Creating a More Equitable Outdoors
Capital One is supporting the REI Cooperative Action Fund’s largest investment in bringing joy to people's outdoor experiences
December 5, 2023
Capital One contributed funding to the REI Cooperative Action Fund's largest-ever investment — which distributed $6.1 million to 264 nonprofit organizations working to create a more equitable outdoors.
As a community-supported nonprofit, the REI Fund is fueled by donations from individuals, foundations and corporate partners including Capital One and REI Co-op.
“The REI Cooperative Action Fund was founded on the principle that we can do more together than we can as individuals,” said Kristen Ragain, Managing Director of the REI Cooperative Action Fund. “Thanks to Capital One's generous donation, we've been able to localize our support across the country."
The REI Fund was launched in 2021 to bring together the collective strength of the co-op community. Each year the REI Fund announces new investments in the spring and fall to provide unrestricted funding to nonprofit partners that are strengthening the health and well-being of communities through time outside. This latest investment brings the REI Fund’s total 2023 giving to $10.1 million.
"We are thrilled to support the REI Cooperative Action Fund, which supports hundreds of local organizations creating a more equitable outdoors,” says Katie Fletcher, Managing Vice President of Card Partnerships at Capital One. “A key tenant of our partnership with REI and the REI Cooperative Action Fund is our shared values around inclusion and community impact, so we are excited to see the impact these funds can have on the communities these organizations serve.”
More than 200 of the REI Fund’s latest grantees are local organizations championed by REI employees who work in-store. Capital One’s funding extends the REI Fund’s investment to local communities across the country. Many of the grantees are also in communities where Capital One associates live, play, and work. Some of those grantees include:
- Black Women Who, Austin, Texas: aims to educate, inspire, empower and create opportunities for Black and Brown women and children. It organizes transformative events that provide individuals with the chance to hold space in areas where they are underrepresented
- OutLoud Dallas, Dallas, Texas: seeks to amplify youth voice through the intersection of storytelling projects, outdoor discovery, activism and restorative practices. OutLoud Dallas creates spaces that value youth as the drivers of social change, promote wellbeing and shift perspectives about the capabilities of young people
- The Woods Project, Inc, Houston, Texas: provides Houston high school students from low-income communities with wilderness immersion and exploration of public lands and other natural areas where people of color have been significantly underrepresented
- Richmond Cycling Corps, Richmond, Virginia: The Richmond Cycling Corps is a local nonprofit organization that uses cycling as a tool to create engagement with youth living in Richmond’s East End. Its mission is to educate and empower the lives of Richmond youth living in the heart of the East End by constantly pivoting towards relevant outreach
- City Kids Wilderness Project, Washington, D.C.: Builds resilience, broadens horizons, cultivates community and develops skills for success in youth through a long-term, cohort-based model that utilizes both the wilderness and urban environment to encourage growth. It provides year-round outdoor experiential programming for Washington, DC youth, ages 11 to 25, using natural and wilderness settings to encourage personal growth
In addition to supporting the REI Cooperative Action Fund, Capital One and REI have partnered on the REI Co-op Mastercard — bringing cardmembers a compelling set of benefits and inspiring REI members' daily pursuit of a life outside by rewarding everyday purchases to support their outdoor adventures.