Donation of $4 Million Paves the Way for Innovation and Growth at NOLS

By NOLS Blog

Nov 16, 2023

Thanks to three anonymous donors, NOLS has secured $4 million in new support. These gifts will be used to match every dollar donated up to $4 million, doubling the impact of donations during the challenge period until the $4 million goal has been met. This exciting initiative aims to engage donors and inspire them to contribute to NOLS' mission to be the leading source and teacher of wilderness skills and leadership that serve people and the environment. 

NOLS has always valued partnerships and collaborations and this $4 Million Donor Match Challenge is no exception. Since 1965 NOLS has built a community of friends and supporters who share a love for the outdoors, building leadership skills, and promoting environmental sustainability. As we look to the future, and in a world that is clearly in need of confident and inspired leadership, NOLS is leaning into our strength as a school. Our vision is to elevate the leader in everyone. With this extraordinary support we will continue to have an outside impact on the world, and deliver on the promise of a NOLS education.

Students smile while pulling a rope that is attached to a tree. They are hanging a bag of food out of reach from bearsPhoto by Kirk Rasmussen

"We are grateful to have the support of our generous donors who recognize the value of a NOLS education by shaping resilient and responsible leaders," said Sandy Colhoun, President of NOLS. "With this $4 Million Donor Match Challenge, we hope to inspire even more individuals and organizations to contribute to our mission and to help create a positive impact on the future of NOLS."

A group of students stand around a person who is lying on the floor. A man in the foreground is using his hands to show what a spine looks likeStudents prepare to make a leg splint in a Wilderness Medicine course. Photo by Kirk Rasmussen

NOLS has been at the forefront of outdoor education since 1965, offering transformative wilderness courses and programs to students of all ages. Our curriculum focuses on leadership development, outdoor skills, environmental stewardship, wilderness medicine, and risk management. By participating in the $4 Million Donor Match Challenge, supporters can help ensure that future generations can continue to benefit from NOLS' exceptional educational experiences.

"Before this trip, I never would have thought I would have to sit in a circle with people I had just met and talk to them like old friends, especially if it is hard to have your voice heard," said Sinead, who recently completed her NOLS course.  "So thank you to these generous lead donors. You have improved my life and helped me build my character. You have made me a better person." 

A group sits in the sand around a fire. There is a sand dune in the background and the sun is settingPhoto by Oscar Manguy

The transformational power of a NOLS education is life-changing and priceless. Now is your chance to make a differenceand your gift will be MATCHED—making an even larger impact!

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