• Northland College student hiking with Parsonage Fund badge

Parsonage Fund

Your professional development.

The Parsonage Fund is designed to assist you with your personal and professional development. The fund supports capstone projects and research; presentations at and participation in professional conferences; creation of community service projects and trips; involvement in local, regional, and national workshops; memberships to professional organizations; and the list goes on.

Parsonage Fund Contact

Coordinator: Michaela Wickman
Phone: 715-682-1310


Fall Term 2023
Thursday, November 2, by 11:59 p.m.

Winter Term 2024
Thursday, February 22, by 11:59 p.m.

About the Parsonage Fund

Below, you’ll find the full guidelines for funding and a history of the fund, in addition to an overview of the funding process.

When you’re feeling ready, you can go ahead and fill out the online application.
Apply Now

Parsonage Fund Steps

Applying for grants can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. We’ll walk you through the steps below, and we’re here if you have any questions along the way.

  1. Review the Guidelines and Eligibility to make sure you’re eligible before applying.
  2. Think about what kind of project you’d like to do and check that it meets the guidelines for funding.
  3. Take a look at Parsonage Fund resources to download files you may need and prepare for applying.
  4. Start putting your budget together, which includes providing documentation. There’s a spreadsheet that you must use for your budget, and it’s a good idea to download it and use that while you’re creating your budget since that’s the format it’ll need to be in when you apply. If you’re applying as a group, only the group leader needs to submit the budget. If you make a purchase and are looking for reimbursement, keep the receipt. If you’re waiting for funding before making any purchases, find a way to document what it’ll cost. Screenshots of quotes, registration fees, or items you’d need to purchase will work. If you’re looking to use a College vehicle or want mileage for use of a personal vehicle, figure out the distance and provide a screenshot of the directions showing it.
  5. Talk to a faculty or staff member about your project. You’ll need a faculty or staff member to recommend funding your project to the Parsonage Fund Review Committee, and it’s important that your recommender knows this before you apply. If you’re applying as a group, you only need one recommender. Your group leader will provide their information when they fill out their application.
  6. Review the application questions before you go to fill out the form. It’s a good idea to draft your answers in an application like Microsoft Word before filling out the application form, because you’ll be able to see everything you need and you can copy and paste your responses into the form if you need to fill it out again for any reason. You’ll feel a lot better if your device dies while you’re completing the online form.
  7. If you’re applying as a group, your group leader should go through each of these steps. If you’re a group leader, make sure your members review the application questions—they’ll also need to fill out an application.

Once you’ve prepared, you’re ready to fill out the online application.

Guidelines and Eligibility

The Parsonage Fund for student opportunities supports student-initiated projects that are outside the scope of regular coursework requirements, with the exception of research and capstone projects.

2023–24 COVID-19 Update
Due to the unpredictable nature of COVID-19, applicants should be aware that awards may require review and/or withdrawal by the College if a project becomes unsafe to complete, with funds being returned by the student to the Parsonage Fund.

Examples of fundable projects include:

  • Research supplies and equipment for capstone or research projects. Applied research or capstones that are done as internships are eligible for funding.
  • Travel to and participation in professional conferences, events, or workshops
  • Membership fees to join professional or academic organizations
  • Community service projects
  • Personal enrichment (i.e., conflict resolution seminars, leadership activities, etc.)

Funding priority is given to research projects and presentations/poster sessions at professional conferences, followed by capstone projects, attendance at professional conferences, cultural experiences, service projects, and personal enrichment experiences.

Types of projects NOT supported:

  • Tuition for internships or coursework
  • Study abroad
  • Payment for service, work, or internships
  • Political action or protest
  • Travel to or from an internship
  • Northland co-curricular programs, including:
    • fees for participation in intercollegiate or athletic events
    • funding for student organization programming
    • advanced study options or course fees in the academic program
Preparing Your Application

This is a highly-competitive proposal process—funding is not guaranteed. Submitting a well-written and complete application makes a difference. The application should be given at least as much effort as you would put into any written report for a grade. The review committee expects superior quality.

