Outdoors retail co-op REI is investing US$4m in 40 nonprofit organisations working to create a more equitable outdoors.
The money from the retailer’s Cooperative Action Fund will benefit 22 existing REI partners and 18 new organisations that have joined the Fund’s growing national network.
Since its launch the fund has attracted 800,000 donors – notably REI itself and its customers, members and employees, as well as corporate partners and foundations. Their money goes to organisations working across three areas: connecting people outside, creating spaces outside and centring health outside.
The fund supports outdoor-focused organisations that are led by and serve Black, Indigenous and people of colour, the LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities, women, and low-income communities.
Examples include Bikes Not Bombs, an organisation that uses the bicycle as a vehicle for social change to achieve economic mobility for black and other marginalised people in Boston and the Global South or Latinas en Bici, whichworks to improve the social and physical wellbeing of a women or girls of Latin American origin or descent through weekly bike rides and multicultural events.
“This new investment is our largest to date, demonstrating the power of our community when we come together to make a positive impact,” said Kristen Ragain, REI Cooperative Action Fund managing director. “This generosity has allowed us to continue funding our existing partners, while engaging new organisations that strengthen the health and well-being of people and communities through time outside.”
The full list of winners is available on REI’s website