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Impact Tracking & Guidelines

Volunteers have been lighting the way for others across Tennessee and throughout the world for over 225 years. Every contribution through service—no matter how small—is an investment in our communities, demonstrating to others the world we seek to create. You can both find volunteer opportunities and track your impacts through our platform, ServeUTK. While the Jones Center for Leadership and Service values all types of community engagement, only certain activities can be tracked in our ServeUTK portal.

Enter ServeUTK Here

Prior to submitting any impacts, please review the FAQs below about what can and cannot be logged for impact hours.  Please note all tracked impacts are subject to review by the Jones Center for Leadership and Service staff and must be able to be verified by a nonprofit partner or volunteer event manager. If you have any questions about our guidelines, please contact us at leadserve@utk.edu.

FAQs about Tracking Impacts

On ServeUTK, “Impact” is used as an umbrella term to describe all potential forms of community engagement. An impact can be described as funds donated, funds raised, goods donated, hours trained, voting, training, research and, most often, volunteer hours served.

Our broad definition of community service is “action taken to meet the needs of others and to better the community as a whole” (Campus Compact, 1998).

The Jones Center for Leadership and Service further defines impact time as non compensated activities that are organized in partnership with a non-profit or mutual aid organization and directly benefits the larger public or external community, beyond the UTK campus.

As members of the Knoxville community, (and potentially other communities) we benefit from the many resources and services that the community provides. It is our hope that as a campus, we also add benefit and value to the communities in which we serve. This is why we ask that the service you track benefits the larger or external community, beyond the UTK campus. We ask that you work in partnership with a nonprofit or mutual aid organization because we believe that these organizations ideally work most closely with community members to meet needs.

By providing a definition of service, our goal is to serve our community more intentionally. The goal of these guidelines is not to exclude any meaningful or well-intentioned service, but rather to provide a very basic framework for understanding volunteerism. If you have any questions, please contact us at leadserve@utk.edu.

  • Donations of any type, including but not limited to money, supplies, clothing, food, blood, etc. You can track this impact using the money or goods measurement in ServeUTK.
  • Indirect Philanthropy and Fundraising Activities:
    • Attending meetings related to planning or organizing fundraising events, such as VOLthon, Relay for Life, etc.;
    • Attending a fundraising activity (including VOLthon or Relay for Life) but not engaging in direct service;
    • Running or walking in a 5K, walk, or race for charity;
    • Greek philanthropic events such as percentage nights or working a phone bank or other event to raise money for the national Greek organization or the organization’s philanthropy.
  • Projects completed with any for-profit organization/business, even if the work was unpaid. Any substantial activities of this kind should be pursued as an internship.
  • Internships, clinicals, practicums, or field experience work in hospitals, clinics, or similar organizations. This includes time spend job shadowing and observing.
  • Self-directed “projects” without the oversight of a supporting community organization, such as trash pick-up or recycling, tutoring for free, helping elderly neighbor with yard work, baby-sitting/pet-sitting for free for private individuals, etc.
  • Activities completed for the benefit of a student organization or UT athletic team or department (i.e., tabling, Peer Mentoring, serving as an Ambassador to a department, being a student organization officer, UT Sports Nutrition/Fuel Station, Sports Ambassadors, etc.).
  • Participation in self-improvement workshops, clinics, conferences, or conventions.
  • Participating in a research project either as a participant (i.e., focus group) or a researcher (i.e., lab assistant).
  • Helping with a campus program that does not directly serve a population beyond the UTK campus.
  • Partisan political activities (ex. Working on a specific political campaign)