co-educators, walking alongside students over their four years of engagement. Every experience is intended to challenge and deepen our students’ understanding of themselves and the community in which they engage.
  • Open communication: Supervisors and Bonner Scholar staff practice open communication by being transparent and easily accessible, both celebrating success and supporting one another when challenges arise.
  • Reciprocity: Together, we work to build partnerships in the community that are mutually beneficial by being a catalyst for social change and deepened learning.

Prohibited Activities

In accordance with Bonner Foundation guidelines, the following activities do not count towards the Bonner Scholar’s service requirement either during the school year or in the summer:

  • Service on behalf of a private, for-profit company or organization
  • Service on behalf of a partisan political organization or campaign
  • Pure, scientific research in a laboratory
  • ROTC or any other military service
  • Activities that support worship, evangelical, and proselytizing within church or para-church organizations. These activities include, but are not limited to, service that focuses on religious instruction, indoctrination, or conversion. Examples include providing childcare at church in support of a worship service, teaching in evangelical and proselytizing programs, participating in a worship service, and clerical and/or administrative work for the organization. Please note that service with a religious or para-religious organization for the purpose of providing direct community service (e.g., tutoring, mentoring, providing goods to those in need, community justice programs and crisis intervention) does qualify for Bonner service hours.


When you are off campus, please remember that you are representing the University of Richmond as well as yourself as an individual. Following the guidelines below will help you and our community partners to enjoy a productive, mutually beneficial relationship.

Ask for help when in doubt

Your site supervisor understands the issues at your site, and you are encouraged to approach him/her with problems or questions as they arise. He/She can assist you in determining the best way to respond to difficult or uncomfortable situations.

Be punctual and responsible

Although you are volunteering your time, you are participating in the organization as a reliable, trustworthy, and contributing member of the team. Both the administrators and the people whom you serve rely on your punctuality and commitment to completing your service hours/project throughout your partnership.

Call if you anticipate lateness or absence

Call the site supervisor if you are unable to go in or if you anticipate being late. Be mindful of your commitment – people are counting on you.

Show respect for the agencies for which you work

Placement within community programs is an educational opportunity and a privilege; not only are you serving the community but the community is helping you by investing valuable resources in your learning.

Respect the privacy and dignity of every person you encounter

Remember that people’s circumstances and views may be different from yours.  You can learn from others.  Respect their right to privacy. When talking about your volunteer experiences as part of a learning community, do not use people’s names.

Be appropriate

You are in a work situation and are expected to treat your supervisor and others with courtesy and kindness. Dress comfortably, neatly, and appropriately. Use formal names unless instructed otherwise.

Be flexible

The level or intensity of activity at a service site is not always predictable. Your flexibility to changing situations can assist the partnership in working smoothly and producing positive outcomes for everyone involved.


Do not transport any community partner clients without express permission from your site supervisor. Be aware that you—not the university—may be liable in the event of an accident.

Local Service

Bonner Scholars complete 250 hours of service and enrichment each academic year. This averages out to 10 hours a week.

Each semester is divided into three cycles that are 4-5 weeks long. Cycles 1-3 occur in the fall semester and cycles 4-6 occur in the spring semester. Hours must be evenly distributed over the course of the semester, so that service and enrichment are consistent and on-going.

Bonners complete a minimum of 120 hours in the fall semester and 130 hours in the spring semester through a combination of service and enrichment. The spring semester is one week longer, hence the 10 additional hours.


200 of the required 250 hours (80% of the 250 hours) must be direct service at a nonprofit off-campus (except service performed within CCE offices). That means:

  • At least 8 out to the required 10 hours a week must be direct service
  • Of those 8 hours of direct service, at least 6 need to be served at your primary community partner
  • You can count travel time to and from community partner

(New Bonners do not have a primary community partner during their first semester in the program. These hours will be fulfilled through taking part in Bonner 101. See the First year curriculum above.)


Bonners make thoughtful and planned decisions to engage in enrichment activities that expand their understanding of social issues and populations with which they work or they are curious to learn more about. It’s an opportunity to go deeper or expose yourself to something new. You can participate in a maximum of 2 enrichment hours per week (or a maximum of 20% of your total hours per cycle).

On or off-campus enrichment that aligns with multiple BSP Common Commitments (civic engagement, international perspective, social justice, community building, diversity, and spiritual exploration) can be considered for enrichment hours.

Examples of Bonner-sponsored enrichment include:

  • Monthly meetings
  • Class meetings
  • One-on-ones
  • Cornerstones
  • Bonner dinners
  • Cycle write-ups

Examples of student-driven enrichment include:

  • Approved organizations (on-campus organizations whose mission and work align with BSP)
  • Lectures, Films, Forums, etc.
  • Conferences (up to 10 hours per conference)
  • Reflection (up to 1 hour per cycle)

What doesn’t count as enrichment? Examples include:

  • Classes / guest speakers in class / an event organized by your professor that you would not be attending if not in a particular class
  • Field trips with professors (unless it is a required event not organized by your professor)
  • Fundraising events that you are not organizing (i.e. Teeter for Tots, Greek philanthropies, profit shares)
  • Enrichment opportunities that do not align with multiple Common Commitments

To submit student-driven enrichment opportunities, go to and complete the “Enrichment Submission Form.”

