Nebraska 4-H Gives Back

The Nebraska 4-H Gives Back program is an opportunity for a Nebraska 4-H member or a team of 4-H’ers to make a meaningful contribution to their community. This award recognizes the impact that 4-H youth make in their communities and celebrates the spirit of service-learning, a pillar of the 4-H experience.

Nebraska 4-H Gives Back projects are advised by local committees and reviewed and recognized at the state level. Participants of the Nebraska 4-H Gives Back program receive an award and are showcased statewide. 

To achieve the Nebraska 4-H Gives Back honor, a 4-H member or team must complete a major service-learning project that benefits his/her community. Each 4-H member or team are responsible for the creation, coordination, and implementation of the project. The project must be of lasting value and large enough in size and/or scope to be worthy of Nebraska 4-H Gives Back recognition. 4-H members should plan on investing over 100 hours of service, and understand that it may take up to 24 months to complete this project. The project includes an initial proposal and final report that are both approved and reviewed in a two-step process. Proposals are developed and approved first by the local committee, and then by a State 4-H Program Administrator prior to the start of the project. Upon completion of the service-learning project, a final report is created to be reviewed and approved by the local committee, and then by a State 4-H Program Administrator.

Recipients will receive individual certificates of recognition once their project is completed, as well as, a $100 award to be received by the team or individual recipient. This can be used to celebrate their accomplishments or fund a future 4-H project. Recipients and their projects will also be showcased by Nebraska 4-H online. Some counties may choose to recognize recipients at county award nights. 

Proposal

Approval Process

  1. Establish a Nebraska 4-H Gives Back Advisory Committee. The committee should include representatives from the following groups: Extension staff, 4-H leaders, previous Diamond Clover and/or Nebraska 4-H Gives Back winners, and select community members.
  2. Identify a need in your community. Take the opportunity to talk with members of your community and the local Nebraska 4-H Gives Back Advisory Committee to better fit the needs of your community, and to determine if the project you're considering is appropriate.
  3. Research and complete a service-learning project proposal. Follow the instructions for the proposal. Be as detailed as possible.
  4. Present your proposal to your local Nebraska 4-H Gives Back Advisory Committee. Your presentation should be 5-10 minutes in length. The committee will follow with discussion and suggestions, which should then be incorporated into the final version of the project proposal.
  5. If the proposal is not approved, revise the proposal and submit the proposal to the committee again. If your local advisory committee approves your proposal, submit the proposal, with changes, to the State 4-H Program Administrator (electronic submissions are encouraged).
  6. Once the approval for the project has been given by the Program Administrator, the youth or team can begin the project. If the proposal is not approved, revise and resubmit.

Instructions

Do not begin any work on the service learning project until your local advisory committee and the State 4-H Program Administrator (or designee) have approved your proposal. 

Use Times New Roman, 12 point, single-spaced formatting for your proposal.

Overview: Provide an explanation of your project. List the title of your project and your contact information. Explain why you chose this project; justify the need and who will benefit. Briefly discuss the resources needed and how you will fund the project. Provide a brief timeline of the project.

Resources: List the estimated resources (money and supplies) needed to complete this project and how you will obtain them. Provide a chart of materials indicating each major item, the estimated cost, the sources or vendor and if the item will be purchased or donated.

Example:

Item Amount Needed Estimated Cost Total Cost/Value Source/Vendor Funding Comments
4'x4'x8' Lumber 20 $10-$12/ea $200-$240 Lumber yard Purchase Trail edging
Mulch 2 cu/yds $20-$25/yd $40-$50 City park Donation Trail Surface
Garden Benches 5 $100-$125/ea $500-$624 Hardware store Purchase Resting spots
Totals –– ––

Timeline: Create an estimated timeline estimating the approximate date of each major phase of the project. Begin with writing the proposal and end with writing and submitting the final report.

Example:

Item Date Started Date Completed Comments
Writing proposal 1/5/19 1/14/19 I'm planning two days to write
Present proposal to local committee 1/15 1/25 Meeting with the committee should take about an hour
Obtain permission of landowner 2/15 2/15 I will visit Mr. Jones to make my request
Ask for support 2/16 2/28 I will visit each of the business and speak to the owner/manager
Recruit workers 3/5 3/10 Club meeting and phone calls
Clear trail 3/25 3/26 clear branches
Building garden benches 4/9 4/10 Write to hardware store for donation
Mulch trees 4/22 4/22 Use 4 pickup loads of mulch
Prepare & submit final report 5/16 5/20 Take photos, compile final report
Estimated total project hours –– ––

Time Log: Create an estimated time log of the approximate number of people and the necessary skills (carpenter, electrician, mason, plumber, etc.) who will be recruited, the approximate number of hours each will spend on the project and the approximate value of their labor. Do not forget to include your time and the value of unskilled laborers including other 4-H members and community volunteers. Use Independent Sector's latest dollar value for volunteers. Will any type of training be needed for you or others to conduct this project?

