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Nepal children visitedd during computer donation

Giving Back

Tak­ing on Social and Envi­ron­men­tal Responsibility

We use adven­ture trav­el as a force for good. We not only con­nect our clients with their climb­ing and trekking dreams we con­nect them with phil­an­thropic oppor­tu­ni­ties in the com­mu­ni­ties we vis­it, all while striv­ing to take the most envi­ron­men­tal­ly and social­ly respon­si­ble approach­es we can. 

We believe that sus­tain­able approach­es to trav­el sus­tain all of us. Wher­ev­er we go, we invest in local train­ing, con­ser­va­tion, and social devel­op­ment pro­grams to help ensure that the net impact of our com­pa­ny is pos­i­tive. We also give back to com­mu­ni­ties and orga­ni­za­tions on our home turf. Want to do a climb that’s also a fundrais­er? That’s right in our wheel­house, too — let us help you make it happen!

In order to cre­ate the pos­i­tive impact, we care­ful­ly vet non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tions with 5 main criteria:

  1. Trust and Rela­tion­ship: Every­where we vis­it, we devel­op new friends or revis­it old ones, many of whom we have worked with for decades. As a glob­al com­pa­ny and rec­og­niz­ing our part in this glob­al com­mu­ni­ty, we strong­ly val­ue, pri­or­i­tize, and main­tain per­son­al and trust­ed relationships. 
  2. Local Own­er­ship: The most suc­cess and high­est impacts we have seen in remote com­mu­ni­ties we vis­it have been through local­ly-led efforts. Our aim is always to invest in local train­ing, exper­tise, and communities.
  3. Finan­cial Account­abil­i­ty: At Moun­tain Mad­ness, due dili­gence to ensure account­abil­i­ty and trans­paren­cy is a key fac­tor in our own com­pa­ny mod­el. We also apply sim­i­lar meth­ods to explore non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tions we would like to support.
  4. Durable Impact: Just as we do on our trips, treks and climbs, we want to build for suc­cess and uphold the max­i­mum bang for any buck giv­en to sup­port a good cause. 
  5. Unique and Pow­er­ful: Most often, the orga­ni­za­tions we sup­port are not the largest nor the most sup­port­ed by large grants, and that is inten­tion­al. Stay­ing as grass­roots and close to com­mu­ni­ties in our giv­ing match­es well with our com­pa­ny ethos and strategy. 
giving back in Nepal computers in school
fundraiser for Nepal school in everest region
giving back books a nd school supplies in Kilimanjaro trip

Oppor­tu­ni­ties for You

Whether it’s plant­i­ng some trees for an orphan­age in Cus­co before your Inca Trail trek, bring­ing a bas­ket­ball hoop and gath­er­ing the sup­plies in Arusha to build a court for a local school before your Kil­i­man­jaro climb, doing a cloth­ing dri­ve for women porters in Ugan­da, help­ing with nat­ur­al dis­as­ters in Nepal, or bring­ing school sup­plies and shar­ing the expe­ri­ence of a book or com­put­er with kids, the oppor­tu­ni­ties are end­less. Or if you have a shared pas­sion with an orga­ni­za­tion that does work abroad or domes­ti­cal­ly, you can orga­nize a fundrais­er climb or trek to raise mon­ey for their pro­grams. Take a look below at some exam­ples of things you can get involved with and give us a call and we’ll get the ball rolling.

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Mak­ing a Difference

Moun­tain Mad­ness makes strate­gic dona­tions to non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tions at home and around the world, focus­ing on pro­grams with long-last­ing impact in the areas of the envi­ron­ment, human rights, and edu­ca­tion. Here are just a few of the orga­ni­za­tions we sup­port and have been involved with:

Changing Lives Nepal

Co-found­ed in 2008 by Moun­tain Mad­ness guide Deana Zabal­do, Chang­ing Lives Nepal is a non-prof­it that works with farm­ers to build sus­tain­able organ­ic cash crop pro­grams and also sup­ports a fam­i­ly-style orphan­age. More recent­ly a project in the Makalu region of Nepal for a wom­en’s safe house has been the focus- more about hat here in this blog.

Rescue Freedom

Res­cue Free­dom International’s mis­sion is to pre­vent slav­ery in devel­op­ing coun­tries and pro­vide vic­tims assis­tance in reestab­lish­ing their lives. In addi­tion to pro­vid­ing auc­tion items at their annu­al fundrais­er, we pro­vide fundrais­er climbs.

Mateves Secondary School

Moun­tain Mad­ness is a staunch sup­port­er of the Mat­eves Sec­ondary School in Ngor­bob, Tan­za­nia, which brings edu­ca­tion to the thou­sands of stu­dents in the area. Each year, we help raise mon­ey and send sup­plies to sup­port the schools expand­ing enroll­ment. Our guests can par­tic­i­pate in var­i­ous ways here before or after their Kil­i­man­jaro climb.

Microsoft Global Citizenship Team

Thanks to a Glob­al Cit­i­zen­ship team at Microsoft that was estab­lished by a Moun­tain Mad­ness client, our staff and clients have deliv­ered over 60 donat­ed lap­tops to schools in Nepal, Tanaz­nia, and Peru. Read a blog about our efforts here.

