REI’s Cooperative Action Fund Invests Nearly $2 Million in 34 Nonprofits

REI’s Cooperative Action Fund is making a new investment in nonprofit organizations promoting justice, equity and belonging in the outdoors.

The outdoor retailer announced on Monday that it will invest $1.98 million in 34 nonprofits, bringing the fund’s total giving to over $3.4 million this year.

According to REI Co-op, the newest grantees include All Out Adventures, which promotes health, community and independence through outdoor recreation for people with disabilities and their loved ones throughout Massachusetts; Brown Folks Fishing, which cultivates an angling community for Black, Indigenous and people of color, by reimagining fishing as a gateway to environmental justice; and Catalyst Sports, which gives people living with disabilities access to the life-changing impact of adventure within a supportive and inclusive community.

“Thanks to the generosity of the co-op community, we’ve been able to scale our impact, providing even more support to organizations leading this important work in their communities,” Kristen Ragain, REI Cooperative Action Fund managing director, said in a statement. “Our approach centers trust, power sharing and mutually accountable relationships with our partners. We look forward to continuing to accelerate the movement towards a more equitable, accessible and inclusive outdoor culture.”

The REI Cooperative Action Fund officially launched in 2021 and has so far received over 200,000 donations from REI customers, members and employees, as well as REI Co-op, corporate partners and foundations, the company said.

The fund provides unrestricted support to a nationwide network of nonprofit partners across three specific areas: connecting people outside, creating space outside and centering health outside. The fund announces new investments each year in the spring and fall. Earlier this year, it invested $1.5 million in 23 nonprofit organizations.

The fund is part of the co-op’s broader effort to advance racial equity, diversity and inclusion within REI and broader society. To advance this effort, REI created the Cooperative Action initiative, which harnesses the collective strength and size of the co-op’s 21.5 million members and more than 16,000 employees, empowering them to fight for a more sustainable and equitable future for the planet and the people on it.

Over the last few years, REI has ramped up its DE&I efforts — referred to as REDI (for racial equity, diversity and inclusion) — and made them an even bigger priority. For instance, its Product Impact Standards launched in December 2020, outlining expectations for how brands address inclusive marketing and cultural designs in products. And its Path Ahead Ventures that launched in October 2021 included a $30 million investment in 300 founders of color to help start and scale their businesses.

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