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Successful fund-raising requires, more than anything else, your deep passion for the project you are raising funds for.

Ranger Dave’s Colorado Trail Fund-Raising Backpack for Nature Education was a creative way I raised money ($75,000+) that combined my passion for getting kids outside and my love of being in wild Nature myself!

“Donors don’t give to institutions. They invest in ideas and people in whom they believe.” ~ G.T. Smith

Raising revenue for a not-for-profit is not easy during the best of economic times. During tough times, like what we’ve been seeing during the last several years, fund-raising requires lots of creativity.

A few years ago, I came up with a revenue-raising plan that combined my love of backpacking with my organization’s need for revenue to support its Nature education programs. Since I am in Colorado, what better place to do the hike than the Colorado Trail!



I got the word out on the Fund-Raising Backpack, took pledges (ranging from a penny per mile to $20/mile), and then backpacked the 486-mile trail that goes from Denver to Durango (a city in the southwest corner of Colorado). Not able to carve out a long stretch of time to through-hike the Colorado Trail in one shot, I did it in several three- to five-day backpacks.

I hiked over mountain ranges, through wilderness areas, I saw so much amazing scenery, I arranged some excellent media coverage, and I wrote some articles along the trail for the local newspaper. When the trail was complete, I developed a presentation on the adventure that combines photos and stories from the trail with live music that I perform.

In 2014, when I learned that an additional 80 miles, known as Collegiate West, was added to the Colorado Trail,  I backpacked those new miles as another fund-raising hike for Nature education. To date, through the trail pledges and presentations, I have raised over $75,000, all if it going to help get young people out in Nature.

And the effort is still raising funds, as I continue to schedule presentations of my adventures.

Does this spark a creative idea or two that you may have for raising revenue for your project?

Let’s explore how I could help you develop your idea…maybe you:

  • want to hike a trail
  • bike across your state
  • read a hundred books
  • swim twenty miles
  • or…

Let’s talk. I can help you make it a fund-raising effort for your organization or project.

Another option: Schedule my Colorado Trail presentation in your community as a fund-raiser for your Nature-based project.

Contact me. Let’s make your fund-raisier happen.