All students who meet the eligibility guidelines outlined below are invited to submit an individual or group proposal. Application forms are located below. We highly recommend using these resources when preparing your application:

Review the Instructions for Writing a Successful Proposal. Visit a writing tutor to ensure grammar, punctuation, and spelling is polished.

Rules and Eligibility
  1. Proposals (and all accompanying documents) must be submitted electronically to parsonagefund@northland.edu by 11:59 p.m. on the due date. You will receive a confirmation email indicating an application was received. Please note: This email is not an indication that your application is complete. It is only a confirmation that we have received your email. It is your responsibility to ensure that all of the necessary documents were included.
  2. Maximum funding for a student per academic year is capped at $1,500. This can cover one expensive project or several smaller projects. This change is to ensure funds are available for a larger number of students. Exception: group service projects are capped at $400/individual applicant.
  3. In general, there is one application per student or group for each specific project per academic year allowed. If a request is denied, it is up to the Parsonage Fund Review Committee whether or not to allow the proposal to be re-submitted. Make sure your application is complete and free of errors!
  4. Incomplete applications will not be considered. A checklist is provided with a complete list of items to include for your application. The most frequently forgotten item is documentation. Double check that you have documentation for each expense you are requesting.
  5. Currently enrolled, full-time Northland College students in good academic standing (minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0) are eligible. Projects that take place after graduation will not be funded. Part-time students enrolled in at least six credits in the semester of application will be considered on a case-by-case basis, with priority given to students with senior standing.
  6. Student must be considered in good financial standing with the institution, including but not limited to: student accounts, financial aid, and residential life.
  7. The project must be initiated, organized, and planned by students. Funding for staff, faculty, or organizations is not permitted; however, student costs related to collaborative research or presentations with faculty or staff are eligible for funding. The project cannot be a classroom expectation, e.g. all class members required to attend a conference.
  8. Groups attending a conference, service project, or other experience:
    1. Faculty/Staff Recommendations: Only one group faculty/staff recommendation form will be required. Each applicant will be required to provide a reference who can be contacted about their participation in the experience.
    2. Full versus Partial Funding: Group leaders and students who will be presenting will be given special consideration for funding. For example, if a group is chosen for partial funding, the group leader may receive full funding if their individual proposal is strong. If some group members are presenting at the conference/workshop and others are not, presenters may receive full funding when others in the group receive partial funding.
    3. Check distribution: One check will be dispersed to the group leader for all expenses.
  9. Limit on repeat experiences: Students will be eligible for funding to attend the same conference or service project up to two times. If the student would like to attend a third time, they will be eligible if they are a group leader, presenting at the conference, or participating in some other significant way (e.g. coordinating all fundraising for a group service project).
  10. If you are requesting funds for a capstone project, your recommendation must come from your capstone advisor.
  11. All equipment purchased becomes property of the College. Applicants should include a plan to turn equipment over to a specific department in their application.
  12. You may not request funding for meals that are included in conference fees.
  13. Projects may be funded partially or in full at the discretion of the Review Committee. For example, if it is determined that you could travel more economically or achieve the same goals at a closer destination, funding amounts may be reduced.
  14. Documentation of all budget items must be provided with the application. Documentation may be scanned in or screenshots may be provided. Web addresses/URLs are not considered documentation. Applications with missing documentation will not be considered.
  15. Special consideration will be given to applications that show contributions by the applicant (monetary or nonmonetary) and/or other funding sources.
  16. As part of the application process, each applicant/group member must fill out and submit a Participant Agreement form on the website.
  17. Awardees are required to submit a final reflection, and to share their experience with the Northland community. If an awardee fails to submit a final reflection, they will be ineligible for Parsonage Fund support in the future. See the Instructions for Writing a Successful Proposal for recommendations on sharing experiences.
  18. If you’re creating a poster or another form of visual presentation for your Parsonage-funded project, download the Parsonage Fund logo on the website and include it in your acknowledgments.
  19. In the event that an award goes unused (i.e. project/trip is cancelled, group member drops out, another funding source is substituted, etc.), funds will be returned to continue to provide opportunities to support other student projects. Email parsonagefund@northland.edu to inquire about returning any unused funds.

