Targeted to raise $360,000 or more, these grants are the cornerstone of Orvis’ annual commitment of 5% of its pre-tax profits to protecting nature. In total, Orvis will raise and contribute more than $1 million to conservation initiatives in 2015.
Orvis has awarded cash grants—to match its customers’ contributions up to equal amounts—to the following organizations:
Trout Unlimited, for its multi-year collaboration with Orvis on the 1,000 Miles Campaign, to reconnect 1,000 miles of stream passage in watersheds throughout the United States. This project will open up waterways through the repair and/or removal of culverts and other obstructions. With an Orvis matching grant up to $90,000, the campaign plans to raise $180,000 or more.
“Thanks to the excellent work in restoring habitat and new pools of opportunity, the brook trout population is burgeoning. After only one year of restoration work the improvement in fishing is remarkable.” – Frank Mills, Vermont
Petfinder Foundation, for its programs benefitting shelters and providing homes for rescued dogs across America. This program, whose goal is to ensure that no adoptable pet is euthanized for lack of a home, is so popular with Orvis customers that it more than tripled its goal in 2014. Orvis will match customers’ contributions to Petfinder up to $30,000.
“He was lanky and far too thin. He did not bark, or wag his tail, or even stand up in his crate when we entered the shelter. He rested his chin on his front paws, and watched us closely, but without hope or enthusiasm. We signed the adoption papers within twenty minutes.” – Jett Brooks, Orvis Copywriter
Chesapeake Bay Foundation, to benefit its Oyster Restoration Program, which works to restore native oyster reefs in Maryland and Virginia to improve water quality and fish habitat in Chesapeake Bay. Orvis’ $30,000 matching grant aims to raise a total of $60,000 for this program.
“Oysters serve as one of the Bay’s most important natural filtering mechanisms. We will never restore the Bay without a restored oyster population. From a habitat standpoint they are the mid-Atlantic coral reefs.” – Tommy Leggett, VA Oyster Restoration & Fisheries Scientist, Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Rare, for its Fish Forever partnership in Belize, empowering local communities to sustainably manage their fisheries, thereby increasing food security, conserving important marine habitats and species, safeguarding local jobs and creating coastal climate resilience. The New York Times called the Rare method, “one of the most critical, and underappreciated, social technologies to protect ecosystems and biodiversity.” The $30,000 grant from Orvis will match customer contributions for a goal of $60,000.
“Really, conservation is how you work with people. We know how tough it is to change a single perspective. But imagine changing an entire country. That is Rare.” – Pablo Granados, Rare Marine Program Director, Latin America.
“Our customers love and respect the natural world, just like we do. And our belief is that lots of people want to help, but there are so many ways to get involved that it can be difficult to make a decision,” says CEO Perk Perkins in a recent article in World Wildlife Magazine. “That’s why we contribute 5% of pre-tax profits to protect nature. With our matching grants, we invite customers to participate with their own donations, and we match their contributions dollar for dollar.”
Throughout 2015, Orvis will feature each of the four grant programs in its catalogs, website, and retail stores, as well as in other print and online promotions, social media and its conservation blog. The in-kind value of this exposure exceeds $600,000 on top of the cash grants awarded, according to Bill Eyre, Orvis Director of Corporate Marketing and Conservation. These promotional efforts, coupled with the matching funds from Orvis, provide a remarkable opportunity for customers, organization members and the general public to amplify their contribution to the protection of nature through these programs.
In addition to its Customer Matching Grants, Orvis donates smaller, non-matching grants to organizations that preserve and restore fish and wildlife habitat, support communities, and advance canine health and well-being. Key 2015 projects include restoration of the bison herd in Montana’s Northern Great Plains in cooperation with the National Wildlife Federation; support for the Western Environmental Law Center’s Wild Salmon and Steelhead Protection Project; and a variety of other projects with partners such as The Nature Conservancy, American Rivers, World Wildlife Fund, Casting for Recovery, Project Healing Waters, Ducks Unlimited and the Morris Animal Foundation.
