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Friends Joins New "Give for the Gorge" Fundraising Program

Friends Joins New "Give for the Gorge" Fundraising Program
Beacon Rock, by Jeremiah Leipold
February 21, 2024
Categorie(s): Latest News

*Friends of the Columbia Gorge is excited to announce the launch of Give for the Gorge, a Gorge-wide fundraising program. In 2022, a group of nonprofits working throughout the Gorge came together to brainstorm ways to build sustainable revenue. After learning of a point-of-sale fundraising program operating at Lake Tahoe, the group set to work figuring out how to bring this to the Gorge. Give for the Gorge launches today, Feb. 21. It is currently a pilot project focused mostly on the Hood River area. We expect to go Gorge-wide this summer and welcome businesses to join us. For a complete list of participating businesses and nonprofits, visit Friends of the Columbia Gorge is the fiscal sponsor of this program. Start-up work has been sponsored by Travel Oregon and The Ford Family Foundation. As you are out visiting and recreating in the Gorge, look for the Give for the Gorge logo and know that your purchase is supporting the communities of the Gorge. 

Full press release below.

New ‘Give for the Gorge’ Program Enables Columbia River Gorge Lovers to Support Local Nonprofits
Proceeds from the point-of-sale program will benefit local organizations focused on the environment, housing and food security

Feb. 21, 2024 (HOOD RIVER, Ore.) – The Columbia River Gorge has a new way for visitors, locals and online customers to give back to the region and its communities. Give for the Gorge is a new point-of-sale fundraising program that gives people an easy way to make a positive difference in a place they love. 

Customers at participating local businesses can “tip the Gorge” during a transaction by writing in any donation amount or rounding up to the next dollar. Donations can also be made directly at

“Give for the Gorge was created to help ensure that the Columbia River Gorge and its communities are preserved for future generations of visitors and residents,” said founder and project manager, Sandi Scheinberg. “It will provide a much-needed, ongoing source of funding to eight incredible Gorge-area nonprofits focused on the three areas of greatest need in the Gorge: housing, food security and the environment.”

The Columbia River Gorge has evolved into a world-class travel destination, attracting more than 2.5 million visitors in 2023. As its popularity has grown, so has the need for environmental stewardship, affordable housing, and social services for the local workforce due to the increased cost of living. 

The eight inaugural Give for the Gorge nonprofit partners are Cascades Carnivore Project, Columbia Land Trust, Columbia Riverkeeper, Friends of the Columbia Gorge, Gorge Grown Food Network, Mid-Columbia Community Action Council, The Next Door and Thrive Hood River. Funds will be distributed equally among the organizations on a quarterly basis and will provide a reliable source of funding. The nonprofit program is being administered by Friends of the Columbia Gorge.

“Give for the Gorge is the first local program that gives visitors and locals alike an easy way to give back to the place they treasure,” said Kevin Gorman, executive director of Friends of the Columbia Gorge. “Maybe people can’t do trail work themselves, or improve the health of the Columbia River, or address the high housing costs that result from being a destination community, but they can support the groups that do.”  

Give for the Gorge is launching with a number of Gorge-area businesses partners—everything from breweries and hotels to gear shops and outfitters. A full list of current participating businesses is available at Visitors can also look for the Give for the Gorge logo on business window fronts and at the check-out areas.

“We’re thrilled to be one of the inaugural business partners for Give for the Gorge, and we highly encourage other local businesses to join us,” said James Pearrow, general manager, Hood River Hotel. “We know our guests value all the natural beauty, outdoor activities, agritourism and unique local businesses that the Gorge has to offer, and they appreciate us providing them with an easy way to give back to this special place.” 

Gorge-area businesses that are interested in joining can contact for further information. 

Give for the Gorge is modeled on Lake Tahoe, Calif.’s successful $1 for Tahoe program. In 2022, more than $749 million was raised in the United States by 77 point-of-sale fundraising campaigns that each raised at least $1 million. These programs have raised more than $6.7 billion over three decades.