I wasn't planning to think about fundraising while on vacation in Tahoe last week -- but in another illustration that nonprofits are everywhere, and an integral part of our enjoyment of life, I happened to take a hike on the Tahoe Rim Trail. It's a trail that wouldn't exist but for the Tahoe Rim Trail Association.
Of course, I wouldn't have known that if they hadn't cleverly posted a sign at the trailhead explaining the association's history.
It's an interesting account of how the founder, Glen Hampton, started out with a dream of a trail that circled the ridges of Lake Tahoe.
Hampton was an avid hiker and Forest Service employee, who pursued that dream while a grad student and then a guest instructor at the University of Nevada-Reno.
The association was officially begun in 1982, and had to raise over a million dollars in order to complete the trail -- which it did, in 2001. Now the Association continues to maintain the trail, as well as sponsor hiking trails, discussion boards, and other events of public interest.
After reading the Association's inspiring story, I thought, "Ok, so where's the donation box?" I was getting mentally ready to write a "fundraising oops" blog -- until I got about fifty feet up the trail, and there was a big green box.
I guess they didn't want to seem grabby, or at least wanted us to appreciate a little bit of wilderness before pulling out our wallets.
And what wilderness it is . . . below is a view from further up the trail, looking down toward Spooner Lake.
By the way, the Rim Trail Association website
does a great job of advising people how to get involved, including stories of other donors and what moved them to pitch in.
And if you thought only children or animals could be "adopted" by donors, don't fail to notice their "Adopt a Vista" program!