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Project Serve FAQs

Project Serve at UGM - Pepperdine University

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Volunteer Center is currently reviewing safety protocol and guidance regarding Project Serve. We will be publishing information soon regarding potential service trips and when they will happen. 

 How much will the trip cost?

Project Serve teams have a range of costs depending on length and location. The cost of the trip varies from year to year depending on airline costs, organization fees, and room/board. You can see the specific cost for each trip this year in the site list.

 Will there be fundraising opportunities?

There are two different types of fundraising options for each participant. Each participant who anticipates raising funds, should attend one of the fundraising workshops.

  • Individual Fundraising: Each participant will be encouraged to write letters to family, friends, church members, and others to invite them to contribute to the service that students will be doing on Project Serve. Participants will be given a sample fundraising letter and each team leader will support members in their efforts. Historically, we have found that this is the most successful form of fundraising. In addition, Project Serve uses Pepperdine's crowdfunding site Impact.pepperdine.edu for each team.
  • Team Fundraising: During your first few meetings with your new Project Serve team you will discuss group fundraising ideas. Your team leader may come up with some ideas, but we encourage team members to think creatively about this as well. Past team fundraisers have included pizza delivery for the caf, homecoming calling, car washes, babysitting, pictures with "Santa," knitting & selling scarves, and bake sales. Team fundraisers can generate funds, but are most important for creating great team unity.

It is recommended that participants achieve their fundraising goal through all three of these opportunities. It can be difficult for a student to raise all of their money by only participating in one of these fundraising options; however, many students successfully raise a large portion of their program fee. If you are at all concerned about fundraising or the costs, please contact projectserve@pepperdine.edu.

 When will I need to turn in my money?

You will turn in your contract in early November. The first half of the program fee is due to the Volunteer Center in early December. The second half of the program fee is due to the Volunteer Center in early February. For more details, please consult your commitment contract.

 Can I request to go on a specific team?

Absolutely. On the application you will be asked a series of questions to help you determine which team(s) you would like to apply for. It also allows you to tell us what your top choices are and which teams, if any, you do not want to be on.

Additionally, if you know there are locations or projects you cannot attend or would have to drop from, it is very important to indicate this in your application to help us in our attempt to match you to the best project.

When making selections we consider your preferences, the number allowed on each team, and the team dynamics. We do our best to place you where you want to go; however, it is important to realize that not all participants get their first choice.

When it comes to a specific group you want to go on Project Serve with (e.g., residence hall, Greek affiliation, Bible study group), you should be aware that all team members are selected individually to create a dynamic and specialized team. Project Serve is designed to expand your network of friends and to build new relationships, so there is a high likelihood that not everyone in the group will be placed on the same team.

 When will I know what team I am on?

All Project Serve applicants will find out what team they were selected for at Site Revelation (usually late October). At this event, teams will have the opportunity to meet together for the first time and begin getting to know each other better and their site.

For applicants who are abroad or who transfer in the spring, decisions will be made the first Friday after classes begin in the spring semester.

 Can I purchase my own airline ticket?

In most cases you cannot purchase your airline ticket. We buy them as a group, which not only gives us a reduced rate in some cases, but also ensures that the entire team travels together. This is important for your safety and makes it easier on the organization you are visiting. If you have a special circumstance, please feel free to contact us regarding this issue.

 Will we have free time on our trip?

We believe that a good Project Serve trip has a balance of direct service, education, reflection, and fun! Therefore, there will be free time and at least one fun group outing built into each teams' itinerary.

Please be aware that the most significant part of Project Serve is contributing to the work being done in the location. This includes learning about the needs of the community, engaging in the work the organization has set aside for your team, and engaging in community events. Therefore, you are expected to stay with the team and participate fully in all of the activities.

 Who is eligible to go on Project Serve?

If you are a Pepperdine student, staff, or faculty member and willing to serve -- you are eligible! All teams are student-led, but are open to any member of the Pepperdine community. In the past law students and other grad students have joined the Project Serve teams. In addition, several staff and faculty members have joined. The core of each team continues to be comprised of Seaver students.

In addition, if you apply by the published deadlines, you will be given a spot on a Project Serve team. This is different from other programs that must go through a process of elimination. All participants who commit to going will go on Project Serve.

 What if I am abroad in the fall semester? Can I go on a spring trip?

Unfortunately, due to the schedule of training and fundraising, we do not have allow students who are away from the Malibu campus in the fall to participate in Project Serve. Other spring break opportunities may be available, however, including God in the Wilderness.

 More questions

You can call the Volunteer Center at 310.506.4143 or email us at projectserve@pepperdine.edu.