Center for Social Impact Launches Community Outreach Surveys

Center for Social Impact Launches Community Outreach Surveys

Partnering with Sacred Heart University, the two surveys gauge the needs of their community partners during the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the available resources at each university.

Fairfield University’s Center for Social Impact is continuing its community outreach with two surveys aimed at gauging the ways in which the Center and the greater University community can support its community partners as they respond to and recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Partnering with Sacred Heart University’s Office of Volunteer Programs and Service Learning, the Center launched the first survey on April 20 to more than 350 local community partners, to gain an understanding of their immediate and long-term needs relative to Covid-19. 

“We have been discussing this for a few weeks, knowing that our community partners were going to be under tremendous stress responding to increased needs in the communities they serve — all while needing to work remotely, dealing with financial stressors, and needing to attend to their own families and personal needs,” said Melissa Quan, director of the Center for Social Impact. “We also know that our University communities are eager to be involved in supporting community partners, but we need to figure out new ways of doing that during this time of social distancing.”

Called the COVID-19 Response: Community Partner Survey, the survey will be open through summer 2020 and will allow participants to submit multiple responses as their circumstances change.

A second survey, dedicated solely to Fairfield University faculty and staff, aims to understand the capacities they might have to be able to address the needs expressed by community partners — taking stock of their courses and research, as well as knowledge, expertise, time, and connections. With Sacred Heart posing the same University Assets Mapping Survey to their campus community, Quan hopes the resulting benefits will extend beyond helping the partners they aim to serve.

“We always aspire to do more collaborative work, and this was a good opportunity to do so,” she said. “New opportunities for collaboration may emerge from the survey responses as well.”

The Center for Social Impact stands ready to mobilize to serve the greater community during this time of need. If faculty members have ideas for new community-engaged learning courses, the Center is accepting applications for Community-Engaged Learning Course Development Grants until May 15.

To learn more about these surveys, contact Melissa Quan at For more information on the Center for Social Impact, visit

Tags:  Faculty or Staff Stories


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