Please Consider Contributing Today!
The success of this organization continues to be a direct result of private donations that allow us to offer quality outdoor education at a reasonable cost. As costs continue to increase, our fundraising becomes even more critical. We have increased our visibility within our community through fundraising events and community outreach. Our presence in the world of social media continues to grow.
Options for making contributions of financial support include direct donations via cash or check directly to FIT in person or via USPS, online donations through our PayPal link, and support of all types through our Field Institute of Taos Endowment Fund with the Taos Community Foundation.
A BRIEF HISTORY
As we look back and see how far we have come since we started in 1996, it’s hard to believe that so much time has passed. Total participation in our camps has grown from 47 children in 1996 to over 1000 children plus about 70 staff including Counselors In Training and Junior Counselors in 2022. We continue having a very high rate of returning children, many have attended at least one session each summer since 1996 until they “age out” and join our staff. We have also had our first “second generation campers.” We continue to get new participants involved as our reputation for excellence spreads, our capacity to offer more programs increases, and our ability to provide scholarship assistance grows.
In 1996, we were able to offer only four scholarships. Since the creation of the Keri and Amy Wiard and John Ramming Memorial Scholarship Program in 1997, we have offered financial assistance to more children each year. We continue exceeding our goal of offering 30% of the participants some form of scholarship assistance. Since 2014, over 40% of our participants received scholarships.
In 2004 we were awarded a grant from CIBC World Markets. This money continues to grow and has allowed us to make large purchases such as vehicles. We have been fortunate to have incredibly generous donors who have stepped up and allowed us to continue to grow. We now own four 15-passenger vans, one enclosed trailer and two open bicycle trailers.
In the summer of 2000, we were awarded a $5000. grant from REI for the purchasing camping and backpacking gear. Thanks to the generosity of REI starting the ball rolling, we now have enough tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, etc. to outfit the youth who sign up for our overnight experiences.
For four years (2000 – 2003), we were selected as one of the organizations eligible to participate in the Tango in Taos fund raising event. This was a vehicle of the Taos Community Foundation that enabled certain contributions to the Field Institute of Taos to be matched by the TCF.
In 2016, we participated in the Taos Community Foundation’s Ben Myers Ridge-A-Thon. Our team raised over $8000 and received a partial match from TCF. Though this only occurred once, it was an amazing opportunity and we are so grateful to have been able to take part in this incredible event.
Thanks to an incredibly gracious donor, on May 1, 2017 we entered into a lease agreement for the facility that is our current Base Camp. We still cannot believe how lucky we are to be able to operate programs, store supplies and gear, and do all of our ongoing management and planning from such a gorgeous spot. With classroom space, a beautiful field, office space, trees, storage, parking, and the best views ever, this is a perfect home for all Field Institute of Taos programs and we are so grateful every day.
In recent years we have received several small grants from various foundation as well as a recurring large grant from an anonymous donor. These grants, in addition to many, many private contributions, allow us to keep operating and expanding in the face of today’s expenses. Our staff has grown in numbers and in depth, we offer a wide variety of programming in spring, summer and fall, and our infrastructure is extensive and stable.
Our fundraising efforts increase each year. Events include our July 4th Rubber Duck Race, our Youth Nature Photo Exhibit and Raffle, the New Belgium Scavenger Hunt, the Taos Bike Swap, and Ride the Rift. The money we raise helps us continue to increase the number of available scholarships. It also enables us to purchase much needed equipment (including books and field supplies) and covers the high costs of providing safe daily transportation for the children.
AGENCY FUND WITH TAOS COMMUNITY FOUNDATION (endowment only)
In 2019 we established two charitable funds at Taos Community Foundation (TCF) to build financial sustainability. The funds can accept charitable gifts (both cash and more complex gifts such as stocks, securities, IRAs, art, and property) from any donor, at any time during the year on behalf of Field Institute of Taos. There are also options to make planned giving a great way to support FIT well into the future. We are utilizing an ESG (environment, social, and governance) strategy in investing. All donations made to FIT via TCF are placed in a long term Endowment Fund with only a very small percentage available for FIT to use directly for programs. Please visit FIT’s webpage on the TCF website www.taoscf.org/fit for more details, or contact TCF directly.
PLEASE AND THANK YOU!
Please consider making a meaningful contribution directly to Field Institute of Taos this year and know that your support is deeply appreciated. We promise that your donation will go far in helping us meet our goals of awarding more scholarships than ever, offering high quality programs, and providing safe transportation. Donations may be made by mail or by clicking on the “Make a Donation” button to the left. Our 501(c)3 status ensures that your donation is fully tax deductible. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact us. Thank you!
Field Institute of Taos is a 501(c)3 Nonprofit Organization