The Parsonage Fund for student opportunities is administered by the Office of Academic Affairs with participation from faculty and staff representatives from throughout the College.

Fund History

Honoring Parsonage’s Service

President Robert ParsonageDuring his tenure as Northland’s tenth president (1987-2002), Robert Parsonage promoted by example and espoused the ideal of the “servant leader.” His model demonstrates that servant leaders use their vision in service to society. It is Bob’s wish to nourish students’ imagination and to prepare them in becoming the citizen-leaders of the future. This fund was established in honor of his service to the college community and is designed to provide financial support for student-initiated leadership projects.

Parsonage Stewardship Report


Find budget documents, tips, and the questions you’ll be asked on the application form.

Budget Resources

Budget Form

All applicants are required to use this spreadsheet for their budget. Not only does it keeps things standard between applicants, but it’s also a helpful tool complete with formulas to calculate totals, mileage, and meal rates for you. Download the budget spreadsheet here.

Preparing Budget Documentation

You must include copies of all supporting documents that demonstrate why you’ve identified the costs included on your budget form (when possible). For instance, rate quotes for lodging and flights and costs that are posted on websites for transportation (shuttles, parking, tolls, etc). Include screenshots from websites where membership/attendance fees are posted for conferences, and online shopping carts that outline itemized costs for materials, supplies, or equipment you need to buy for your research project. All of these separate documents need to be combined into a single PDF that will be uploaded as part of your online application.

There are many free online resources that allow you to combine your documents for free, but here is one we’d suggest: https://tools.pdf24.org/en/create-pdf

Alternatively, you can take screenshots of everything, insert those in a Word document, and export it as a PDF. Make sure they are large enough to be clearly readable to the committee, and also that they clearly identify what item each screenshot is documentation for. It may be helpful to put each of them on a separate page.

Instructions for Writing a Successful Proposal

Please read and be familiar with the information in the Guidelines document before beginning your proposal.


When composing your Parsonage Fund Application, remember that you are applying to a competitive grant program with limited funding. The Parsonage Fund Review Committee consists of Northland College staff and faculty who have an expectation of superior quality for the applications they review. Make sure that your application is clear, complete, and concise; neatly organized on the provided application forms; and edited for spelling and grammar errors. Demonstrating a high level of care and attention in preparing your application materials increases the likelihood of your project being funded. Working with a writing tutor is highly recommended.

The Review Committee will rate your proposal based on the following criteria:

  • Type of project: priority is given to research projects and presentations or posters at a professional conference, then capstone projects, followed by all other activities
  • Strength and individualization of the faculty/staff recommendation
  • Clarity and completeness of the general description of the project
  • A clear explanation of how the project/event will benefit the applicant personally, professionally, and/or academically
  • Plan for reflection is appropriate and shows deep thought about your personal goals for the project
  • Methods of sharing project with Northland and broader community are effective and appropriate
  • Budget is reflective of true costs and documentation is included
  • Project proposed is likely to have a successful outcome
  • Application is free of spelling and grammar errors
  • Incomplete applications will not be reviewed and are not eligible for funding—this includes applications that are missing documents, so be sure to review all requirements before submitting your materials
Application Forms

All application forms, including an application checklist, are located on this page. Applications must be submitted using these forms.

Tips for Sharing with the Community
If you are funded, you are required to share what you’ve learned from your experience with the Northland community. You may use any of the options that the review committee has approved, listed below. You are welcome to brainstorm and propose any other idea that you believe best delivers the learning from your experience. In your proposal, inform the committee why you chose the method you did.

  • Present your findings to a classroom (please be specific about when/where/what class).
  • Be part of a panel discussion at a future conference/presentation (please provide details).
  • Write an article for Drifts about one aspect of the experience (provide a deadline for your Drifts article and anticipated issue). Visit the Drifts Freelance Contributor posting on Handshake for more details about how to submit your article.
  • Present your project via the Honors Day Poster Session.
  • Other—be creative! Some possible ideas include sharing at club meetings, events like Science on Tap, or at other community events off campus.

