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San Diego State University

Student Life and Leadership

Community Service FAQs

What is the difference between Community Service and Philanthropy?

Community Service is...

Active participation, and usually involves working with others and facing real life problems and issues head-on. It helps you make a connection between yourself, the skills you have to offer and the needs of the community.

Examples: Painting a youth center, serving food at a shelter, or cleaning trash off a beach.

Philanthropy is…

A desire to help mankind through the giving of gifts, usually monetary in nature, to humanitarian or charitable organizations.

Examples: Food drives, raising money for a cause, or collecting prom dresses.

While philanthropy is great for the people it helps, community services has other benefits you can only get from serving the community where you live. Leadership skills are developed, and by participating in community service, you may experience:

    • Team work
    • Real-World Problem Solving Skills
    • Awareness of Multicultural Issues
    • A Broadened Global Perspectives
    • Compassion and Concern Towards Others
    • Active Citizenship
    • Various leadership skills including time management, communication, values, and ethics