1. Donations
  2. A Message From the Founder



City Stay is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. All our resources go toward fulfilling our mission of providing experiential education that breaks down barriers and sparks unlikely connections between the diverse cultural communities of the Twin Cities.

Developing and operating a residential program with classes and homestay requires significant funding. City Stay relies mainly upon private donations to cover its costs. The fee for the 2017 weeklong program is $545. We realize that this amount would be prohibitive for many prospective participants in the Twin Cities, so we ample opportunities for full and partial scholarships.

We are committed to making City Stay affordable for all interested students for two reasons. First, we believe that students from a wide range of backgrounds will make our class discussions about cultures, neighborhoods, and immigration richer and more nuanced. Second, one of City Stay’s objectives is to break down barriers and reduce inequality in our community. We believe that education—including our program of cross-cultural education—is one of the most powerful tools to achieve this. In order to continue providing these scholarships, City Stay is seeking institutional grants and individual donations.

You can help make City Stay possible for all students by making a donation today. Whether you can afford to give $1 or $1000, your donation will help the program achieve its mission. Here are some examples of what your donation could fund:

Your Donation of… will make this possible for one student…
$25 – “Friend” All handouts and classroom teaching materials
$50 – “Partner” All field trip expenses, including speakers
$200 – “Ambassador” Host family stipend for food, transportation, and other care of the student
$545 – “Founding Donor” Full scholarship

Just as important as what your contribution will fund is what your contribution will say. By supporting City Stay with a contribution of any amount, you show that you believe in City Stay’s mission, educational model, and leadership. A long list of program supporters will show charitable foundations and other potential program sponsors that the community believes in City Stay and its mission. So even a small donation today could yield big returns for City Stay down the road.

Donations to City Stay are tax-deductible. City Stay is recognized by the state of Minnesota and the IRS as a non-profit organization.

Contribute to City Stay today. Please, be as generous as you can.

A Message From the Founder

I recently took a few moments to look back on some the early emails between City Stay’s founding board members from February of 2012. Peppered with exclamation points, our excitement was palpable. We were creating a vision for a program that we believed would transform our community.

One of the emails included an attachment to a non-profit business proposal we had created. The plan outlined what this unnamed organization would do, who it would serve, and how it would make an impact in the community. These first formal words ever written about City Stay began as follows:

“Despite increasing diversity, our Twin Cities remain deeply divided along cultural and ethnic lines. We live in separate neighborhoods and lack avenues for exploring relationships and conversations with those in other communities. Sometimes we lack the foreign language skills to develop those relationships. Other times, simply the physical distance keeps us apart. Regardless of the reasons, our deficiency of cross-community relationships feeds into a lack of knowledge and understanding of our neighbors. This exacerbates community mistrust, income inequality, and social stratification.”

Now, more than five years later, City Stay is a reality, building bridges between Minnesotans of all backgrounds. We’ve had the honor of facilitating a multitude of meaningful and informative relationships between people of different cultures, races, and generations. Our model is making a difference.

As social and political polarization intensifies across our country, City Stay gives me immense hope. When we invite students and hosts to participate in homestays, we are giving them the tools to dismantle their concept of “the other.” Their City Stay experience equips them with personal relationships and stories to fight back against hate and discrimination in Minnesota.

Whether you’re a donor, a student, a host, or simply a caring neighbor, I am hopeful that your advocacy will help us grow to reach even more students and families in the Twin Cities and beyond. On behalf of City Stay’s founding board, thank you for your support of this timely and groundbreaking work.

-Julie, City Stay Founder