If you’re creating a poster or another form of visual presentation for your Parsonage-funded project, download the Parsonage Fund logo on the website and include it in your acknowledgments.

You should also reach out to the Office of Marketing Communications after your project is completed to arrange for a story and photo, so they can share your experience with the broader community.


An Excel spreadsheet is provided for reporting your project budget. You MUST include documentation for EVERY item listed on the budget spreadsheet. Your proposal will not be considered if documentation is missing.

College Vehicles
Only College-authorized drivers are allowed to operate a College-owned vehicle. Please contact the Facilities Maintenance Office for specific information on becoming an authorized driver. After your trip is approved for funding, your faculty/staff sponsor will need to reserve the vehicle for your group as students are not authorized to reserve vehicles. Faculty/staff sponsors should indicate on the reservation form that it is a Parsonage Fund trip. Groups using College vehicles should establish an emergency plan that includes emergency contact information for all participants and for the College. Vehicles are available at these costs:

Car .45 per mile carries a total of 4 people
11-12 person van .55 per mile includes driver
14 person mini-bus .75 per mile includes driver

Showing Personal Contributions
Proposals which include personal contributions are given special consideration by the Review Committee. It is important to explain your contribution and its monetary value in the budget justification section, and to show the dollar value of your contribution in the “Your Contribution” budget line on the Budget Worksheet. Special consideration is also given to students and groups that conduct fundraising events. Students should also try to use cost saving measures such as carpooling, meeting early bird deadlines, room sharing, or cooking one’s own meals to keep project costs at a minimum.

Budgeting for a Flight
Airfare tickets are typically at their lowest cost and a relatively stable cost if they are purchased at least one month in advance of travel. Due to the day-to-day fluctuations in airfare ticket prices, students need to be prepared for the possibility that ticket prices at time of purchase may have increased or decreased from what was budgeted for in their proposal. In that circumstance, students would need to cover the difference with their own funds or reimburse the Parsonage Fund for any overage. The Parsonage Fund will not cover the cost of checked baggage or cover the cost of flight/trip protection insurance. If you feel that circumstances absolutely necessitate the purchase of either of these, you may write a justification for them in the “Budget Rationale” section of your application for consideration by the Parsonage Fund Review Committee.

Documentation for Budgeted Items
Lack of budget documentation is the most common reason funding is denied. Every item that you request funding for must have documentation or your proposal will not be considered. For example, if you include postage in your budget request, you must have documentation from the Post Office showing the current cost of postage. The committee may know the cost, but we hold all applications to the same standards. Web addresses/URLs are not considered documentation. The simplest way to submit your documentation is to cut and paste relevant information into a Word document.

If your project involves traveling, be sure to include costs like:

  • Taxes: hotels, car rental, flights, train tickets
  • Checking luggage on a train or airline
  • Tolls charged on toll roads
  • Parking fees
  • Shuttle or cab fares

Make sure your costs cover all legs of your trip! That includes taxes, multiple hotel nights, multiple parking fees, multiple shuttle or cab fares, etc. This is your responsibility, and the committee will assume you have budgeted for your needs. Requests for additional funding for “forgotten” budget items are unlikely to be reimbursed.

Faculty or Staff Recommendations

The recommendation is a key factor in a proposal’s success. Plan ahead and provide a copy of the proposal and budget to the person doing the recommendation, as the recommendation form specifically asks them to address the proposal and budget. The faculty or staff member should submit their recommendation form online on the website by the application deadline. For groups, one faculty or staff member may fill out one recommendation form for the entire group; however, each group member must provide a reference person that can be contacted by the Review Committee.

Submitting the Proposal

We strongly recommend referring to the application checklists on the website before submitting your materials.

