Until the end of 2021, REI Co-op will match any contribution to its fledgling Cooperative Action Fund.
In October, REI introduced the Cooperative Action Fund, a charitable arm focused on supporting justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion in the outdoors. It would dissolve its long-standing REI Foundation in favor of the more relevant, accessible model.
As a separate philanthropic entity, the REI Cooperative Action Fund can receive contributions from public donors, not just REI employees and paying members.
Now, in tandem with its annual #OptOutside campaign, REI has committed to match all donations to the Cooperative Action Fund up to $1 million. The fund partners with nonprofits and local community leaders to support equal access and climate justice initiatives.
Growing #OptOutside Through the Cooperative Action Fund
“Each year, #OptOutside is a demonstration of the power of the co-op community when we come together for the common good. This year, we’re harnessing our collective impact to build a future where all people can feel a sense of belonging in the outdoors,” said REI’s chief customer officer, Ben Steele.
The company introduced its iconic #OptOutside campaign 7 years ago as a counterweight to Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year. Every year since, the retail giant has shuttered every brick and mortar location — HQ, storefronts, activity and event spaces, distribution centers, and call centers.
Employees receive regular pay for the day off, encouraged to “opt outside” instead of buying into the frantic sales holiday.
“#OptOutside is an annual celebration of the importance of time outside, but the outdoors carries a different meaning and history for everyone. Today, many people and communities do not feel welcome or safe outside,” said Cooperative Action Fund director Kristen Ragain.
“This holiday season, we are raising funds to further scale our impact and investment in their efforts.”
Learn more about the Action Fund’s current initiatives, upcoming projects, and all the ways you can contribute at reifund.org.