Renewing Our Promise FAQs

Q:  Why is NPCA in a campaign?

Private support is vital to helping NPCA safeguard our national parks, historic sites and monuments. Since 1919, we have been a highly credible voice for national parks. In fact, we were founded by the same individual who was the first director of the National Park Service. We have been at the forefront of identifying and articulating issues facing national parks at the national, state, and local levels. We educate the media, elected officials, and others about the extent of these issues and work toward identifying solutions, and are able to advocate on behalf of the parks in ways that they cannot. Through our national network, we are able to share information about strategies that are working in one community and can be replicated in others. From the majestic Grand Canyon to the serene and sacred Valley Forge, parks have survived and thrived because of our efforts. 
Over the 92 years since our founding, the park system has grown and the threats it faces have increased. Now, we look to our dedicated friends and future supporters to join with us to ensure our ability to defend the parks keeps pace with the heightened level of risk they face. Renewing Our Promise: The Second Century Campaign for the National Parks is a powerful effort to enhance the ability of NPCA’s staff to do their best work, and to increase the organization’s reach and impact on parks throughout the country. In addition, the campaign is a focused and visible effort to connect generous people who care about the future of the parks with an organization that can fulfill their interests.

Q:  When did the campaign begin?

Renewing Our Promise started on July 1, 2007 and runs through December 31, 2012. It began with the Board’s unanimous vote and pledge to financially support it. During the first two years, we identified goals, solidified plans, and solicited 7- and 8- figure leadership gifts. We then deepened efforts in specific geographic areas across the country, with a focus on securing major gifts in the $5,000 to $75,000 range. In the campaign’s final year, we will continue to solicit leadership and major gifts as we expand our outreach to as many members and friends as we can reach, inviting them to invest in the future of NPCA – and by extension – the parks we protect.

Q: What is the campaign’s financial goal?

NPCA seeks to raise a minimum of $125 million by December 31, 2012. This is a comprehensive campaign incorporating goals of $55 million for ongoing operations, $33 million in increased funding for growth, and $37 million for endowment.

Q: How was this goal determined?

NPCA’s Board of Trustees commissioned a feasibility/planning study to determine if raising additional funds around NPCA’s projected needs was likely to succeed. The study showed how much could reasonably be raised and how long it would take to raise those funds. The study also helped identify potential campaign leaders and included recommendations on campaign messaging as well as how the campaign should be conducted.

Q:  What will NPCA do with this money?

The campaign will advance NPCA’s advocacy, public education, and awareness, and applied science and management work on behalf of the parks. Our efforts will 1) protect and enhance our national and cultural treasures, 2) help the National Park Service thrive, and 3) connect people and parks. These three areas broadly cover NPCA’s strategic initiatives, which were developed by the NPCA community and adopted by the Board of Trustees.

Q: Does my gift go directly to the parks?

No. When you support NPCA, however, we use your gift to leverage more awareness of and funding for the parks. We do this by combining your gift with others’ contributions. Then, the impact of your dollar is multiplied again by NPCA’s policy and communications work in Washington and our 23 regional and field offices, each of which is getting things done at the local and state level. The result? Over the last decade, the Park Service has seen a steading increase in funding, making that much more of a difference to its welfare.

Q:  How will the campaign advance NPCA?

The success of this campaign will keep NPCA strong in areas where it is already outstanding. It will double our capacity to address multiplying and complex park threats such as chronic underfunding,climate change, disease, water scarcity, invasive species, air quality, noise pollution, inappropriate development, and mining projects. In addition, it will expand NPCA’s capacity to take advantage of opportunities provided by social media to help build a stronger national community of park supporters. Further, by increasing endowment, the campaign will help ensure NPCA remains strong into the future as well.

Q:  Why should I support NPCA at the same level or even above other, larger environmental groups?

To a degree, unlike any other environmental group, NPCA has grown up with the National Park Service (NPS). We were created just three years after the NPS. For more than 90 years, we have served as the parks’ citizen’s group – a voice outside the federal government, uninfluenced by political forces, that could ensure that our nation’s stunning natural wonders as well as historical and cultural treasures would be protected for the future. While we collaborate closely and effectively with other environmental groups, we are unique among them. We alone have the national parks – nearly 400 units – as our province and sole focus.

Q:  Does my annual gift count toward the campaign?

Your ongoing annual support is critical. Annual or unrestricted gifts are very powerful, providing for immediate and essential needs of NPCA’s day-to-day work. They provide flexibility, providing means each year to support and sustain advocacy, field work, communications and other areas that support our strategic initiatives. Your annual gifts count toward the campaign total because the campaign is a comprehensive fund raising project. It seeks significant gifts for endowment, which create a permanent, reliable source of funding, and current use gifts that support new program initiatives as well as the operating budget. All are critically important to the future financial strength of NPCA.

Q:  How can members, volunteers, and friends support the campaign?

By making gifts in support of the campaign’s general priorities and continuing their annual support. Gifts can also be directed to a specific region or field office, or to a designated program within a region or field office.

Q: What is the significance of the campaign theme?

The National Park Service Organic Act, which founded the National Park System in 1916, was a promise to maintain parks “absolutely unimpaired for the use of future generations.” Renewing Our Promise is a statement of confidence that this generation can build something that endures beyond our lifetimes and improves the lives of those to come by protecting and preserving our beloved national parks. By donating generously and volunteering with NPCA, you are building a legacy that will benefit NPCA and the nation for years to come.   


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