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DukeEngage officially launched in 2007, thanks to the generous support and forward-thinking vision of The Duke Endowment and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. As the program increased in scope and reach over the years, we’ve benefited from the additional support of a growing number of generous and devoted alumni, parents, and friends. These contributions have allowed DukeEngage to:

  • Enroll 400 students each year; nearly 25% of eligible Duke undergraduates now participate
  • Improve the quality of student pre-departure preparation
  • Strengthen community partner communication channels

Currently, about half of DukeEngage’s annual operating support comes from philanthropy, with remaining support coming from Duke University.

What We Fund

DukeEngage covers living and travel expenses associated with a student’s summer of service, including transportation, housing, food and some enrichment activities. Stipends for each student are calculated based on the cost of living in the student’s placement community; those funds are intended to cover the student’s program expenses for the summer. For students on need-based financial aid, Duke waives the “summer earnings” requirement so those participants don’t have to worry about making up for lost wages during their service placement. 

We’re not exaggerating when we say that there is no other program like DukeEngage.

How You Can Help

Continued support from individuals and foundations allows DukeEngage to launch new programs, engage new faculty and partners, and prepare students to be global citizens. Please consider making a financial gift to support DukeEngage’s ongoing efforts. Your generosity will help DukeEngage participants tackle pressing social issues in partnership with faculty and communities around the world.

Make a Gift

Funding Priorities

Philanthropic support is critical to everything we do, from providing immersive service experiences for DukeEngage students to supporting Duke faculty and community partners who make our programs possible. Here are a few ways your support can make a difference for DukeEngage. For questions about these — or any — funding opportunities, please contact Margaret Krause, development program director, at

DukeEngage Pathways Fund

All DukeEngage programs are designed around specific themes or locations that connect the work our students do to the needs of communities they serve. Supporting a DukeEngage program that focuses on a specific service theme, social issue, or geographic region helps DukeEngage students tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. Examples of civic themes include Education & Literacy, Environment & Conservation, Health & Human Services, and Women’s Advocacy & Empowerment. Gifts to this fund can also be restricted to support only U.S. or international programs, or unrestricted to provide flexible support where it’s needed most.


DukeEngage 365 Fund

To extend the impact of DukeEngage, we are creating a year-round calendar of opportunities to help students prepare for their experience and process, apply, and share what they have learned after they return. The DukeEngage 365 fund will support a range of preparatory and re-entry activities, including reunion events, local service experiences, a post-service professional development trip to Washington, D.C., and attendance at professional and academic conferences.

DukeEngage Director’s Exploration Fund

DukeEngage is a recognized leader in higher education civic engagement. To maintain this status requires vision, leadership, and creativity. This flexible fund will allow the Peter Lange Executive Director of DukeEngage to launch new programs, fund site exploration grants, and expedite big ideas that keep DukeEngage at the forefront of experiential education.


DukeEngage Graduate Fellowship

An endowed fellowship will support an exceptional Duke University graduate student who has an interest in civic engagement, experiential learning, and/or community-based research. This fellow will work alongside DukeEngage staff to assist with program development, student mentoring, assessment and evaluation, as well as to advance research on the role and impact of civic engagement in higher education.

DukeEngage Co-Educators Fund

To expand and elevate the essential role that faculty members and community partners play in DukeEngage, we are making an investment in the people who teach and train our students each summer. This fund will provide flexible support for course development grants, faculty research that intersects with DukeEngage themes or locales, or bringing a community partner, practitioner, or faculty expert to campus.

DukeEngage Opportunity Fund

This fund provides immediate, flexible resources to support group programs and independent projects each year. Gifts to this fund can be used for student stipends, travel expenses, enrichment activities, reflection sessions, and faculty and site coordinator support for existing programs.

Chelsea Decaminada Memorial Fund

Chelsea Decaminada was part of the 2013 DukeEngage-Kolkata program, working with other DukeEngagers and local nonprofits to serve youth and children with special needs. After graduating from Duke in 2015 with a degree in public policy and international comparative studies, she volunteered with the Peace Corps in Tanzania. Chelsea was on assignment in Sri Lanka for the U.S. Department of Commerce during the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks on churches and hotels. She died from her injuries on May 4, 2019.

The Decaminada family established the Chelsea Decaminada Memorial DukeEngage Fellowship Fund to support independent DukeEngage projects and celebrate Chelsea’s passion for civic engagement and international development.

Make a Gift in Chelsea's Memory

Stories of Support

Each year, hundreds of alumni, parents, friends and past participants make DukeEngage a philanthropic priority. Learn what inspired them.

Professional woman smiling at camera

Donor Spotlight: Linda Hoffman Sterling ’82, MBA’83

“I hope that my financial support of DukeEngage will help more students have the opportunity to experience the program, and with that, the chance to live in a community somewhere in the world where they might never have had the opportunity otherwise.”

Read more about why Sterling invests in the work of DukeEngage.

Duke student and DukeEngage donors

Donor Spotlight: Mark ’86, P’20 and Benay Todzo P’20

“Our hope is that every Duke student has the opportunity to participate in a DukeEngage program.  We have been so impressed with the DukeEngage alums we have met.  Some now work in the nonprofit sector where they may not have prior to their experience.  Some are working in the for-profit sector, but with an added sense of community service and awareness.  We would like to see that amplified across all the Duke graduates.”

Read more about why the Todzos invest in the work of DukeEngage.

three adults posing for camera

Donor Spotlight: Barbara ’83 and Ted Janulis
Barbara Janulis is a Duke alum, class of 1983, and her husband, Ted Janulis, is a Harvard alum who has been converted to equally bleed Crimson and Duke Blue. In their personal and professional lives, they focus their attentions on the environment/conservation space. We asked them to share a bit about their connections to Duke and to DukeEngage, and Barbara, who sits on the DukeEngage National Advisory Board, generously agreed.

Read more about how they connected their passion for environmental conservation with their philanthropic support of DukeEngage.

people posing in front of bug rock and mountians

Donor Spotlight: Ellen Wolf ’75 and Rich Harris ’73

Rich Harris not only found a passion for political science at Duke, he also found a partner to share his life. Harris met Ellen Wolf, an art history major, during work study in the cafeteria on East Campus. Since then, their connection to Duke has only deepened. They recently visited campus to see firsthand how their university has changed over the years. That trip—and a meeting with then-DukeEngage Executive Director Eric Mlyn—helped inspire their first gift to DukeEngage.

Read more about what they hope their support will accomplish.

headshot of Tre Scott

Donor Spotlight: Tre’ Scott ’15

In addition to making a planned gift to establish a scholarship in honor of his great-aunt and grandmother, Tre’ established the Tre’Ellis Terrell Scott DukeEngage Fund to give Duke undergraduates the chance to experience the program as he did. “DukeEngage is not just a world of service, or a world of civic engagement. It is a lesson in failure and a lesson in ambiguity,” says Tre’, who did an independent DukeEngage project in China in 2012 and joined the DukeEngage National Advisory Board in 2018.

Read more about Tre’s giving story.


Learn why your support of DukeEngage is so important from those who know best: past participants!