If you have the financial means to donate money or availability to volunteer your time, you may need help deciding where to give. Thousands of organizations and charities exist, all supporting meaningful and vital causes. But if you identify as a rock climber or engage with your local climbing community, we urge you to consider supporting your local climbing non-profit chapter. Local climbing non-profits serve various needs, from supporting and maintaining safe outdoor climbing to increasing DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion) initiatives to connecting climbers with shared interests and life experiences. If you’re curious about the local climbing non-profit chapters near you, ask about your local climbing gym or crag, check social media, or read through the flyers posted around climbing gyms.

people in a climbing gym

1. Address Local Needs

Local non-profits arise when someone recognizes a need in the immediate community. National or global non-profits are great, but they don’t know the people in your immediate climbing community and the challenges your community may face regarding climbing accessibility, safety, etc.

2. Support Local Economy for Climbing

When you donate money to a local climbing non-profit chapter, they can put that money back into the climbing community via events, increasing membership at the local climbing gym, or investing in the upkeep of local outdoor climbing areas. Donating to a national or global non-profit helps an economy somewhere, but you are unlikely to see or benefit from the ripple effect. But, at the local level, you will.

3. Increased Likelihood of a Tangible Impact

When you donate to a national or global non-profit, you are likely unable to see the outcome of your donation. However, donations to a local non-profit may enable them to buy more gear for participants or host more community events, both of which you could see in action. With a local non-profit, you can donate your time as a volunteer instead of, or in combination with, your money, allowing direct interaction with the non-profit.

4. Tax Benefits

That isn’t unique to local non-profits but applies all the same. Donations to non-profits

are almost always deductible when it comes time to do your taxes. So, not only are you supporting your climbing community, but you’ll also help yourself out. It’s a win-win.

5. Increase Accessibility of Climbing to Your Community

Many rock-climbing non-profits aim to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion within the sport. Some examples of rock-climbing non-profit missions include creating a safe space for female or BIPOC climbers or giving underserved populations or those requiring adaptive systems an opportunity to participate in the sport. The climbing community is unlike any other in its ability to positively impact you, and the mental and physical strength you build is empowering. Everyone who wants to should have a chance to experience them, just as you have, which is why supporting the non-profits with missions to bring climbing to everyone is important!

6. Personal Connection and New Relationships

Circling back to reason number three (increased likelihood of a tangible impact), supporting a local climbing non-profit chapter through volunteering at their events or helping with operations enables you to connect with more people in your local climbing community. You all have a shared passion for rock climbing, adventure, and making an impact. Everyone has a unique story about how they entered the sport and what drove them to participate in the non-profit work. If you participate in the events, you’re also guaranteed to meet amazing people with their own inspiring and unique stories and witness them push themselves while enjoying all that rock climbing has to offer. Trust us, it’ll be gratifying.

Next time you feel called to donate, in some form, to a meaningful cause, consider a local non-profit. If you have a passion for rock climbing, inquire about local climbing non-profits with a mission that speaks to you. They can always use donations, and looking locally allows you to choose whether to donate your money, volunteer your time, or do both! Engaging with the organization in either way will benefit the larger climbing community, and the benefits may trickle down to you, too. As always, we’d love to hear from you, so comment below any rock climbing non-profits you think are worth supporting!