Hi there, My name is Olivia Callari, I am the fundraising chair for the 501c3 nonprofit organization; SeaSmart, and I am reaching out to see if REI would be interested in donating to our organization.
SeaSmart's primary mission is to raise awareness of and develop student advocates for ocean conservation, marine biology, and SCUBA via classroom, school club and scout programs as well as onsite conservation projects.
I read online that REI is committed to helping 501(c)3 non-profit partners who support the REI mission to create and sustain access to the outdoors for all. SeaSmart seeks funding to ensure we can sustain our programs for middle and high school students, regardless of means. With a monetary or equipment donation from REI we can help reach both of these goals; providing everyone access to the great outdoors while teaching them the importance of protecting them.
I am starting this conversation because I am curious as to who I should contact in terms of asking for donations. If you could please provide me with any information on what my next steps should be, I would greatly appreciate it.
Thank you, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Olivia Callari <e-mail removed by moderator>
Hi - Thanks for reaching out and sharing this information with us!
Each year, the co-op invests in local, regional, and national nonprofits throughout the country. At the very local level, our outdoor programs and outreach teams work with local store managers to identify partners that we invite to apply for grants. Applications are evaluated according to the applicant’s ability to steward urban and wild places where our members recreate, and/or increase access to the outdoors for historically under represented communities in the United States. For more details on how you can apply for one of these local grants, please contact your local REI store. It sounds like you have already looked through some of our non-profit partnership information, but if you're interested in learning more about REI’s fight for life outdoors, please visit our Stewardship page.
Hopefully this helps!
@SeaSmart - Just curious - Do any of your programs involve southern California, the Channel Islands, or the Channel Islands National Park (my current stomping ground)?
@SeaSmart, I just googled SeaSmart and I found two manufacturing companies which obviously isn't you and I found Sea Smart School, a Canadian charity. Is this you? And are you just moving into the US? I'd suggest contacting the ACA (American Canoe Association), the US equivalent of Paddle Canada. I'd also be interested in learning more about what you do and where you operate. I have a background in oceanography and I love to paddle. I haven't been instructing since COVID so I need to check the status of my instructors certification. I don't know if you are looking for volunteers.