Talk about an odd couple!
One of CFPA’s intriguing and fun partnerships is with Connecticut’s outdoor retailer, Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS). It is a great example of a beneficial for-profit/non-profit partnership. The relationship is more than institutional – CFPA’s principal in store supporter has been EMS Regional Director, Gerry Arel. All the CT store managers have a great relationship with members of CFPA staff. Why is the relationship important and how do we work together? Let’s count the ways:
- EMS provides wonderful prizes for Run for the Woods
- EMS is an important distribution point for the Connecticut Walk Books
- For years, CFPA volunteers have been invited to work information tables at EMS’s Club Days
- EMS has closed stores for a half day so employees can do volunteer trail work on the Blue Trails
- CFPA has been designated several times as the non-profit partner benefitting from proceeds at new store openings
- CT EMS stores display the Blue-Blazed Trail map and stock membership brochures
EMS stepped up its commitment recently when it had CT stores ask for donations to CFPA with every purchase made in the month of May. This simple ask netted over $3,000 in contributions to CFPA. Equally important, it made EMS customers aware that CFPA volunteers build and maintain the Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails. This may seem a small thing, but a shocking number of hikers on the Blue Trails have no idea that they are the result of CFPA’s work.
The reasons for the partnership is simple – a shared passion for conservation … and playing outside on trails! It is a mutually beneficial relationship. CFPA makes the trails that EMS’s clientele uses and supports the forest and parks essential to outdoor recreation, and CFPA benefits from the economic reach of EMS.
A good partner, whether in life or business, makes everything more productive and fun! You, as a member/donor, are our primary partners and source of success. CFPA’s partnership with CT –DEEP is critical to both partners. Good partnerships are a hallmark of CFPA and we are fortunate to have a myriad of diverse partners in the non-profit and for-profit arenas. Many thanks to EMS and Gerry.