Funding Your Retreat

We believe that Youth Frontiers retreats are a worthy investment for your school. We also understand the challenges of working within your school budget. If you’re coming up short, then check out the resources below for additional funding ideas. It’s important to note that schools often take advantage of multiple resources to cover their retreat costs. We encourage you to contact our office with any questions or with your school’s fundraising success stories. We’d love to share your ideas here.

SCHOOL SUPPORT
Ideas

Your school district could support your efforts to bring social-emotional learning into your school. Ask them to allocate a portion of their funds to subsidize your retreat. Ask your PTA/PTO to invest in your efforts to improve school climate. They can use crowd-sourcing sites like Kickstarter, GoFundMe or Yubbler to fundraise. Ask students to pay a field trip participation fee. Organize a fun run. Host a fundraiser like a house show or a silent auction.

Success Story: Cottage Grove Middle School, Oltman Middle School, Minn.

Oltman Middle School (OMS) and Cottage Grove Lions (CGL) formed a partnership to help support anti-bullying efforts and fundraise for local students to participate in the Youth Frontiers Courage Retreats®.

The partnership began when OMS approached CGL to ask for help funding the retreats. CGL came through with $1000 for the first two years of retreats. Then CGL wanted to help all the eighth graders in the district, so OMS invited Cottage Grove Middle School to join the partnership.

The partnership has organized 5K walk/runs, raffles and student dances to raise money for both schools to attend the Courage Retreat (that’s four retreats a year) and to cover bussing fees.  Over the past five years, their retreat participant numbers have grown from 200 to 300.

COMMUNITY SUPPORT
Students standing with arms around each others' shoulders at a Courage Retreat
Ideas

Connect with your local Rotary, Lion’s Club or Kiwanis Group. Ask a local business or generous community member to sponsor or subsidize your retreat. Post your retreats on DonorsChoose.org to receive money from donors across the country who support character development.

Success Story: Wrightstown High School, Wis.

Wrightstown High School’s local grocery store sells Wrightstown apparel and donates the proceeds back to the school district. The school district has given Wrightstown High these donations to help fund their Respect Retreat®.

“I am lucky my school district feels these retreats are important. I have made sure to advocate for the retreats and have also been able to get administrators to attend the retreats so they see how powerful they are,” said Lysa Van Dyke, Health and Physical Education Teacher at Wrightstown High.

FOUNDATION SUPPORT
Students talking in a small group on a Kindness Retreat
Ideas

Write a grant proposal that connects your own school’s mission to Youth Frontiers and the research behind our retreats. Download resources from Dropbox including Youth Frontiers’ Impact Sheet and Evaluations Overview to supplement your application. Check out this guide to foundation funding from Pearson to get you started. To find applicable grants, search the Foundation Center. Or check out these foundations that invest in character education, like the Bemis Foundation.

Success Story: Northome School, Minn.

Northome School applied for a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) grant from the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) to help fund their Courage Retreat®.

“I had to get a lot of information from our business office, and there was a lot of coordinating between our schools because the grant had to be written district-wide, not by school. However, the evaluation process was easy, and the data provided by Youth Frontiers through the online post-retreat survey was great. That’s all I used for the grant evaluation, and they accepted it as sufficient,” said Christine Lundin, a counselor for South Koochiching-Rainy River District #363. “Ultimately, if MDE offered the grant again, I’d apply for it.”

GOVERNMENT SUPPORT

Search your state’s Department of Education website for specific funding opportunities. Visit Grants.gov to search a comprehensive database of federal funding opportunities. Check out Character Education Partnership to learn more about specific federal grants for character education.

NEBRASKA SCHOLARSHIPS

We want to work with every school in Nebraska to inspire character and build community. Generous donors and foundations from the Nebraska community helped us establish this scholarship fund to reduce the cost to Nebraska schools. Our committee will award $1,000 new retreat scholarships to schools in this community.

FOR NEW APPLICANTS

If you are a new school interested in receiving a scholarship, please fill out the appropriate application by clicking on the year of your retreat.

2019-20 SCHOOL YEAR
FOR RETURNING SCHOOLS

If you are a former Nebraska Scholarship recipient, please fill out the form for the 2019-20 school year.

2019-20 SCHOOL YEAR
RULES AND ELIGIBILITY

Schools must be in Nebraska or Council Bluffs, Iowa to qualify.

Scholarship recipients are responsible for the portion of the cost not covered by the scholarship(s). Schools agree to coordinate the details of the retreat, complete the post-retreat survey, have students write thank-you notes (for student retreats only) and provide a brief funding report.

Our retreats provide a meaningful experience for all students and educators involved in the day. In an effort to ensure the quality of the retreat experience, we’ve thoughtfully established parameters around the number of participants served per retreat. We serve up to 150 elementary, 200 middle and 225 high school students and 225 educators per retreat. If the participant count exceeds the parameters, your school will require additional retreats. Note: Schools are eligible for one scholarship per retreat.