If you enjoy climbing and have a soft spot for good causes, then these charities would very much appreciate your support. Some enlist volunteer climbers to help with outreach projects while others rely on third-party donations. Read on to learn more about some of the nonprofits that incorporate climbing into their philanthropy.
With more than two million members, Access Fund is one of the country’s largest climbing organizations. The group’s mission is simple: keep climbing areas open to the public and reduce the environmental impact of climbing. Access Fund’s myriad of climbing and stewardship projects are listed online; web users can also become members and donate to the organization.
American Alpine Club
This charitable organization “provides knowledge and inspiration, conservation and advocacy, and logistical support for the climbing community” — which is short for saying that they offer grants and volunteer opportunities throughout the United States. The AAC sponsors annual events, produces two climbing journals — American Alpine Journal and Accidents in North American Mountaineering, and oversees a library and museum dedicated to the sport of climbing. Web users can register for AAC membership online.
The American Safe Climbing Association
This organization aims to improve safety on established climbing routes by replacing unsafe or faulty anchor bolts with stainless steel bolts that are not susceptible to rust. Another goal of ASCA is to reduce the visual and environmental impact of climbing, so all bolts used are camouflaged. Experienced climbers are welcome to volunteer.
This nonprofit was created to support the CEU Urban Climbing School, a training facility located in a favela (‘slum’) of Rio de Janeiro. The goal of BEYONDGear is to educate favela residents in the ways of climbing and outdoor safety, thereby empowering them to set educational/career goals and escape the surrounding poverty. You can support the school through donations, or by purchasing items (hats, tote bags, etc.) from the organization’s online store.
Professional Climbing Instructors Association
The goal of this organization is to provide up-to-date safety and basic skills training to climbing instructors, both newbies and experienced pros. Courses cover on-site belaying, climbing wall safety, single-pitch climbing, and other relevant topics; different courses are offered nationwide (look for more in the coming weeks/months). Online registration is available.
Sherpa Education Fund
The goal of this Seattle-based nonprofit is to educate children who live in the remote areas near Mount Everest. Students learn a variety of subjects, including literature, math, economics, and world history. The Sherpa Education Fund is supported through contributions; donations can be made online.