COW FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I don't live in an area where there are a lot of Lakers. Can I volunteer in the name of Grand Valley on my own?
A: Absolutely! Any project, no matter how big or small makes an impact. We ask that your project be coordinated between March 21-28, 2015 in order to be considered a Community Outreach Week project. Create an individual project.

Q: I heard I get a free bandana... when does that arrive?
A: If you are registered for a group project, the bandana will arrive in a package that is mailed to the project site leader. If you are an individual, it will be mailed to the address you indicated on your sign up form approximately one week prior to your project.

Q: The project I want to register for has been closed. How do I sign up last minute?
A: E-mail cow@gvsu.edu or call 616-331-3590 to sign up for closed projects. Remember that you will not be guaranteed a COW bandanna due to late registration.

Q: I have a question about my project, and the agency I am volunteering for, who do I contact?
A: E-mail cow@gvsu.edu or call 616-331-3590 and a Community Outreach Week representative will get back with you within one business day.

Q: I need to cancel my attendance at a service project. Who do I contact?
A: E-mail cow@gvsu.edu or call 616-331-3590 at least 5 days before the scheduled project date to let a Community Outreach Week representative know of your cancellation.

Q: My student organization, alumni club/chapter, work employees want to sign up for a private project. What do I do?
A: If the project has already been established, contact your group's leader to receive a special URL to sign up. If you are the group leader for the project, you’ll need to register first. Click “Create a Project.” Be sure and indicate what group or company you're working with, and click "yes" when asked "is this event private?" 

Q: I work at a non-profit and we need volunteers. How do I get the word out?
A: You came to the right place. Fill out this project request form and we will do our best to match a group with your needs.

Site Leaders / Project Leaders

Q: What is a site leader? 
A: A site leader is the point person between volunteers and the project location or non-profit organization. The site leader registers the project with all important details at http://www.gvsu.edu/cow/create.htm and makes sure the agency is ready for volunteers. The GVSU Alumni Association and the Community Service Learning Center serve as the promoters and sponsors of the projects, but are not responsible for recruiting volunteers for all projects.

Q: Once I register my project, do I also need to go back in and sign up?
A: No, when you register a new group project, you are automatically added into the count of volunteers. For example, you'll automatically see on the events calendar that your project has 1/15 volunteers. You do not need to additionally add yourself, but any of your guests will need to sign up separately.

Q: What happens if a site leader needs to announce changes or a cancellation to a group project?
A: Upon request, or one week prior to your project, the site leader will receive an email with all volunteers registered for the project. The site leader is responsible for communicating any changes in location, time, etc to the volunteers, as well as thinking back-up plan for inclement weather. March is often unpredictable, so it is recommended that you discuss a couple of options with your non-profit.

Q: What happens if no one signs up for the volunteer project I am leading?
A: If there is low or no participation for the project one week prior to the project's date, you will receive an email notifying you of the low attendance. At that time you will be able to email your group and let them know whether the project is still happening.

Q: What resources do I get as a site leader?
A: Approximately one week before the event, you will receive a box of goodies mailed to you (make sure your address is correct!) with a roster of your volunteers, name tags, sharpies, COW talking points as well as free bandanas for the group.

Q: How soon should volunteers register?
A: In order to qualify for a bandana, volunteers must register for a project by March 13, 2015. However, project spaces are limited and available on a first come, first serve basis.

Q: What if there are walk-ins the day of the project?
A: It is the site leader's/Non-profit's discretion as to whether the volunteer is eligible to participate. There are no guarantees that a COW bandana will be provided.

Q: What do I do after my project is over?
A:

  • Fill out a project recap form here: http://www.gvsu.edu/cow/event_recap.htm be sure and submit lots of photos for a chance to win prizes.
  • Email the roster of who showed up and who did not back to cow@gvsu.edu
  • Send a thank you message to your group of volunteers.
  • Share your photos and experience on social media using #GVcow