Q: How much should I charge for a youth retreat? Quite a lot of the young people I work with are from low-income families, so I don’t want to set the price too high. I want to be sensitive to how much their parents can afford, but don’t know the best way to address the issue with them. Can you help?
A: Money is always a tricky subject, especially for activities that cost more like youth retreats. Like you said, it’s important to be sensitive to how much parents can afford without simultaneously embarrassing them that they may not be able to afford to send their child on the retreat.
Once you’ve started investigating possible youth retreat centers, you’ll have a much better idea of how much your budget will need to be. This is because the center will probably be the largest part of the budget. Check out our previous post for a more detailed guide on how to calculate a youth retreat budget.
Before making a final decision on which center to book, we’d recommend putting together a Parent Cost Feedback form.
What’s A Parent Cost Feedback Form?
The form should contain a table that lists the following:
- A shortlist of three retreat centers
- Some pros and cons of each center
- The estimated cost for a child to go on the retreat
- Empty boxes beneath each option
Try to estimate the total cost of the retreat and put this on the form, rather than just putting down the cost per child for the center only, as this will give the parents a better of idea of how much they can expect to pay overall. It doesn’t have to be a final quote at this stage, but enough to give parents a good idea of what the options are.
You could include more than three youth retreat centers on the list, but this might give too many options to get a true gauge as to how much parents can afford.
Beneath the details of each center on the form, the empty boxes are for parents to indicate which would be their preference. All they need to do is to put an ‘X’ in the box for the retreat center that they would prefer, taking into account the cost along with the pros and cons. Using only an ‘X’ helps ensure anonymity so that parents aren’t embarrassed to choose the cheapest option.
At the end, you should have a good idea as to which is the most affordable option for the parents.
How to get the form completed
How you get the form completed will depend on your contact with parents. Here are some different methods depending on parental contact:
Many youth retreats are organized through churches, so if this applies to you then the best option will probably be to make an announcement during a service. Leave the Parent Cost Feedback form at the back of the church for them to complete as they leave.
If parents drop their children off at your youth club at a community center, ask them to complete the form at that point. It’s best to get this done at the beginning of the evening rather than at the end, as parents will probably just want to get home when picking them up.
No Parental Contact
Perhaps you never get to communicate with the parents of your young people for whatever reason. If that’s the case, mail them a copy of the form along with a return envelope with a stamp on it to encourage them to reply.
Another option is to set up a survey through Survey Monkey. This is free and you can email the link to parents if you have their email addresses.
Downloadable Parent Cost Feedback Form Template
When you buy a copy of How To Plan A Youth Retreat, you also get exclusive access to many different youth retreat templates and forms. This includes a sample Parent Cost Feedback form, as well as a blank feedback form that you can complete with details of the retreat centers you find.
Discover more about the book using the link above or buy it from Amazon by clicking on the image to the right.
Question: How do you find out from parents how much they can afford for activities like youth retreats? Let us know in the comments below.
You can also connect with us by:
- Signing up to receive our posts via email
- Following us on Twitter
- Liking us on Facebook
- Signing up to our RSS feed