The REI Foundation is a separate, endowed nonprofit organization that has its own board of directors, all of whom are employees of the co-op. In 2011, The Foundation added a new board seat for a member of the REI’s board of directors, which helps bring continuity and alignment between the foundation and co-op. The REI Foundation receives its principal funding from REI.
The REI Foundation focuses on getting more young people into nature, with an emphasis on children and families of color. Through this work, The Foundation’s goal is to help create the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts and environmental stewards. The REI Foundation researches and invites grant proposals connected to its mission; it does not accept unsolicited proposals.
The Foundation is required by law to make grants totaling a minimum of 5 percent of its corpus each year. As a separate nonprofit entity, it files a federal 990 disclosure each year. The most recent 990 disclosure is here.
You can learn more about The REI Foundation at the REI in the Community pages of our website.
In 2011, The REI Foundation gave grants totaling $445,850 to the following nonprofit organizations:
East Atlanta Kids Club, Inc. – $15,850. The East Atlanta Kids Club’s Cycling and Triathlon program engages youth in year-round fitness activities, including running, biking and swimming, and competing in single- and multi-sport events. The grant allows them to continue their training programs and engage youth and their families in programs for running, walking, hiking and camping.
Futuro Media Group– $125,000. The Futuro Media Group uses the syndicated radio programming of Latino USA as a national platform to enlarge and diversify the notion of those who connect to the outdoors and engage in stewardship. With the support of The Foundation, Futuro Media Group produced an environmental diary of segments that highlight Latinos sharing their connections to the outdoors.
The Mountaineers – $50,000. The Mountaineers received The Mary Anderson Legacy Grant, an annual recognition of a nonprofit that actively engages young people in learning about nature through hands-on engagement and discovery of the outdoors. The funding will be directed to The Mountaineers’ Youth and Family Initiative, which includes a suite of youth offerings.
National Wildlife Federation – $25,000. The National Wildlife Federation works to inspire Americans to protect wildlife for our children’s future. The grant to the Earth Tomorrow project will build on the success of the environmental education and leadership program for Atlanta-area teens, specifically for the annual Summer Institute. Funds will also be used for hands-on environmental stewardship projects throughout the year.
Ocean Discovery Institute – $20,000. The Foundation’s funds support Ocean Leaders, a series of interconnected after-school and summer programs and support services for more than 100 urban and diverse middle school, high school and college age young people. This initiative offers a pathway to progress from secondary school through university to science and conservation careers, building students’ knowledge of ocean science, developing their capacity for stewardship, and preparing them to be tomorrow's science and conservation leaders.
Outdoor Outreach – $20,000. Outdoor Outreach empowers at-risk and underprivileged youth through comprehensive programming and provides support, relationships, resources and opportunities youth need to become successful adults. The Foundation’s funds are dedicated to its Leadership Program, a year-long intensive training giving teens the necessary skills to become a teacher, mentor and instructor on all Outdoor Outreach outings.
Outdoor Foundation – $150,000. The Outdoor Foundation is the nonprofit established by Outdoor Industry Association to inspire and grow future generations of outdoor enthusiasts. REI Foundation’s contribution will, in part, support 10 Summits held this summer and fall in cities across the United States.
WiLDCOAST – $20,000. WiLDCOAST’s South Bay Environmental Stewardship Campaign is restoring the Tijuana and Otay River Valleys in south San Diego County. WiLDCOAST will continue to work with the City of San Diego’s park rangers to promote and encourage the use of new trails and partner with the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve to conduct habitat enhancement activities.
YMCA of San Diego County – $20,000. YMCA’s Friends/Family Adventures in Nature (FAN) Club brings outdoor experiences to fourth through sixth graders via after-school programs in San Diego County. The Foundation’s grant will help fund enrichment activities at 10 local programs and 14 YMCA Camps Surf programs, and help develop a more sustainable model through trainings and mentoring to school staff and site supervisors.
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