The National Park Foundation serves as a catalyst, resource, and national voice for local park charities, also known as Friends Groups, to protect and enhance America’s national parks for present and future generations. The Foundation believes that a continuum of philanthropic funding – from local to national – enhances its ability to protect the national parks; to connect all Americans with these treasured places and all they have to offer. This support aids in raising awareness for all the National Park Service does to enrich communities from coast to coast, and inspiring the next generation of park stewards.
What is a Friends Group?
Friends Groups are individual nonprofit organizations that support a specific national park with time, expertise, and privately-raised funds. As champions of parks, Friends Groups frequently engage area communities in the park and provide financial support and volunteer time in support of park priorities. Find a link to a park’s Friends Group in the Related Links section of a NPF national park page.
How Does the National Park Foundation Work with Friends Groups?
The Foundation works to help start, grow and improve the operations of Friends Groups via direct support, coaching, consulting, webinars, and tool development and conferences. The Foundation does this through the following activities:
- Park Partners Project provides in-depth consulting and grant support to Friends Groups who want to be better partners and increase philanthropic dollars to their parks. Apply to be a part of next year’s Park Partner Project here.
- Online Community and Resource Center is a web portal for Friends Groups stakeholders to more easily find and share resources, ask questions and connect with each other.
- Friends of the Parks Report provides information on and analysis of the evolution and spectrum of Friends Groups and park philanthropy.
- National Park Friends Alliance is an informal group of Friends Groups leaders who meet twice a year to discuss issues relevant to park philanthropy. The Foundation provides both technical and grant assistance.
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