Record Contribution Follows Milestone of 1 Million Individual Donations
In a groundbreaking move to foster equity and inclusivity in outdoor spaces, the REI Cooperative Action Fund proudly announces its largest-ever investment of $6.1 million, benefiting 264 nonprofit organizations. This momentous occasion coincides with the REI Fund surpassing 1 million individual donations from REI customers, members, and employees. Fueled by community support, the REI Fund is a nonprofit organization that thrives on donations from individuals, foundations, and corporate partners, including REI Co-op and Capital One.
Kristen Ragain, Managing Director of the REI Cooperative Action Fund, reflects on the significance of this achievement, stating, “The REI Cooperative Action Fund was founded on the principle that we can do more together than we can as individuals. Thanks to the generosity of the co-op community—who have collectively made more than a million contributions to the REI Fund—we’ve been able to scale and localize our impact.”
Established in 2021, the REI Fund aims to harness the collective strength of the co-op community. Announcing new investments each spring and fall, the REI Fund provides unrestricted funding to nonprofit partners dedicated to enhancing community health and well-being through outdoor activities. The latest investment brings the REI Fund’s total 2023 giving to an impressive $10.1 million.
Over 200 of the REI Fund’s latest grantees are local organizations championed by REI employees working in-store, highlighting the impact of community involvement. A generous donation from Capital One enables the REI Fund to extend its investment to local communities across the country.
The diverse group of grantees includes:
- Baztec Fishing & Outdoors (Minneapolis, Minnesota): Providing fishing and outdoors experiential education opportunities to underserved communities, with a focus on bilingual and BIPOC youth.
- Bronx River Alliance (New York City): Partnering with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, engaging communities, organizations, and government along the Bronx River corridor to restore the river ecosystem and improve public green spaces.
- Indigenous Wellness Research Institute (Seattle): Supporting the inherent rights of Indigenous peoples to achieve full health and wellness through decolonizing research and sharing knowledge.
- Nuestra Tierra Conservation Project (Las Cruces, New Mexico): Ensuring historically excluded communities have access to the outdoors and authentic representation in public land and conservation management decision-making.
- Outdoor Inclusion Coalition (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania): Dedicated to attracting, engaging, and retaining underrepresented populations in the outdoor industry.
- Pacoima Beautiful (Pacoima, California): A grassroots environmental justice organization promoting a healthy and sustainable Northeast San Fernando Valley through education, policy impact, and support for local arts and culture.
- StreetWaves (Delray Beach, Florida): Exposing children to the ocean, particularly those from socioeconomic backgrounds that may have excluded them from the ocean and shoreline.
- Yellow Bird Life Ways (Lame Deer, Montana): Nurturing the breath of life by reconnecting communities with land, language, culture, and identity, addressing intergenerational impacts of trauma.
For a comprehensive list of grantees, visit [REIFund.org/grantees](https://www.reifund.org/grantees).
The REI Fund focuses on three key priorities: connecting people outside, creating space outside, and centering health outside. It plays a pivotal role in advancing REI Co-op’s Outside in 5 initiative, uniting the co-op’s 23-million-member community to partner with nonprofits and support legislation facilitating outdoor access for everyone in America within five minutes, regardless of location.
As a 501(c)(3) organization, the REI Fund is governed by its own board of directors, supported by a dedicated staff, and compensated community advisors focused on access and equity in the outdoors. REI Co-op continues to provide ongoing support for the REI Fund’s operations and grantmaking. The REI Fund encourages participation from anyone who wishes to contribute, whether through direct donations or recommending a grantee, emphasizing the collective strength of the outdoor community in effecting positive change.