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NOLS Endowment

The NOLS Endowment


Photo: Pascal Beauvais

A strong endowment—funding set aside in perpetuity to support the mission of the school—is equity for the future of NOLS and wilderness education.

In the nonprofit sector today, the sure sign of the financial stability and a healthy organization is a strong endowment. Comprised of an array of gifts and accrued interest, an endowment is a fund that is permanently invested. The return earned on the investment can be used by the organization for a variety of needs. In this way, a single gift to an endowment provides support in perpetuity.

Because endowments (including ours) typically contain provisions that prohibit spending the principal, they provide crucial long-term stability for an organization, allowing it to stay focused on its mission regardless of changing annual pressures or economic downturns. That stability is not only essential to ensuring that an organization can carry on with its present work, but it also gives board and staff the ability to look beyond current priorities and needs to imagine how the organization might fulfill its mission years from now.

With this group of funds, NOLS can commit to long-term scholarship and outreach programs to benefit students with confidence that the school can sustain these programs over time. Further, the endowment allows us to pursue excellence through funding staff summits and curriculum development. These moneys are an important supplement to tuition-generated revenue for the school, contributing to overall financial stability and allowing us to pursue school-wide priorities.


How can I participate?

Donors can contribute to the NOLS endowment by donating a gift to the fund as a whole, or by establishing their own endowed scholarship. The minimum gift or pledge required to create an endowed scholarship at NOLS is $100,000.

For more information, contact Pip Coe, director of alumni and development (800-332-4280 or


Photo: Colhoun Family Archives

When NOLS made the decision to establish an endowment with the Campaign for Leadership that lasted from 1996-2000, Pete Colhoun was an ardent and early supporter. In an effort to make sure that as many deserving students as possible have the opportunity to experience NOLS' life-changing curriculum, he also recently made a gift to the endowment that will provide one full scholarship every year.

Without Pete's foresight and leadership we would not have made the endowment gains we have over the years. In times of economic hardship, we realize the importance of a strong endowment made possible by supporters like Pete, who enable us to further our mission.

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