Example:

Name Type of Labor Hours Cost/Value Comments
Chris Clover Project Manager 133 $1000 This be my donation
Sparky Smith Electrician 2 $100 I think he'll give me a discount
Allen Brown Tractor & Loader 2 $150 I may get part of this donated
Chuck Dodd 4-H member 5 $35 Club members will donate their time
Ellen Frank 4-H member 6 $42
George Hall 4-H member 5 $35
Volunteer Totals ––
Overall Totals ––

Approval & Permits: List approvals you will need (if necessary) to get before starting the project including landowners, facility managers, etc. If your project involves constructions, will you need a permit and if so how will you acquire it? If a permit is required, do not forget to include the cost in the Resources section (above).

Letters of Support: Attach to this proposal any letters you have received from individuals or community groups in support of this project.

Evaluation Plan: Provide an overview of how you or your team plan to evaluate the success of your project (i.e. create a simple survey for participants and/or community members to complete).

Documentation Plan: Provide an overview of how you or your team plan to document your hours and reflect on your progress (this could be done through record keeping, journaling, taking photographs/videos, etc.). Include a "before" photo of your project if appropriate.

Service Learning Project

  1. Follow the procedures outlined in your project proposal that was approved by the local committee and the State 4-H Program Administrator.
  2. Document your hours and continually reflect on your progress. This could be done through record keeping, journaling, taking photographs/video, etc.
  3. If appropriate, involve and update your local Nebraska 4-H Gives Back advisory committee. They are there to help you!
  4. Evaluate the success of your project as outlined in your project proposal.

Final Report

Approval Process

  1. Review your project documentation, and make sure that all supporting documents are complete.
  2. Analyze your evaluation results: seek out input from the community.
  3. Complete a final report. Follow the instructions for the final report. Additional documentation may be utilized.
  4. Present your final report to your local Nebraska 4-H Gives Back advisory committee. Your presentation should be about 5-10 minutes in length and may include a slideshow presentation or photo album. The committee will follow with a discussion.
  5. Once the local committee has approved the final report, the project will move on to the State Program Administrator for final review.

Instructions

Use Times New Roman, 12 point, single-space formatting for your final report.

Overview: Provide an explanation of your project. List the title of your project and your or your team’s contact information. Explain why you chose this project; what the need was and who benefited. Summarize your evaluation results and what you learned from this project.

Resources: List the actual resources (money and supplies) needed to complete this project and how you obtained them. Provide a chart of materials indicating each major item, the actual cost, the source or vendor and if the item was purchased or donated. Explain any significant differences between your proposed estimated resources and final actual resources. Did any resource problems arise and how did you solve them? Is there anything you would do differently?

Timeline: Create an actual timeline indicating the actual date of each major phase of the project. Explain any significant differences between your proposed estimated timeline and final actual timeline. Did any timeline problems arise and how did you solve them? Is there anything you would do differently?

Time Log: Create an actual time log of the number of people and the necessary skills (carpenter, electrician, mason, plumber, etc.) who were recruited, the number of hours each spent on the project and the approximate value of their labor. Include your time and the value of unskilled laborers including other 4-H members and community volunteers. Was any type of training needed for you or others? Explain any significant differences between your proposed estimated time log and final actual time log. Did any labor problems arise and how did you solve them? Is there anything you would do differently?

Approvals & Permits: List the approvals and permits you needed for the project, including landowners, facility managers, construction permits, etc. Explain the process you went through to get the approval/permits. Did any approval/permit problems arise and how did you solve them? Is there anything you would do differently?

Evaluation Results/Letters of Appreciation: Provide a summary of your evaluation (i.e. survey results). If you collected comments or testimonials from people, please submit originals, copies or compile them. Analyze your evaluation results. Did your project meet the need and benefit the people you intended? Has the project positively impacted the community? Explain.

Documentation: Provide copies of your documentation and reflection (records, journal entries, photographs/video, etc.). Include “before” “during” and “after” photographs of your project if appropriate. Additional documentation may be utilized.

What You Have Learned: Explain what you learned from this project — including what you learned about yourself.

Media Summary Statement: Write a 3-4 sentence summary of the project and outcomes for media and promotional purposes. 

Photos: Attach up to 4 photos documenting the project for media and promotional purposes.

For questions about this program or the information on this page, please contact:

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COORDINATOR: Jill Lingard
EMAIL: jlingard@unl.edu
PHONE: 402-472-1710