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Updated: October 3, 2022

Brunswick nonprofit teams with 1% for the Planet

Kids on hammocks in the woods Courtesy / Teens to Trails Teens to Trails is a Brunswick-based nonprofit dedicated to connecting young Mainers with life-changing outdoor experiences.

Teens to Trails, a Brunswick nonprofit that connects young Mainers to outdoor experiences, aims to raise its fundraising game through a new partnership with 1% for the Planet.

1% for the Planet is an international organization founded in 2002 by Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard and Craig Matthews. Members pledge to donate more than 1% of their annual sales to organizations committed to bettering the planet.

Besides the financial contribution, participating businesses can so offer volunteers to help in various roles or provide advertising space to help nonprofit partners spread the word about their mission.

By joining forces with 1% for the Planet, Teens to Trails aims to convince more businesses to provide more young people with access to the outdoors.

"This new alliance invites businesses to commit to solve our planet's most pressing environmental problems and give more Maine teenagers access to being outside," said Alicia Heyburn, executive director of Teens to Trails.

Teens to Trails, founded 16 years ago, has an annual budget of $268,000 and employs five people.

She told Mainebiz that Teens to Trails worked with 84 middle and high schools in 2021 across the state, and aims to add community recreational centers this year with play-based outdoor programs for teens. 

'Opens up gifts'

Asked how the partnership with 1% for the Planet came about, Heyburn said that Dirigo Collective's Benn Marine, a self-described "B Corp nerd" and member of Teens to Trails' communication committee,  nominated Teens to Trails as an environmental partner. Dirigo Collective is a Yarmouth-based media company.

"Because his company has pledged to give back 1%, this means that the hours, media coverage and financial contributions that Benn and his company make to Teens to Trails count toward their pledge," she explained. "And it opens up gifts from many other companies who are also committed to tackling our planet's most pressing environmental issues."

On a more general note, Heyburn is bullish on the fundraising climate.

"While the market is taking a hit," she said, "individual and corporate donors are still committed to making an impact in areas that are important to them, foundations are evolving to reciprocal relationships with their grantees, and social gatherings are again possible — and we are eager for them, especially when they are in beautiful places outside."

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