PLATINUM2024

SKY'S THE LIMIT FUND

A pathway to hope that heals.

Milpitas, CA   |  www.skysthelimitfund.org

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Mission

Skys the Limit Fund serves families of adolescents and young adults suffering from mental health issues, substance use disorders and addiction. We provide financial assistance and coaching services to help eligible families cover the costs of a nature-based therapy program for their struggling child.

Ruling year info

2010

Executive Director

Mary Davidson

Main address

Sobrato Center for Nonprofits 510A Valley Way

Milpitas, CA 95035 USA

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EIN

27-2592172

NTEE code info

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (F12)

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

Counseling Support Groups (F60)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Numerous studies document a rise in mental health illness in American teens. 1 in 5 teens has had a serious mental health illness, such as depression and/or anxiety. Left untreated, the illness can lead to life-threatening consequences. In a 2017 survey of American high school students, 17% reported they had seriously considered attempting suicide in the last 12 months. Yet, less than half received treatment in the last year. Wilderness Therapy is an effective form of treatment for youth suffering from mental health illnesses including but not limited to severe anxiety, depression, suicide attempts, substance use. The families seeking wilderness therapy treatment for their youth have tried traditional therapy, out and in-patient care, juvenile detention and for some, jail. Nothing has worked. Unfortunately, wilderness therapy is expensive and rarely covered by health insurance companies, making it an unattainable option. STLF makes wilderness therapy accessible.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Financial Support for Wilderness Therapy and Nature-Based Therapy Programs

Skys the Limit Fund provides financial assistance to families who may not otherwise be able to afford the high cost nature-based therapy programs for their child. We partner with 13 programs across the United States that also offer a reduction in fees in addition to the funding that STLF provides, further reducing the financial burden for the family.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Young adults

Our Coaching Service is led by three master level therapists who have years of experience in nature-based therapy, transitional support care, and traditional therapeutic care with parents and students. Each family that receives financial support from Sky' the Limit Fund is eligible to participate in our Coaching Services. Coaches outline a weekly curriculum, which includes phone calls, homework, clinical and educational materials. This hands-on approach helps guide the adolescent, teen or young adult who has completed a nature based therapy program out of the pitfalls of relapse and into healthy, balanced family dynamics, and a life of success and independence. Our coaching service also guides the family in supporting their child in the successful transition home.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Students
At-risk youth

Where we work

Awards

Top Rated Nonprofit 2023

Great Nonprofits

Affiliations & memberships

National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs 2023

Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council 2023

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Increasing the percentage of STLF families who enroll in a transitional support program from 65% to 80%.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents, At-risk youth, Low-income people, Working poor, Young adults

Related Program

Sky's the Limit Fund Coaching Service

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

80% of youth transition to an after care program following wilderness therapy. After care is also expensive, so we encourage STLF families to participate in our Family Coaching Service.

90% of STLF parents/guardians will report they recommend wilderness therapy as effective treatment for youth in crisis.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents, Young adults, At-risk youth, Low-income people, Working poor

Related Program

Financial Support for Wilderness Therapy and Nature-Based Therapy Programs

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

STLF families receive surveys 3 and 12 months following wilderness therapy treatment to obtain feedback on STLF program and mental health state of youth and family following treatment.

85% of STLF parents/guardians will report their child is in a healthy mental state 12 months post wilderness therapy treatment.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Young adults, Adolescents, At-risk youth, Low-income people, Working poor

Related Program

Financial Support for Wilderness Therapy and Nature-Based Therapy Programs

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

STLF families receive surveys 12 months post treatment to gather feedback on STLF program, wilderness therapy and mental health state of youth and families.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our goal is to provide adolescents and young adults in crisis with financial need the means to receive effective and lasting treatment for their mental health illness. Through nature-based therapy and the STLF Family Coaching Service, adolescents and young adults can transform their lives and become healthy, functioning members of their family and community. In addition, we want to bring awareness to the mental health crisis facing youth today and the benefits and efficacy of mental health treatment in the outdoors.

Our FYE 6/30/2024 goal is to provide $1,00,000 of support to approximately 135 youth in crisis and their families and to serve 85 families through the STLF Coaching Service.

In addition, we plan to host 2 community outreach events.

We have a Parent Support program to provide additional support to STLF families. This is a service whereby experienced parents share information and offer support to families whose youth are currently in a wilderness therapy program.

Our nature-based therapy support program addresses the mental health and well-being of adolescents and young adults in crisis with financial need by providing access to mental health treatment in the outdoors and transitional support. Nature-based therapy is provided by licensed mental health professionals to meet the therapeutic needs of clients. By immersing adolescents and young adults in the outdoors, nature-based therapy programs combine the powerful effects of nature with licensed mental health professionals and trained field guides, enabling adolescents and young adults to focus on their mental and physical health. The outdoors provides hands-on learning opportunities and natural consequences, forcing the participant to take responsibility for their actions and the outcomes. They learn leadership and healthy coping skills to aid in their recovery and wellness.

STLFs Nature-Based Therapy Support Program includes:

1. Access to nature-based therapy - STLF believes that cost should not be a barrier to any family seeking effective and lasting treatment for their child's mental health conditions. STLF provides financial assistance, ranging from $5000 - $15,000 per child, to offset the high cost of nature-based therapy. We partner with 13 wilderness therapy programs across the United States and we require our partners to provide a reduction in tuition, further reducing the financial burden on the family. This is significant considering most insurance companies do not provide coverage for mental health treatment in the outdoors. In fact, 89% of STLF families reported that their health insurance did not cover any of the nature-based therapy and/or after-care expenses for their child.

2. Coaching - Statistics show that the best formula for success happens when an adolescent or young adult graduates from a nature-based therapy program and has a support mechanism for transitioning to the next stage of life. Realizing the importance of this follow-up support, STLF created the Coaching Service in 2016. Offered free-of-charge to all STLF families, this 12-15 week service involves the entire family. Coaches lay out a weekly curriculum, which includes phone calls, homework and psycho-educational materials. This hands-on approach helps guide families out of the pitfalls of relapse and into healthy, balanced family dynamics, and a life of success and independence for the child We also offer this program to non-STLF families for a fee of $1,800.


Sky's the Limit fund executes an integrated, multichannel development and fundraising program to generate the income necessary to fund our Nature-Based Therapy Support Program and operating expenses. We engage individual donors through direct mail, digital marketing, social media campaigns, peer-to-peer marketing, and events. We receive generous support from private foundations and community foundations, and we rely on the support of corporate gifts and sponsorships from philanthropic organizations across the United States.

Our Nature-Based Therapy Program Partners appeal to alumni families in their network to garner support for STLF. Every year since inception we have increased revenue, grown our support base, reached more families and served more adolescents and young adults in crisis.

In FY2023 (7/1/2022 6/30/2023) STLF experienced an increase in the number of donors as well as an increase in the average amount of each donation. In addition, we were the beneficiary of several significant donations from families who experienced first-hand the efficacy of wilderness therapy. This generosity allowed STLF to increase the average amount of support for nature-based therapy from $5,000 to $10,000 and more per family.

Current Trends:
We are focused on our fundraising efforts in order to continue to support families in need. It is critical to expand our donor base, increase our revenue from foundations and corporations and retain our current donors. Since 2010, Sky's the Limit Fund has served over 1,260 families and provided more than $7.2M of support. The total support including our Program Partners reduction in fees is over $13M.

STLF is a Friend of the OBH Council (Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare), supporting its research and member program accreditation. STLF collaborates with Dr. Michael Gass, Director of Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Center (OBH Center), to share research and data supporting the efficacy of mental health treatment in the outdoors. Dr. Gass and OBH fully support the mission of STLF and the importance of providing those in need with access to wilderness therapy.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We share the feedback we received with the people we serve

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, Protecting clients' privacy

Financials

SKY'S THE LIMIT FUND
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

SKY'S THE LIMIT FUND

Board of directors
as of 02/22/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Dave Segre

Dave Segre

Partner, Cooley LLP

Tara Saul

Cathy Cioth

Jennifer Taylor

Founder of JET ED Consulting

Ty Bemis

Entrepreneur

Alicia Jennings

Executive Director, Camp Thorpe

Kim Friesen

Andy Goldstrom

Managing Partner, and Founder & Coach, Parents Journey Coaching

Heath Rocha

Assistant Superintendent - Los Gatos Saratoga Union High School District Los

Josh Bloomstein

Partner, Ares Management Corporation

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/22/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/09/2024

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.