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With so many options avail­able how to donate mon­ey it’s often a dif­fi­cult task to deter­mine the best orga­ni­za­tion to choose. We’ve found in many cas­es it’s often bet­ter to have options of how donat­ed mon­ey is allo­cat­ed. With GoFundMe there are no restric­tions how the mon­ey is used, no non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tion­al admin­is­tra­tive fees, and it cir­cum­vents the mul­ti­tude addi­tion­al ways mon­ey gets pinched.” With GoFundMe we can donate mon­ey to an indi­vid­ual direct­ly, like we did recent­ly in Nepal and Tan­za­nia for pan­dem­ic relief asso­ci­at­ed with Covid-19, which allowed us to pro­vide much need­ed funds to indi­vid­ual in our staff. We can also buy sup­plies direct­ly and dis­trib­ute to areas in need of assis­tance. And most impor­tant­ly, we can be total­ly trans­par­ent as to how mon­ey is spent with full account­ing documentation.

Classroom in the Clouds

As part of an ongo­ing mis­sion to improve edu­ca­tion­al oppor­tu­ni­ties in Luk­la, Nepal, we’ve been involved with fundrais­ers through Class­rooms in the Clouds to help build the Himalayan Eng­lish Board­ing School. This school lessens the cur­rent trend of school-age chil­dren of all ages flee­ing to Kath­man­du for a bet­ter edu­ca­tion, which usu­al­ly means a loss of their tra­di­tions, lan­guage, and cul­tur­al history.

Himalayan Stove Project

The Himalyan Stove Project improves the health of the peo­ple in the trans-Himalayan region by pro­vid­ing free, clean-burn­ing, high­ly fuel-effi­cient cook stoves to indi­vid­u­als, fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties who cur­rent­ly cook with tra­di­tion­al, rudi­men­ta­ry stoves or open fires in their homes, con­sum­ing exces­sive amounts of pre­cious fuel and pol­lut­ing the indoor air to dan­ger­ous levels.

Pack for a Purpose

We are proud mem­bers of Pack for a Pur­pose, an ini­tia­tive that allows trav­el­ers like you to make a last­ing impact in the com­mu­ni­ty at your trav­el des­ti­na­tion. If you save just a few kilos of space in your suit­case and take sup­plies for area schools or med­ical clin­ics in need, you’ll make a price­less impact in the lives of our local chil­dren and fam­i­lies. Please click here to see what sup­plies are need­ed for the Chang­ing Lives Nepal orphan­age, and here to see what is need­ed for the Mat­eves Sec­ondary School in Tanzania.


Our roots with giv­ing back” go to the ear­ly days of the com­pa­ny and work done CARE. Of sev­er­al fundrais­er climbs it began with Scott Fis­ch­er and a climb up Kil­i­man­jaro, read blog here. Sub­se­quent to that trip, MM did addi­tion­al trips in South America.

Team Survivor Northwest

Team Sur­vivor pro­vides women fight­ing and that have recov­ered from can­cer through out­door adven­tures. Activ­i­ties include hik­ing, boat­ing, and climb­ing. Moun­tain Mad­ness has worked with Team Sur­vivor by pro­vid­ing guid­ed fundrais­er climbs.


Moun­tain Mad­ness pro­vides auc­tion items for a vari­ety of fundrais­ers through­out the year. 

Empow­er­ing Kids

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We believe out­door adven­ture brings with it the oppor­tu­ni­ty for kids and young adults to gain con­fi­dence, con­nect with nature, and devel­op trust and team build­ing skills. Through fundrais­er climbs and Moun­tain Mad­ness being able to take kids out on adven­tures, we’re able to do this. Here are some of the orga­ni­za­tions we work with:

Big City Mountaineers

Big City Moun­taineers works with under-served kids across the coun­try pro­vid­ing out­door adven­ture not oth­er­wise acces­si­ble to them. Moun­tain Mad­ness is proud to be able to pro­vide our ser­vice and guides for fundrais­er climbs.

Girl Scouts

The Girl Scouts join us year after year for rock climb­ing adven­tures in Leav­en­worth, WA where they learn the pow­er of trust and team building.

Refugees Northwest

Refugees North­west works with refugee kids from across the globe. Team­ing up with their fos­ter-kid pro­gram we’ve had the priv­i­lege of tak­ing these teenagers on a vari­ety of adventures.

Moun­tain Mad­ness Supports

Moun­tain Mad­ness also has a long his­to­ry and sup­ports a wide range of oth­er non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tions either through direct involve­ment by offer­ing our ser­vices, pro­vid­ing auc­tion items for fundrais­ers, fundrais­er climbs or treks, or dona­tions. These include the following:

Climbers of Color
Access Fund
International Mountain Explorer’s Connection — Porter Assistance Programs
King County Search and Rescue
Leave No Trace
Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center (NWAC)
Room to Read
Seattle Parks and Recreation
She Jumps
Washington’s National Park Fund
Washington Trails Association
Conservation Northwest