Chapter Resources + Benefits

Discover our approach to community work with the foundational pieces of our curriculum: the Active Citizen Continuum and 8 Components of a Quality Alternative Break. The annual National Alternative Break Survey also provides a deeper dive into the ins and outs of the work we do.

While we are a resource to anyone working community-engaged learning, we work most closely with our 200+ Chapter schools.

Associate Chapter - $400 per year

  • SiteBank + HousingBank access
  • Ongoing consultation with Break Away staff
  • Access to resources through our Sample Documents Library
  • Relationships with colleagues through our national listserv + small resource groups
  • Participation in our virtual presentations + discussions
  • 10% discount on trainings
Sign Up as an Associate Chapter

Advantage Chapter - $750 per year

  • SiteBank + HousingBank access
  • Ongoing consultation with Break Away staff
  • Access to resources through our Sample Documents Library
  • Relationships with colleagues through our national listserv + small resource groups
  • Participation in our virtual presentations + discussions
  • 20% discount on trainings
  • One free registration to our weeklong annual conference, the Alternative Break Citizenship schools (ABCs)
Sign Up as an Advantage Chapter

Read more about our membership resources with our one-pager or read more about any of the resources below.

Overview of Membership Benefits

Web Resources

SiteBank

The SiteBank is a searchable database of more than 650 community organizations interested in working with alternative break programs. Based on the organization’s profile, schools choose whether to contact the organization and inquire about service opportunities.

Listings include information about the organization’s focus, potential service projects, past work with alternative breakers, any additional support they offer (housing, kitchen access), and all the nitty-gritty details (desired group size, building accessibility, whether a site fee is required). 

Many organizations listed have been recommended after working with Chapter schools for years and we’ve updated it to include virtual service opportunities from some partners.

HousingBank

The HousingBank is a smaller, accompanying resource of low-cost housing options, listing over 200 hostels, community centers, campgrounds, and religious communities willing to host alternative break programs.

Sample Document Library

Strong alternative break programs are well-organized, which takes continued effort. With almost 400 documents ranging from training outlines, program structures and job descriptions, risk management policies, participants and site leader applications, assessment materials, and social justice education resources, the Sample Document Library means you can draw on the community’s collective wisdom to help bring structure and strategy to your work.

Browse the current inventory to see what’s available.

Consultation + Community

Chapter Listserv

Student and staff leaders from Break Away Chapters use the listserv to receive advice, share resources, and discuss current events. Alternative breaks people are notoriously generous with their knowledge and expertise, so you’re in good hands. 

 Past threads have included conversations about rental van contracts, learning partner selections processes, participant scholarships, support for undocumented students, and partner recommendations in specific cities. 

We encourage Chapters to have their entire program leadership join the listserv, as we use it to advertise new resources and upcoming opportunities.

Staff Consultation

Our tight-knit team combines a variety of backgrounds — alternative breaks, higher ed, community organizing, nonprofits, small businesses, and beyond. Collectively, we’ve consulted with hundreds of campuses and trained thousands of students and staff. 

Working with people one-on-one is our favorite part of our job — our phone lines and inboxes are always open to Chapter members, but we’re also available for more formal consultations around leadership transitions, strategic planning, and more.

Resource Groups

Our resource groups began in Spring 2020 as a way to build relationships with colleagues from other institutions that would help them navigate changes as universities responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Between 8-12 participants met 1-2 a month in 10 separate groups, brought together based on shared characteristics (e.g. large institutions) or specific topics (e.g. emergency procedures during COVID-19, virtual service, accessibility of programming). 

The first round of resources group is wrapping up early this fall but, given the swell of interest we had, we’re already planning for round two.

Training + Curriculum

Curriculum Calls + Webinars

Whether it’s in the form of our National Conference Call series or a more casual open discussion call, we love using the power of the internet to bring large groups of people together around interesting and important topics. 

Sometimes our staff share their insights, sometimes we spotlight another school or program whose work we’re excited about, but the focus is always on helping programs apply the topic to their own work. 

Past National Conference Call topics have included:

  • Virtual Alternative Breaks (August 2020)
  • Asset-Based and Response-Driven: Community Work, Curriculum, and Storytelling (January 2019)
  • Trip Advisors: Building Beneficial and Balanced Relationships (November 2018)
  • The Role of Alternative Breaks in Disaster Response (September 2017)

As well as open calls to discuss:

  • Trip cancellations due to COVID-19
  • Trends in alternative breaks participation numbers
  • How to best support undocumented students

Never miss a call! Recordings of all past calls are available to Chapters in the Forums section of our website.

Training Discounts

We pride ourselves on creating experiences and training that feel distinctly different than any others we’ve been to. We’d love for you to come experience the magic firsthand. Chapters receive automatic discounts on all training purchases, including conference registrations and customized workshops and retreats — 10% off for Associate Chapters ($400/year) and 20% for Advantage Chapters ($750/year). For more information about our trainings, please check out our current offerings.

These discounts also apply to bulk orders from the Active Citizen Shop.

Free Registration to Summer Conferences (Advantage only)

Advantage Chapters receive one free registration to our summer conference series, the Alternative Breaks Citizenship schools (ABCs), about a $850 value for our in-person conference. 

Registration includes workshop sessions, lodging, and conference materials (transportation to and from the conference site not included).