With the giving season upon us, there are many ways you can give to nonprofits. At Hike it Baby, we appreciate the many ways our community gives back. When you host a hike, you give time. When you share a Hike it Baby story or picture, you offer your friends an opportunity to get outside and connect with others. And when you join Hike it Baby as a member ($10 annually) or sign up for the Hike it Baby 30 ($5-$50), you help our organization in moving toward long-term sustainability. Support of Hike it Baby in all these ways matters and makes a big difference to our community.
As we approach #GivingTuesday, the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving where nonprofits across America ask for financial support to help keep their organization going and growing strong, I wanted to share the story of Hike it Baby and why your support is so critical to our organization!
A Simple Idea to Get Families Outdoors
The beginning of Hike it Baby is quite simple. As a new mama without a strong circle of mama friends, I wanted to find people to hike with in Portland, OR. It soon went from a mommy friend group to become a fast-growing group of parents hiking around Portland. Within a year, it spread to other cities and kept growing and growing.
Now, four years later, Hike it Baby is a national nonprofit with more hikes in our calendar than any other family hike group across the U.S. Last year we had over 34,000 hikes — 34,000 hikes!?! Can you just imagine how many boots on trail that is? We did cleanups, we supported thousands of women battling postpartum depression, we impacted thousands of children in helping them connect better with nature and learn stewardship, our voice was heard at the Children & Nature Network Conference, the Outdoor Retailer show, and we got hundreds of hikes on the map during National Trails Day, Kids to Park Day, Get Outdoors Day and Black Friday.
And yet …
Nonprofits are a funny beast. People assume they get grants to run, but this is only a tiny portion of what it takes to make most nonprofits sustainable. Nonprofits often start with an idea or a need in society and then grow. Sometimes they sustain, and sometimes they peter out and fizzle because they are administratively hard (and expensive) to run. A nonprofit is technically a business, so while it’s built on dreams, it still needs financial means to run.
This is especially true for smaller, grassroots organizations. We are all aware (and forever grateful) for the larger organizations like American Red Cross or Habitat for Humanity, Greenpeace or Sierra Club. These are the big ones that help make big changes, save lives, affect policy, move mountains. But they aren’t the whole picture.
Smaller organizations like Hike it Baby are at a grassroots level and help within a community day after day. We need love and volunteers, but we also need money and participation to thrive and fulfill our mission of raising a generation to love the outdoors.
Why Giving to Hike it Baby Matters
Hike it Baby is at the center of a movement to help create healthier families by getting them outside with very young children. And you are all a part of this! You are making it happen. We all are making it happen.
Here’s the thing, though. To be effective and far-reaching, we need your support!
While it seems like a little hike group shouldn’t be an expensive endeavor, sustaining it, staffing it, running a complicated website that gets visited 7,000 times a day is all part of the overall cost to keep Hike it Baby going. Volunteers and a small dedicated staff help make it so successful. You hosting hikes are also a part of that army! Additionally, the donations we receive are vital to Hike it Baby’s mission, which is why we ask you to help on #GivingTuesday.
How to Help on #GivingTuesday
On this #GivingTuesday, we would really appreciate your support. Here are a few ways you can help us:
- Share your Hike it Baby story. Tag us on all of your social media and add the link to our website for a week or two wherever you can. Post your own story or share one of ours with the tag #HikeitBaby. Encourage people to sign up on the website and donate if they can. It’s tax-deductible! Remind them that Tuesday is Giving Tuesday!
- Donate if you can. Anything helps: $1, $5, $10, $100, $1,000 or more. Whatever you can give makes a huge impact, and every dollar given goes into making our organization sustainable and further helps us in creating healthy families across America. Donate here.
- Download an app! If you don’t want to give directly, an indirect way you can give is by signing up for the Benefit app on your phone and purchasing a gift card through the app for stores such as Starbucks, Whole Foods, REI, Best Buy or Amazon. When you make purchases using the gift card from the Benefit app, Benefit donates a percentage of the purchases to Hike it Baby. You can also see the donations add up on your app.
- Get your employer to donate on your behalf! Find out if your job will donate to Hike it Baby. Many companies will donate money to our organization for your hours spent volunteering on Hike it Baby. Often all you have to do is fill out a form and have us sign it! It’s that easy. Last year we had over $1,000 donated by Hike it Baby members for just doing this with their jobs. All it took was them finding out that this was possible!
- Find matching programs. Most companies will match your donation to an organization like Hike it Baby. If you donate $100 and can get your company to donate to Hike it Baby, you just helped us doubly! Note that Hike it Baby is on Benevity as well, so this is an easy way to see if your company matches.
There are so many ways to give on Tuesday. If none of the above work for you, do the simplest thing and either go on a hike with us and bring a friend or add a hike to the calendar. These are also great ways to give to the organization this year and every year!
We thank you all for your participation and wish you and your family a happy rest of 2017. It’s been an amazing year and we are so excited to see what an incredible community and support network Hike it Baby has become for families all across North America.
To find a hike today, register on the site or login. We are there for you every day, wherever you are. And if we aren’t in your town, we can be. Get involved now.
Shanti Hodges, Hike it Baby Founder & CEO