Cycle Requirements

At the end of every cycle, Bonners are required to meet specific expectations in order to receive their stipend payment (see the Funding section). These expectations include logging hours, submitting write-ups, and creating Community Learning Agreements (CLAs).

The following is a list of expectations for each cycle:

Cycle 1

  • Site-supervisor signed CLA (via BWBRS)
  • Signed hour logs (student and site-supervisor) of 40 hours or more (via BWBRS)
  • Write-up (via
  • Attend BSP meetings (bi-monthly meetings,, cornerstones, and Bonner 101 if you are a new Bonner)
  • CCE Registration

Cycle 2

  • Signed hour logs (student and site-supervisor) of 40 hours or more (via BWBRS)
  • Write-up (via
  • Attend BSP meetings (bi-monthly meetings,, cornerstones, and Bonner 101 if you are a new Bonner)

Cycle 3

  • Signed hour logs (student and site-supervisor) of 40 hours or more (via BWBRS)
  • Write-up (via
  • Attend BSP meetings (bi-monthly meetings, cornerstones, and Bonner 101 if you are a new Bonner)

Cycle 4

  • Site-supervisor signed CLA (via BWBRS)
  • Signed hour logs (student and site-supervisor) of 40 hours or more (via BWBRS)
  • Write-up (via
  • Attend BSP meetings (bi-monthly meetings, cornerstones, and Bonner 102 if you are a new Bonner)
  • CCE Registration

Cycle 5

  • Signed hour logs (student and site-supervisor) of 40 hours or more (via BWBRS)
  • Write-up (via
  • Attend BSP meetings (bi-monthly meetings, and cornerstones)

Cycle 6

  • Signed hour logs (student and site-supervisor) of 50 hours or more (via BWBRS)
  • Write-up (via
  • Attend BSP meetings (bi-monthly meetings, and cornerstones)

Summer Internships

For each of two summers, Bonner Scholars complete a 280-hour internship (six-week minimum) at the non-profit or NGO of their choice. Summer internships provide an opportunity for Scholars to more deeply engage the issues and populations with which they work during the academic year or new issues and populations outside of what or who they engage during the academic year.


Bonners must serve a minimum of 30 hours per week during the summer. Ideally, all 280 hours would be served at the same non-profit or NGO, so that students gain a deeper understanding of what working full-time for the same nonprofit is like. If circumstances prevent that, then Bonners can evenly divide their summer service between two organizations that engage the same social issues or populations.


Bonners can apply for up to $5,500 over the course of two summers to support summer internships. See the Funding section for more details. The two main sources of funding are the living stipend (paid prior to service) and the earnings stipend (paid upon completion of summer service).


Summer stipends are dispersed once the following conditions have been met:

Living Stipend

  • Attend the summer internship workshop (late January)
  • Fill out the summer funding application (by end of Cycle 4)
  • Submit signed summer internship agreement (by end of Cycle 5)
  • Submit CLA via BWBRS (by end of Cycle 6)

Earning Stipend

  • Log 280 hours of service via BWBRS (mid-August)
  • Submit a signed hour-log (student and site-supervisor) (mid-August)
  • Complete the community partner evaluation (mid-August)

Frequently Asked Questions

For a list of frequently asked questions, see the “Summer Service FAQ” page.

Study Abroad Service

Bonner Scholars who study abroad during the fall or spring semesters and are encouraged to continue serving in their abroad community. Scholars also have the option of taking brief or extended leave. When a Bonner Scholar takes a brief leave (fewer than 2 months; serving at least 40 hours), the Financial Aid Office does not need to be notified as it does not affect their financial aid package. Bonner Scholars must inform BSP staff of their intention to take brief leave by the end of cycles 1 and/or 4, respectively.

Extended leave is longer than 2 months and requires that the Scholar serves no hours. When a Bonner Scholar takes an extended leave from the program (more than 2 months), the Financial Aid Office must be notified so that their financial aid package can be reduced. Bonner Scholars must inform BSP staff of their intention to take extended leave by the end of cycles 1 and/or 4, respectively.


Students studying abroad in the fall and who wish to remain active must complete 120 hours; those studying abroad in the spring must complete 130 hours. Due to the variance in the start and end dates of international Universities, the Bonner studying abroad creates an individual, unique timeline that outlines when the CLA and hour logs are due.


Similar to domestic service, Bonners studying abroad can earn up to $1,250 per semester, dispersed in three payments of roughly $417 during the semester. See Funding section for more details.


When studying abroad, students must complete the following steps:

  1. Declare your active or inactive status by sending an email to the BSP coordinator at the beginning of your study abroad term
  2. If remaining active, the BSP coordinator will send you a study abroad service agreement.  This agreement must be submitted prior to serving
  3. At the end semester, submit a student and site supervisor signed hour log of 120/130 hours or more (via BWBRS)
  4. Finally, complete a BSP study abroad survey

While abroad, the BSP administrative coordinator will be the point-of-contact for all Scholars. The administrative coordinator will assist with arranging service, conduct check-ins, and approve all hours.