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Bend, Ore. – The North Face committed $750,000 over three years to The Conservation Alliance Legacy Fund. This gift brings the Legacy Fund Campaign to an end as The Conservation Alliance reaches its goal of building a $3.5-million endowment. Earnings from the Legacy Fund will cover operating expenses for the organization. The North Face President Todd Spaletto announced the commitment at The Conservation Alliance Breakfast at the Outdoor Retailer Show in January.
“We are proud to have helped start the Alliance 22 years ago, and we are honored to be in the position to close out the Legacy Fund Campaign,” said Todd Spaletto, President of The North Face. “Providing access to the outdoors is at the heart of our business. We believe in the virtuous cycle—the simple concept based on the idea that if you get people outdoors, they will love that experience. The more they come back, the more they grow to care about protecting our natural playgrounds and living healthy active lives. Protecting wild places is core to this mission, and The Conservation Alliance helps us reach our conservation goals.”
The Conservation Alliance launched the Legacy Fund Campaign in January 2008, and secured $2.75 million in commitments before the recession hit later that year, forcing a hiatus in fundraising. The organization re-launched the campaign in August 2011, announcing its goal to reach the $3.5-million mark by the end of 2012.
The North Face had previously contributed $1 million to the fund, and the company’s new commitment completes the campaign.
“The North Face made the lead gift that started the Legacy Fund Campaign in 2008,” said John Sterling, Executive Director of The Conservation Alliance. “With this contribution, The North Face brings our most ambitious fundraising effort to a close.”
The Conservation Alliance plans to continue to add gifts to Legacy Fund, targeting individuals who want to give something back after a meaningful career in the outdoor industry. Black Diamond Equipment founder and President Peter Metcalf kicked-off this second phase of the Legacy Fund by committing a $75,000 personal contribution. Metcalf also committed an additional $50,000 from Black Diamond, which has already given $50,000.
“If we as individuals can make a one-time contribution or multi-year pledge to the Alliance’s endowment, there is the opportunity for us to create a situation where 100 percent of the our company’s annual giving goes not to operating budgets but instead to the environmental groups battling to save those last iconic places on earth,” said Metcalf.
Because 100 percent of membership dues go into The Conservation Alliance’s grant fund, the organization must look elsewhere to cover operational expenses. These expenses are currently supported by additional contributions from member companies, foundation grants, and fundraising events. Once fully funded, the Legacy Fund will permanently cover nearly three-quarters of the current operating expenses for the Alliance.
The North Face co-founded The Conservation Alliance in 1989 along with Patagonia, REI, and Kelty. Since then, the organization has grown to include more than 180 member companies. In 2011, The Conservation Alliance contributed $1.05 million to conservation projects including efforts to: secure new wilderness designations in Washington, Colorado, Oregon and Idaho; acquire wildlands in Maine, California, and New Hampshire, and Oregon; protect wild rivers in Canada, Washington and California; and win strict regulations on snowmobile use in Yellowstone National Park.
“The Legacy Fund will ensure that The Conservation Alliance outlives us all,” said Sterling. As long as there is an outdoor industry, we will be here ensuring that the industry is active in the effort to protect wild places for their habitat and recreational values.”
About The Conservation Alliance
The Conservation Alliance is an organization of outdoor businesses whose collective contributions support grassroots environmental organizations and their efforts to protect wild places where outdoor enthusiasts recreate. Alliance funds have played a key role in protecting rivers, trails, wildlands and climbing areas.
Membership in the Alliance is open to companies representing all aspects of the outdoor industry, including manufacturers, retailers, publishers, mills and sales representatives. The result is a diverse group of businesses whose livelihood depends on protecting our natural environment.
Since its inception in 1989, the Alliance has contributed more than $9.8 million to grassroots environmental groups. Alliance funding has helped save over 51 million acres of wildlands; 31 dams have either been stopped or removed; and the group helped preserve access to more than 17,700 miles of waterways and 11 climbing areas.
For complete information on the Conservation Alliance, seewww.conservationalliance.com.