KEEN announced its fourth year of grant giving directed to small, localized projects. Called the KEEN Effect Grant Program, the grants will fund grassroots programs inspiring outdoor participation in a generation of children increasingly disconnected from nature.
“We want to find the best wilderness adventures, outdoor natural science programs and environmental stewardship projects around the world that can help bring diverse communities of kids outside,” says Mark Steinbuck, Grants and Community Outreach Specialist at KEEN. “KEEN knows there is no better way to inspire a responsible relationship to the outdoors than helping future generations know, love and respect it in a wide variety of ways at an early age.”
A diverse panel of global KEEN employees form the grant-making committee so that the entire company can help guide its impacts, so the company. In its first three years, the KEEN Effect Grant Program has awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars to small nonprofits, spanning 11 countries and 26 U.S. states.
In addition to youth programs, KEEN Effect grants have supported a variety of causes like coastal ecosystem protections in Peru, participatory development on the Hopi Reservation in Arizona, inner-city urban gardens in Detroit and an ecological surveying project in Canada. This year, a quarter of the KEEN Effect Grant Program’s recipients will splinter off to support five groups helping improve Canada’s—and the world’s—longest trail, The Great Trail.
“KEEN is a brand born of the outdoors, and we feel a responsibility to preserve and protect the places we play,” says Casey Sheahan, KEEN President. “KEEN gave $500,000 to Southeast Asian tsunami disaster relief in 2004, and, through the KEEN Effect Grant Program, we’re continuing our company’s commitment to philanthropy. We want to fund smaller non-profits across the world working on specific projects that share our values of responsible outdoor participation. We are excited to support a new group of dedicated, grassroots partners through this year’s grant-making cycle.”
After receiving applications through September, new grantees will be announced October 30, 2017.
To apply or learn more about the KEEN Effect Grant Program, please visit: http://www.keenfootwear.com/grants