Parks4Kids helps companies raise money to give kids meaningful experiences on our public lands.
January 6, 2016 (Washington D.C.) – Today, the Outdoor Foundation and Outdoor Industry Association® (OIA) launched 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 encouraging 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 campaign goal for the Outdoor Foundation and OIA is to connect tens of thousands of kids with meaningful outdoor 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 can get there. At the same time, there are many potential outdoor industry members that would like to get involved in the Centennial and sponsor 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.
Enter Parks4Kids crowdfunding campaign–working with a range of partners, the Outdoor Foundation and Outdoor Industry Association want to make it easy for any brand or individual to give any amount and help get one 4th-grade student, a specific 4th-grade class or even an entire school of 4th graders 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 composed 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 for a 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.
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 public lands from their backyards to the backcountry.
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 make public the support. Finally, industry donors as well as supported schools will receive a toolkit 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, the National Park Service and its River and Trails Conservation Assistance Program.
For more information, http://www.parks4kids.info/
The Outdoor Foundation is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to inspiring and growing future generations of outdoor leaders and enthusiasts. Through groundbreaking research, youth engagement and community grant-making, the Foundation works with young leaders and partners to mobilize a major cultural shift that leads all Americans to the great outdoors. In just five years, the Foundation has invested $4 million into 500 not-for-profit and college programs that have connected 200,00 young people to the outdoors. Importantly, 90¢ of every dollar goes directly into this critical work. Visit outdoorfoundation.org for more information.
Outdoor Industry Association®
Based in Boulder, CO, with offices in Washington, D.C., Outdoor Industry Association is the leading trade association for the outdoor industry and the title sponsor of Outdoor Retailer. OIA supports the growth and success of more than 4,000 employees of manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, sales representatives and retailers of outdoor recreation apparel, footwear, equipment and services. For more information, visit outdoorindustry.org or call 303.444.3353.