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Gifts at Work

Your Gift Makes a Difference

On behalf of all of us at NOLS, thank you! Your gift does make a difference—to NOLS students and to wilderness areas around the world. While donations support a number of areas at NOLS—scholarships, staff development, sustainability initiatives, curriculum development, and research—our students reap all the benefits.

Your gift to NOLS supports:

NOLS' Scholarship Program

Each year, NOLS awards thousands of dollars in scholarships to hundreds of students who demonstrate both a real potential to further the school's mission and an inability to attend a course without financial assistance. Students like Grace Parker-Guerrero. Watch her story below.

Funding for scholarships is made possible through the generosity of donors to the NOLS Endowment and the NOLS Annual Fund. NOLS scholarship recipients fall into three broad categories: individual awards, outdoor educators, and local programs.

Learn more about NOLS' Scholarship Program.


Sustainability and Wildland Protection

From advocating for the protection of wild places to passing on Leave No Trace Wilderness Ethics to our students in the backcountry, we're proud of the work we do toward sustainability and wildland protection.

In town, donor dollars help NOLS branches lead their local communities in sustainable programs, such as NOLS Southwest's showerhouse.



See what else we're doing towards Environmental Sustainability and Stewardship.

Research and Curriculum Development

Ongoing research and curriculum development ensures that NOLS continues to provide the best education possible to our students.

Among other things, researchers at NOLS:

  • test metabolic output of semester students in order to adjust the standard NOLS ration to fit specific activities
  • survey semester students before and after their courses to measure the level of engagement in their own educations (it’s higher after their NOLS courses)
  • work with instructors on Adventure Courses to determine how best to teach self-regulation and decision making to adolescents
  • collect data from all medical incidents on NOLS field courses for use when teaching wilderness medicine



"Thank you so much for providing me the opportunity to complete a NOLS course. The day my team climbed Wind River Peak was on of the most difficult and yet the most awesome days of my life. To keep myself going, I repeated the mantra 'left, right' as ascended the 2,000-foot climb. Suddenly, a team member ahead whooped with joy. We had made it to the top! That day, I found a strength inside me that I had not known before."

Naomi Green
Scholarship Recipient
Wind River Wilderness 2013

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