Support the NPS 100; Get Every Kid in a Park

Working with a range of partners, the Outdoor Foundation and OIA want to make it easy for any brand or individual to give any amount and help get a specific 4th grade class, an entire school of 4th graders or even one 4th grade student to a park.

January 7, 2016

Today, the Outdoor Foundation and OIA launched Parks4Kids, a major campaign that leverages the latest in crowdfunding technology to allow companies large and small in the outdoor industry and other sectors to raise money to fund local projects that connect young people with the country’s national parks. To kick-off the campaign, OIA and Outdoor Foundation pledged $250,000 – giving school and nonprofit partners a boost to their fundraising efforts and challenging others to join the effort.

In celebration of the National Park Centennial, the campaign will support the ‘Every Kid in a Park’ initiative, which was announced by the White House this year and has the goal of providing an opportunity for every 4th grade student in the country to visit a National Park or one of 2,000 federally managed lands and waters nationwide.

The Foundation and Association’s campaign goal is to connect tens of thousands of kids with meaningful park experiences – leading to ongoing outdoor activities and ultimately a nation of outdoor enthusiasts. On average, it costs only $10 per student to visit a National Park or other federal public lands, yet many schools don’t have the financial resources to ensure that every 4th grader has a valuable park experience. At the same time, there are many potential outdoor industry donors that would like to get involved in the Centennial and support specific park experiences in the communities in which they operate. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been an easy way to connect these supporters and local schools – until now.

On average, it costs only $10 per student to visit a National Park or other federal public lands, yet many schools don’t have the financial resources to ensure that every 4th grader has a valuable park experience.

Enter Parks4Kids crowdfunding campaign: working with a range of partners, the Outdoor Foundation and OIA want to make it easy for any brand or individual to give any amount and help get a specific 4th grade class, an entire school of 4th graders or even one 4th grade student to a park. This campaign’s online marketplace platform will connect funders from outdoor industry and other sectors with specific park experience projects.

“This program is unique because it recognizes that our industry is comprised of brands and retailers, large and small, who have varying resources but are united by wanting to support kids, families and schools in their local communities and in doing so increase participation in outdoor activities. Outdoor industry companies can bring this effort right into their local cities and towns by going online and sponsoring a field trip by their local 4th grade class. We hope everyone in the outdoor industry will donate to an individual or adopt a school and help every single 4th grader in America have a National Park experience,” said Amy Roberts executive director of Outdoor Industry Association.

“We hope everyone in the outdoor industry will donate to an individual or adopt a school and help every single 4th grader in America have a National Park experience.” —Amy Roberts, executive director of OIA.

Created by schools or their nonprofit partners, the online project profiles will include photographs, park experience descriptions, park location, number of youth reached and fundraising goal. With a few clicks, funders can give $1 or $100,000 to the project(s) that most inspires them.

When a project reaches its funding objective, the Outdoor Foundation will release the funds to the school or nonprofit partner—connecting a nation of 4th graders with valuable park experiences.

OIA and the Foundation will work with industry donors to ensure that brands and retailers are able to maximize their charitable contribution. Once a donation is made, the Foundation will connect the company with the supported school and/or nonprofit partner to help build the local relationship.

On a biweekly basis, OIA will recognize the corporate contributions through its social and email platforms to inform the industry of the support. Finally, industry donors as well as supported schools will receive a tool kit that includes:

  • Press release template
  • Sample tweets / social posts
  • Online and in-store materials to engage consumers / stakeholders
  • Employee engagement strategies

In addition to the ‘Every Kid in a Park’ 4th grade focus, the campaign will feature and support larger ‘signature programs’ that connect young people of all ages, especially those in underserved and urban communities with National Parks. These projects are part of a partnership program between the Outdoor Foundation, National Park Service and its River and Trails Conservation Assistance Program.