Thursday, December 2, 2021

Seattle outdoor retailer evo pledges $ 10 million for outdoor groups with diverse leadership

Seattle-based outdoor company evo pledges $ 10 million over 10 years to women-led nonprofits and BIPOC that are focused on removing barriers to going out for under-represented communities.

It is hoped that the gifts will inspire others to donate the same Tuesday for giveaways – and focus on donating rather than simple spending during the holiday season.

These donations will give organizations such as The Service Board, Brown Girl Surf, Bike Works, SHRED Foundation, Skate Like A Girl, and Indigenous Women Outdoors the ability to plan ahead, a rare luxury in the non-profit world.

“Instead of giving one gift on Tuesday for gifts, I’ve actually already made a commitment – the organizations already have money in the bank,” said Ashley Miller, senior manager of evo’s community impact. “And they know how much money they’ll get from us in the next few years so they can develop their programs around that, which I think is different.”

The mission of every nonprofit organization is to help children improve the quality of their outdoor life, especially where access may be difficult. Miller said evo was looking “especially for organizations led by blacks, indigenous and people of color because it is one of our real priorities: how we transfer power and invest resources in the communities that have faced the greatest obstacle to accessing nature. ? “

The company sells equipment for a variety of outdoor activities, including skiing, camping, mountain biking and snowboarding, and has eight stores in the US and Canada and plans to open more. evo channeled 6.5% of its 2020 net profit to a project with long-term impact. The outdoor market is booming as nature lovers seek to get rid of the stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic.

“Evo has been a huge success and we have grown very rapidly over the past few years,” Miller said. “And one of the incredible things is that this success is directly related to our impact budget and what I’m allowed to do in the community. So this is by far our greatest gift. “

Three of the six organizations that received the gifts are based in Seattle.

The Service Council uses the pursuit of social justice through service and snowboarding to help children make a difference in their communities and gain access to nature. Bike Works promotes cycling as a vehicle for change to empower youth and build resilient communities. And the goal of Skate Like A Girl is to create an inclusive community by promoting confidence, leadership and social justice through skateboarding.

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Leila Anane is well aware of the impact of the Service Council. She first encountered the organization as a teenager. Sixteen years later, she becomes Director of Development and Communications.

“We started when a couple of community members sadly survived the death of a young man they were mentoring,” Anane said of the 26-year-old organization. “And this young man also loved snowboarding, so they decided to start an organization that would provide young people with the opportunity to come together to discuss current issues in their community regarding social justice and the environment, and then complete community service projects. So this is really cultivating a culture of giving. And it also provides access to outdoor activities that many of our young people cannot, such as winter sports. “

Anane said the pandemic has been hard on smaller organizations like The Service Board, which cannot afford to hire a full-time grant writer or staff to fundraise. So the nonprofit relies on personalized gifts. Anane hopes her organization can use the evo investment to increase individual donations.

“It motivates individual donation, which is very important for us,” Anane said. “For a small organization like us, individual members, they generate almost a third of our income. They are really important to us so that we can keep our doors open and continue to provide services. Unlimited support for people who come is really our lifeline.

“So I also love the idea of ​​Charity Tuesday, which is really an annual way to promote a culture of giving, not spending.”

Organizations wishing to learn more about the evo long-term impact program or to apply for funding should visit

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect that evo is pledging $ 10 million over the next 10 years to various outdoor groups led by women and BIPOC, including six of those listed in this article. An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that only these six organizations would receive funding.

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