Update: Thanks for all your patience alder fam! <3 Our timeline has been set back a touch: we'll be notifying applicants before the end of July 2022

About the alder fund

At alder we believe that outdoor recreation = happiness and are thrilled to launch the alder fund to further our goal of enabling people from all walks of life and abilities to get outside and have fun. Our goal is to give back and support the growth of organizations and communities that share our values of making the outdoor industry safe, welcoming and accessible to everyone.

The alder fund has four streams that mirror our values:

  1. Leave it better then you found it:
  2. Invest in the next generation.
  3. Demand equal opportunity.
  4. Go outside, have fun & get dirty.

As you might know, our community helps us design our clothing through surveys, focus groups and more - but did you know we also ask them about the change they want to see in the outdoor industry? We asked our community about the kinds of programs and organizations they wanted us to support through the alder fund, the answers they gave mirrored our vision and mission for the outdoors. We think this is a powerful approach as it takes into account the concerns of many, instead of only a few.

The alder fund will have a special focus on supporting the following programs and organizations through our four streams:

  • youth-focused organizations and programs.
  • women-run and women targeted organizations and programs.
  • Indigenous, First Nations and Métis run and targeted organizations and programs.
  • Black owned and run organizations and programs.
  • LGBTQ2+ owned and run organizations and programs.
  • Environmental protection + restoration work.
  • Outdoor education and therapy programs and organizations using the outdoors to support mental illness, domestic abuse survivors and sexual assault survivors.
  • Animal rehabilitation.
  • Ecosystem and wildlife protection.
  • Organizations and programs that address Climate change.
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Eligibility and funding

We’re thrilled to launch the alder fund and receive applications from our community that share our mission of increasing participation in the outdoors. Before applying, organizations must meet these initial criteria:

  • Have 501(c)(3) nonprofit status (US-based) or be a registered charity (Canada) or be in a formal relationship with a qualified fiscal sponsor.
  • Be based and operate in the U.S. or Canada.
  • Agree to submit a final grant report.
  • Have an outdoor focused mission/program structure. Meaning 50-75% of all programming must be allocated to outdoor activity, conservation, stewardship, exposure, education or other adjacent categories. *note that if you don’t meet this criteria but feel strongly that you would be a good fit - please apply.

Please note that If you do not meet these criteria, you will not be able to apply.

A total of up to $50,000 is available for funding through the alder fund. Applicants may apply for up to $15,000 in grant funding per project and a minimum of $5,000. Whether grants are awarded and the amounts of any such awarded grants are within the sole discretion of the alder fund.

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Program streams

The alder fund grants are offered in four main streams. Please complete the application in association with the stream that most aligns with your project.

1. Leave it better than you found it.

We have a shared responsibility to make things better for those who come after us and to take care of the environment. Programs under this stream should be focused on engaging communities in environmental stewardship, education and restoration while creatively forging connections between land and people. Potential projects could support the sharing of Indigenous knowledge, address needs for new or ongoing protected areas, native species restoration, new trails, gardens, trees or forests or focus on other topics such as climate change in urban spaces or public lands. Animal rehabilitation is also supported (note no invasive or exotic species are eligible).

2. Invest in the next generation.

Our dream is to build a lifelong love of the outdoors in young people, so those feelings of love and connection will follow them down whatever path of life they choose. We know early, positive experiences outside can have a tremendous positive impact on young people's lives. Programs under this stream should be focused on engaging young people in the outdoors. We welcome applications from eligible summer camps, school boards and youth groups. Note we typically do not fund scholarships.

3. Demand equal opportunity.

Access to the outdoors is inequitable. We want to support underrepresented communities in the outdoors by reducing barriers to participation in outdoor activities. Programs under this stream should be focused on helping program participants build confidence, develop a sense of belonging, and establish positive relationships with peers and community members in the outdoors.

