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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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:
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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: