Click the button to jump to different sections of our frequently asked questions:
|SLEEP OUT FAQ||REGISTERED PARTICIPANTS||DONOR SUPPORT|
If your question is not answered below, please email [email protected].
How does Covenant House help youth facing homelessness?
Covenant House was founded in 1972 to serve young people facing homelessness with absolute respect and unconditional love. Today, with sites in more than 30 cities, we are the largest privately funded agency in the Americas providing food, shelter, crisis care, and essential services to young adults. But we go beyond offering an immediate safe harbor. We empower each young person to move forward along a path to independent adulthood, free from the risk of homelessness. Learn more.
Why do I have to fundraise? And how much do I need to raise?
The Sleep Out is a unique experience that we hope encourages awareness, empathy, and understanding for the immeasurable odds that young people overcoming homelessness face. But while awareness of a problem is important, it isn’t a solution.
We ask Sleep Out participants to raise critical funds that allow Covenant House to offer safety, shelter, and support to these young people 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. By fundraising, Sleep Out participants become part of the solution for youth facing homelessness. Our teams will provide fundraising tips and materials to help you reach your goal. We have also created a toolkit for fundraising during COVID-19. Find it here.
Where does the money for Sleep Out go?
Directly to Covenant House, where we put it to work right away. The funds raised by Sleep Out participants help keep the lights on and the doors open for the thousands of young people who will come to our shelters this year. Once we meet a young person’s immediate needs, Covenant House offers an individualized development plan for self-sufficiency and independent adulthood. Sleep Out participants help fund all of these vital services, such as medical care, legal assistance, education opportunities, vocational training and therapeutic services. Learn more.
If you live in a state or province where we have a Covenant House, the funds you raise will be directed to your local site. If not, the funds you raised will go where they are needed most, benefiting communities across North America.
Is Sleep Out safe?
Safety is our first and foremost concern, whether it is for the young people we serve or for our larger community. When Sleep Outs are held in-person and onsite, we take all necessary precautions to ensure you are safe.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, non-essential visits to Covenant House sites have been temporarily suspended. Sleep Out has gone virtual in many cities, with participants across North America giving up their beds for the night on their own. Sleep Out has never been just about sleeping on concrete, it's about demonstrating to young people that we care. And we can do that from anywhere (well, anywhere that's safe and legal). We are not replicating the experience of being homeless (we never could) and safety remains a top priority. Your Sleep Out location should be safe and you should have express permission to be there. If you can't find a place outside, that's ok. Giving up your bed for an uncomfortable night on the floor can be just as powerful. Learn more.
How can I participate in Sleep Out?
Sleep Out events are hosted by Covenant House sites in the United States and Canada. Review the list of upcoming Sleep Outs (all are virtual and most are open to anyone, anywhere). You can also start your own Sleep Out. Learn more.
Someone invited me to join their Sleep Out team. How do I do that?
Search for their name in the "Fundraiser Search" box at the top of this page. When you get to their page, click the “Join Team” button and complete the registration process to join the event.
I forgot my username and password.
Your username and password are case sensitive, so double check your caps lock. Still not in? Click “Forgot Password” link under the Login field and your password will be sent to the email address you have on file.
How do I change my email and/or password?
Click "Login" at the top of this page to access your Participant Dashboard. Hover over your photo and name in the top-right corner of the black menu, and click “Profile.” Scroll down and click the button “Edit Profile.” From here, you will be able to change your contact information, email address, and password. Click "Update Profile" when finished (note that changes may take up to 15 minutes to be reflected).
How do I change my personal fundraising goal?
Log in to your Participant Dashboard using your email and password. Once in, click the “Your Page” icon in the black menu at the top of the screen. Scroll down to the thermometer and click the pencil icon on the right (just over the goal). Enter your new goal in the box and click “Update Goal”.
How can I see who has donated to me?
Log in to your Participant Dashboard using your email and password. Once in, hover over the “Donations” icon in the black menu at the top of the screen, and click “Donations Received” from the drop-down menu. Scroll down to view your list of donors.
I connected a Facebook Fundraiser to my fundraising page. What happens when someone donates? What if I update my goal?
When someone donates on your Facebook Fundraiser, their donation will count toward your fundraising goal on the Sleep Out website.
Your fundraising progress and your fundraising goal (even if you change it) should always be in sync.
I connected a Facebook Fundraiser to my fundraising page but photos and text formatting did not show up on my
Facebook Fundraisers allows us to sync plain-text only. Any images, videos, or other rich content on the “My Story” tab on your
fundraising page will be stripped out when syncing the content to Facebook.
Someone donated to me on Facebook and I can't see their name or email address.
Facebook does not share donor data with outside organizations. So while the funds go directly to Covenant House, you will have to use Facebook to see your donors' names and email addresses (note that donors have the option to hide their email address).
If you don't have other contact information, you can thank your Facebook donors directly on Facebook by commenting on their donation, sending a one-to-one message through Messenger, or recognizing the publicly by mentioning them in a post. Once you've thanked your donors, you can mark each donor as "thanked" in your Participant Dashboard.
I want to donate to someone’s Sleep Out. How do I find their page?
Search for their name in the "Fundraiser Search" box at the top of this page. When you get to their page, click the “Support Me” button to make a credit card donation.
How do I donate by mail?
To make a cash or check donation to a Sleep Out participant, visit their personal fundraising page and click the “Mail-In Donation Form” button. A form will download with the participant’s information pre-populated. Print this, fill it out with your donation information, and mail it — along with your donation — to the address listed at the bottom of the form. If you need help, please contact your local Covenant House to verify the correct mailing address.
I donated on Facebook and need a refund.
Please fill out this form to request a refund from Facebook. Donations are processed on Facebook and donor information is not shared with Covenant House, so we cannot issue the refund.
How do I get a receipt for my donation?
Online donations: after you complete your donation, you will receive an email confirmation with a PDF gift form attached. This email is your official gift receipt, and you may print it and save it for your records. If you did not receive a receipt, please email [email protected] with the name of the participant and/or event you supported and we will resend one.
Offline donations (cash or check): you will receive a receipt from the Covenant House location that received your gift. Please contact your local Covenant House if you need a receipt re-sent.
Facebook donations: your receipt was issued by Facebook and sent via email. You will need to fill out this form to get another copy of your receipt. Covenant House is not able to access or issue receipts for donations made on Facebook.
How can I double my Sleep Out donation?
Many companies will match donations made by their employees. Contact the human resources department at your office to ask if your company has a matching gift program. If so, they will likely give you a one-page form to fill out and mail to us. We’ll confirm receipt of your donation, send the form back to your company, and then the company will send Covenant House a check. It's an easy way to double your impact!
If you submit a matching gift request to your company, be sure to let the Sleep Out participant you supported know. They will work with us and their event lead to make sure it is returned promptly and credited to their page.
If your question is not answered above, please email [email protected].