About Us

Our Mission

We connect youth to nature by eliminating barriers, providing resources, and promoting outdoor programming as essential for building healthy lives and inspiring future stewards of the planet.

The Need

Outdoor experiences transform young lives. These experiences help to increase academic achievement, reduce obesity, teach teamwork and cooperation, prepare people for the workforce, and develop the environmental stewards of tomorrow. But far too few kids are taking part, suffering from what many experts call a “nature deficit disorder”. Investing in outdoor programs for kids pays huge social dividends, yet the field of outdoor and environmental education is grossly underfunded. Currently foundations give less than $13 million annually to outdoor youth programs in California. In 2008, this investment represented less than two percent of total environmental charitable giving. FYI was created to ensure that all young people in California have the opportunity for transformational outdoor experiences. We add value by bringing more funding and resources to the field.

Our Work

FYI is a grantmaking organization of people who are incredibly passionate about finding and investing in organizations that connect underserved youth to the great outdoors. We support programs across diverse communities, and we look for unique methodologies that benefit youth in academics, health, and career development. We’re also excited by this work because we know that kids who have exposure to great outdoor programming will become the adults who care for nature. Beyond giving money away, FYI initiates strategic solutions, like the Outdoor Educators Institute, designed to reduce field-wide barriers to getting kids outdoors. As an advocate and funder, we play a pivotal role in bringing together outdoor practitioners and organizations to share what works.

Our History

Created to build on the legacy of the Stewardship Council’s Youth Investment Program, FYI is developing and expanding the Stewardship Council’s work. Since 2006, the Youth Investment Program has invested over $11.5 million in over 140 organizations that together have provided more than 250,000 youth with life-changing outdoor connections. We are really proud of that work.

Your Support

We need your help! You can make a profound difference as a donor, advisor, or connector if you are willing to help change kids’ lives through the outdoors. FYI has the experience, expertise and focus to make effective grants to key organizations, managing and granting your money wisely. FYI is a 501(c)3 organization and contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law.
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