Over the past 20 years, Orvis has raised and donated in excess of $18 million for a wide variety of conservation programs, from Bristol Bay, AK to the Florida Everglades; from the Rhinos and Elephants of Kenya to Great Britain’s iconic Chalk Streams; and in dozens of vital fisheries through America and the world. Details of this and past year’s Orvis Customer Matching Grant projects can be seen at www.orvis.com/commitment.
A brief synopsis of each of this year’s grant recipients follows:
Trout Unlimited-The Orvis/TU 1,000 Miles Campaign
- Help the Orvis-Trout Unlimited 1,000 Miles Campaign reach its goal to reconnect 1,000 miles of fishable streams over ten years by repairing or replacing poorly constructed culverts throughout the U.S. Culverts are significant impediments to fish passage and survival—just as significant as a major dam—but the solution is dramatically simpler. You can help reconnect rivers throughout the US by giving to the Orvis/TU 1,000 Miles Campaign. Orvis will match your donation, dollar for dollar, up to $90,000 for a total goal of $180,000.
- Orvis is proud to support an organization whose mission is to ensure that no pet is euthanized for lack of a home. The Petfinder Foundation supports more than 14,000 animal-welfare organizations across the nation by facilitating adoptions, helping shelters prepare for and recover from disaster, and working to make shelters more sustainable. Each year, five out of every ten dogs in shelters are euthanized because they are not adopted. Petfinder works tirelessly to fight this statistic, and you can help. In 2015, Orvis will match customers’ donations up to $30,000 for a goal of $60,000 to support and protect these vulnerable pets.
Chesapeake Bay Foundation-Oyster Restoration
- It’s that sulfur-rich smell of the marsh, and the unforgettable taste of Old Bay-smothered blue crab meat. It’s the quiet murmur of a sole waterman’s boat crossing flat-calm water at sunrise. It’s pound nets and patent tongs and crab pots. It’s shucking your very first oyster, and spotting your very first rockfish. It’s flat. But it didn’t used to be. It’s also polluted, losing habitat, getting warmer, and under stress. The Chesapeake Bay needs help—it needs its oyster reefs back. The Chesapeake oysters were once so plentiful they could filter the entire Bay (some 19 trillion gallons of water) in three days. Today, it would take the current oyster population more than a year to perform the same task. By restoring the oyster reefs, CBF is also enhancing water quality, and restoring habitat. In 2015, Orvis will match customer donations up to $30,000 with a $60,000 goal to enable CBF to restore native oyster reefs, and benefit the entire Chesapeake ecosystem.
Rare-Fish Forever in Belize
- Around the world a billion people depend on fish as their main source of protein. Most of these small-scale fisheries are poorly managed and overfished. Rare, in cooperation with the Environmental Defense Fund and the University of California, Santa Barbara, has developed Fish Forever, an innovative program designed to empower coastal communities to sustainably manage their own fisheries. A $30,000 grant from Orvis, coupled with a match from customers, will generate $60,000 to help develop the first national system of this type of managed fishery in Belize, inspiring change and improving the lives of thousands of Belizeans, while incubating a replicable model of sustainability for the rest of the world.
About The Orvis Company
Founded in 1856, Orvis pioneered the mail order industry in the United States, operates more than 80 retail stores in the U.S. and the U.K. including its Flagship store in Manchester, VT; and maintains a network of over 400 dealers worldwide. The oldest continuously operated catalog company in the country, Orvis is the premier outfitter of the distinctive country lifestyle and outdoor adventures. A leading corporate steward for the environment, Orvis contributes 5% of pre-tax profits every year to protect nature, support communities and advance canine health and well-being. The company’s international headquarters for its mail order, ecommerce, retail, and wholesale businesses are in Manchester, Vermont.
For more information, please visit www.Orvis.com.