Constellation Grantee Spotlight: Search Institute



According to research by the Search Institute, only 42% of Minnesota youth report having strong relationships with adults at school and in out-of-school time (OST) programs. This and other findings by Search Institute are one element that will inform the Foundation’s Constellation grantmaking.

The Search Institute promotes positive youth development and advances equity through research and practical solutions. The more than 60-year-old nonprofit also develops tools to build connections that help all young people learn and grow.

In 2020, the Carlson Family Foundation funded a landscape study by the Search Institute, called the State of Relationships, to find gaps and opportunities to invest in youth-adult relationships in Minnesota.

“We know that for strong youth-adult relationships to be established and maintained in schools and programs, we need to create an environment that supports them,” said Dr. Ben Houltberg, Search Institute president and CEO. “This study shows the importance of supporting structures and a relational climate that is intentional about relationship-building, inclusive of all youth, and equitable in meeting and responding to each kid’s individual needs. When that happens, good things happen for kids and for the adults who work with them!”

As part of the study, Search Institute is making its Relational Culture Checkup available for leaders and staff in school or OST programs. The checkup is designed to assess whether an organization has the supporting structures and relational climate necessary to be relationship-rich. Learn more about the State of Relationships study and tools to help build a relationship-rich organization at the Search Institute’s Resources Hub.