Orvis Customer Matching Grants
The Orvis Commitment
Our largest grants are Customer Matching Grants, where Orvis commits a substantial matching fund for donations solicited from our customers through promotions in our catalogs, stores, websites, social media, emails, and publicity campaigns. These grants offer the additional benefit of bringing strong publicity and endorsement to the project that far exceeds the actual dollars raised. With the partnering organization’s cooperation, we sometimes secure additional matching funds from other organizations.
Another important criteria used in evaluating Customer Matching Grants is the degree to which the project is understood and appreciated by members of our national customer base, who fall into two general categories: 1) Sporting Enthusiasts and 2) Nature Conservationists. On the Sporting side, past examples have included helping to reduce toxic waste from the blue-ribbon trout streams of the upper Clark Fork River, and restoration projects on the Sacramento and Susquehanna Rivers. Nature projects have included funding an aggressive conservation agenda to protect the Everglades, and supporting the preservation of sea turtle habitat on Mexico’s Baja Peninsula.
Customer Matching Grant projects are best if they have what we call a strong “Panda Factor”—a charismatic species that is widely recognized and a photogenic symbol of what is being protected, e.g. the American Bison; the African Mountain Gorillas. Additionally, these projects, their objectives, problems, and solutions, all must be easily understood by the layman, not versed in scientific or environmental language and theory.
In summary, a Customer Matching Grant project must:
- be partnered with a recognized and reputable not-for-profit organization(s)
- have a well-articulated mission, an attainable goal, strategic metrics and measurable outcomes by which the project will define success
- have an interesting, easily understood (by non-conservationists), and compelling story that will strike a personal and familiar chord with customers
- motivate customers with urgency to support solutions, not focus on problems
- generate national publicity beyond that offered by Orvis.
The average Customer Matching Grant is $30,000 directly from Orvis, although there are some exceptions. Through its promotions, Orvis challenges its customers to match that number, and sometimes this goal is exceeded. In addition to the cash funding raised, a significant added value to the recipient is the publicity for the chosen projects in our catalogs and stores as well as through our website and social media channels.
It is expected that Grant recipients will also use their own promotional channels to publicize the grant and partnership with Orvis and will regularly supply Orvis with progress updates which may be used on the OrvisNews.com blog.
Orvis employs a two-stage selection process starting with the evaluation of Project Briefs submitted by all applicants; followed by selection of Finalists who are invited to submit a comprehensive Grant Proposal.
Customer Matching Grants Project Brief
Please submit a project brief of no more than two pages, to include the following:
- Brief description of your organization and its qualifications
- Name and title of contact person
- Address, email, and telephone number
- Project Summary – a one sentence statement of the proposed project or program
- Project Overview – to include purpose, objectives, goals, and how this project relates to Orvis’ priorities
- Project Description – target population, action plan, timeframe
- How will success be measured? Please be as specific as possible.
- Projected total project cost and, if applicable, portion to be covered by the Orvis grant
We also request that you submit a copy of your 501(c)(3) documentation.
For more information or questions regarding grant proposals, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.