The It’s Great Out There Coalition (IGOTC) has announced details of a new round of #itsgreatoutthere grants, designed to fund projects by non-profit organisations that take new people into the outdoors. The IGOTC is an International Non Profit Association (INPA), registered in Brussels, set up by the European Outdoor Group (EOG) and funded by membership fees from outdoor businesses in Europe.
The Coalition’s existing grants scheme has been adapted in the context of the major impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the non-profit sector. In the latest round, with support from the European Outdoor Group, 10 ‘micro-grants’ of €1,000 each will be awarded to the most compelling proposals.
Applications are now open, the deadline for submissions is Sunday 16 August and any non-profit organisation can apply. The Coalition will also help put successful applicants in contact with some of its members and other partners from the outdoor industry who may be able to assist with the supply of products or other support in kind, such as professional mountain guiding.
Launched in 2017, the #itsgreatoutthere grants programme supports community-based projects, which have been developed primarily to take new participants into the outdoors and have encouraged younger and more diverse audiences, in particular, to get active. Since they were introduced, they have supported 19 projects with grants of varying sizes, directly benefiting nearly 5,500 people.
As the population of Europe emerges from COVID-19 related restrictions, there is strong evidence that people have an increased appetite for heading outdoors. The round of 10 #itsgreatoutthere micro-grants is designed to deliver vital support to more small-scale non-profit initiatives helping new participants to get active in a safe and responsible way.
Margo de Lange, IGOTC policy officer, said, “Our most recent study on participation in outdoor activity has shown that in recent months, people everywhere have gained a greater appreciation of the outdoors and an increased desire to explore the natural world once restrictions have lifted. We now have a golden opportunity to help more people to enjoy outdoor activities, but there are significant challenges that come with that.
“Citizens from all backgrounds who are planning to explore the natural world for the first time need help and advice to do that safely and responsibly, but some of the non-profit organisations that traditionally provide that assistance have been badly hit by the pandemic. In short, the resources available for this kind of work have been significantly reduced.
“We’re very grateful for the support of our members and the European Outdoor Group, which means that we are able to launch this #itsgreatoutthere micro-grants scheme. I urge non-profits around Europe that may meet our criteria to consider applying. We want to help you to get more people active in the outdoors, in the right way.”