Via new or existing ways, ideal programs will engage or support communities in building new or existing outdoor skills (e.g. learning a new activity like camping, canoeing, hiking, birding, rock climbing, plant identification, foraging, etc.), supporting healing and trust through outdoor activities, run or design leadership programs for underrepresented communities and more.

Through this stream we are specifically looking to support:

  • Women-run and women targeted organizations and programs.
  • Organizations promoting body neutrality or body positivity in the outdoors.
  • Indigenous, First Nations and Métis run and targeted organizations and programs.
  • Black-owned and run organizations and programs.
  • LGBTQ2+ owned and run organizations and programs.
  • Outdoor education and therapy programs and organizations using the outdoors to support mental illness, domestic abuse survivors and sexual assault survivors.

4. Go outside, have fun, & get dirty.

Sometimes the best thing to do is get people outside! Getting people excited about going outside can be accomplished in many ways, like running trips, playing games, creative and engaging storytelling, fun events & experiences and more. Programs under this stream should be focused on the joy of getting outdoors. Example programs include storytelling to inspire outdoor participation (e.g. documentaries, short series, magazines, etc.), one-off events like field trips (to local parks, National parks, state parks, etc.), single-day outdoor activities (e.g. hiking, biking, rock climbing, SUPing, swimming, running, etc. ). Don’t be afraid to get creative with this one! Note no music festivals are eligible and we do not like to fund food + beverage costs associated with events.

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Program budget

In the application, we will ask you for your program budget. Please use this excel template to share your budget. You will upload your completed budget via our application form.

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You will be able to request alder gear as part of your application. Please note you will be asked what the gear will be used for and should make sense in the context of your application.

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2022 Submissions
Applications Open May 5th, 2022
Applications Close June 3rd, 2022
Internal Review June 15th, 2022
Applicants Notified June 21st, 2022 Update: July 22nd, 2022

Note: Applicants have until December 31st 2022 to use funds.

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When evaluating proposals, the alder team looks at the following three guidelines:


How clearly does the program:

  • Make the outdoors safe, welcoming and accessible.
  • Welcome underrepresented communities to the outdoors.
  • Align with the spirit of alder. Note preference will be given to organizations that are women-run or founded*


How well does the program:

  • Service and invite underrepresented and/or underserved communities to participate in the outdoors.
  • Show a positive benefit to participants and/or the environment in tangible, measurable ways. 


How well does the application and proposed project:

  • Clearly define its plan and goals.
  • Infuse sustainability into operations.
  • Infuse accessibility into operations.
  • Have a plan for outreach to their target community.
  • Staff their program appropriately.
  • Provide a detailed and appropriate budget.
  • Infuse fun & joy into proposed activities.
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What is NOT Funded:

  • Organizations without 501(c)(3) status or without a qualified 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor.
  • Programs without a significant outdoor component or activities that are not aligned with the activities and interests of the alder fund.
  • Projects focused on research, white papers, and conferences.
  • Endowment or capital fund campaigns.
  • Ropes courses, museum and aquarium trips.
  • Advocacy or political campaigns.
  • Private Sustainability, green building projects, or landscape projects.
  • Expeditions & Races.
  • Land acquisitions or conservation easements.
  • Most salaries.
  • Marketing or brand awareness raising projects.
  • Festivals.
  • Projects outside the U.S. or CANADA.
  • Ph.D. projects, corporate volunteer opportunities, school service projects.
  • Individual road trips.
  • Programs, events, etc. that have already happened.
  • A qualified fiscal sponsor has 501(c)3 or charitable status and would be responsible for applying for the grant, managing funding, and reporting.
  • Yes, but we strongly discourage multiple applications. If you would like to discuss which program would be a better fit, email thealderfund@alderapparel.com

For any other questions, please reach out to thealderfund@alderapparel.com.

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Components of Application

When you're ready click the button below to start the online application!

Start your application!

If you want to prep before applying, you can download a copy of the full application in either pdf or docx below.

Note: These documents are for informational purposes only. Please do not submit either of these documents as an application - they will not be considered.

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