For Individual Applicants:

  • Submit all documents as attachments in one email to parsonagefund@northland.edu. Remember to submit your Participation Agreement form online.
  • Your faculty/staff recommendation can also be submitted online by your advisor.

For Group Applicants—Group leaders should:

  • Submit all group application documents and all group member responses together. Group members should not submit separately.
  • Submit all documents as attachments in as few emails as possible to parsonagefund@northland.edu.
  • Remember to have all group members submit their Participation Agreement forms online.
  • Your faculty/staff recommendation can also be submitted online by your advisor.
  • Ensure that the group members listed as applying for funding are on the group form AND that you have all of their individual pieces. If you have group members traveling with you, but not applying for funding, please enter their name(s) in the box after the group member list. Indicate they are not applying for funding.
  • Group leaders: you are ultimately responsible for your group. It is your job to make sure budget accounts for all expenses. Reimbursements for “forgotten” expenses are unlikely to occur. It is your job to make sure your group members submit their materials. In essence, make sure your ducks are in a row before submitting a group application!

If you need to send an update, please make it very clear what document(s) is/are being replaced. Use “updated” or “new” in the file name so it is easy to tell which file is which.

File names: It is incredibly helpful to have easily identifiable file names for processing. Please note the formatting instructions for each form.

It is your responsibility to ensure the application is complete. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed and are not eligible for funding. Individual and group application checklists have been provided to help verify everything that is required.

Special Requests

Groups Over 15
Proposals for groups with over fifteen people are strongly encouraged to consider the following:

  • Make sure each applicant is serious about the experience. Group members with strong proposals may receive more funding than members with weak proposals. Some groups have found the following to be helpful with large group experiences:
    • Require attendance at planning meetings
    • Require help with fundraising efforts
    • Set deadlines for application materials and hold members to them
    • Determine a small steering committee who will review all individual applications for consistency before submitting as a whole. Request revisions from applications that are not as strong as others by having the individual work with a writing tutor.
  • Fundraise. Plan fundraisers and/or set personal contribution levels for participants. The sheer size of large group requests can overwhelm our allotted budget. Diversify your funding strategy as much as possible.

Application Questions

We strongly suggest reviewing the application questions before completing the online form, and we also suggest typing out answers in a separate document and pasting them into the online form as you complete it. This way, you’ll know what to expect on the form, and you won’t lose your progress on the form if your device dies, your internet goes down, or you have another technical issue. Download the application questions here.

Writing out answers to questions in a separate document is a good practice for any grant application, as well as other applications or online forms that are lengthy or that have long-form questions.


The full application form is on a separate page. Additional forms you need can be found below.

Fill Out the Application

Faculty and Staff Recommendation

Recommendations are a key factor in determining funding for student projects. For group proposals, only one recommendation is required for the group.

Please complete form or letter by 11:59 p.m. on the application due date.

Faculty/Staff Name(Required)
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Final Report

Please complete the form below by the deadline you were assigned when you received your Parsonage Fund award. If you do not submit a Final Report, you will be ineligible for Parsonage Fund support in the future.

Your answers will be shared with donors who support the Parsonage Fund—they love to hear about the types of projects and experiences students have as a result of their support, so we encourage you to take your time and give thoughtful, meaningful answers.

Please also feel free to share any photos from your experience by email or indicate so in the form below. Someone will follow up with instructions on how to upload your photos. If you have other materials you’d like to share, get in touch with the Parsonage Fund coordinator.

Submit Your Final Report

Class Standing(Required)
Ideally, your description will be one paragraph or less.
Attach a PDF version of your resume that you’ve updated to include a reference to your completed experience. If you have questions or need help developing this, consider reaching out to the Office of Career Services.
Accepted file types: pdf, Max. file size: 3 MB.
Do you have photos of your experience?(Required)
We’ll follow up with directions for how to upload them.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Waiver and Release for Outdoor Activities Acknowledgement

You must complete the Waiver And Release for Outdoor Activity Participants (adults and minors) whether your project will take place outdoors or not. All participants under 18 years of age must have a parent or legal guardian complete the form.