Brown Community-Engaged Alumni Network (Brown CAN)


The Brown Community-Engaged Alumni Network (Brown CAN) harnesses the collective power of Brown alumni to maximize Brown’s positive impact on communities locally and globally. The program connects Brown alumni to partner organizations in capacities that are most meaningful to the communities in which they serve, as identified and prioritized by the real priorities and needs of partner organizations. For many alumni, public service is a cornerstone of the Brown spirit. This program makes available rewarding experiences that leverage alums’ experience, skills,  and passions so they can simultaneously support Brown and an organization that aligns with their values.

Brown CAN connects volunteers and opportunities through two structures: (A) a directory of opportunities that serve Rhode Island communities (B) a suite of tools for identifying and supporting priorities and needs in communities across the globe. Both structures include opportunities for direct engagement and indirect capacity building across a range of issue areas and time commitments. 

Direct engagement

Community-based engagement that involves direct interaction with community members. Direct engagement activities exist on a broad spectrum in terms of their duration and intensity (from one day to semester-long commitment).

Some examples include:

  • Spend an hour discussing your career and educational pathway with students during a local school’s career exploration week.  

  • Correspond with seniors, active duty service members, etc.

  • Regularly tutor a K-12 student over the course of an academic term

  • Volunteer at a local health clinic

  • Design and/or plant a community garden 

Capacity building and consultation 

Sharing of knowledge or expertise with an organization or individual to bolster their capacity to serve a community. These opportunities can take place in person or virtually.

Some examples include:

  • Advise a non-profit on their fundraising strategy

  • Support the marketing and publicity efforts of a local non-profit

  • Lead a workshop that helps Brown students gain the hard or soft skills they need to effectively engage with community organizations 

  • Serve on an organization's board or advisory group

4 People | 0 Impacts | 0 Hours