Letter from the Executive Director
Dear SheJumps Community,
This time last year, life looked very different for all of us. With so much uncertainty, we had no idea what would come next for us and the outlook was bleak. In the three months from March-May 2020, we lost $100,000 in program revenue (more than one-third of our budget) and were facing the heavy reality of completely reimagining our SheJumps programming.
With our backs against the wall, we knew we had an incredible opportunity to ask ourselves: how can we continue to build the SheJumps legacy and change more lives through transformative outdoor play on the other side of this pandemic?
Just like starting on a long trail, we put one foot in front of the other and remembered our ‘big why’: the thing that keeps you going when things are hard. Even though we couldn’t see the top of the mountain, and the voices in our head kept telling us to turn around, we dug deep to endeavor on. For us the motivation–our ‘big why’–ties back to our core values of courage, growth, connection, leadership, diversity, and equity, which we flex to build a space of belonging for everyone.
Each person’s WHY for going outside is different, and as an organization dedicated to getting as many women and girls outside as possible, we strive to build a space of belonging for everyone–where each person’s WHY can be celebrated and encouraged.
This steadfast approach–the same tools we teach in all of our programs–led to the most impactful year SheJumps has ever had. Last year, SheJumps reached more than 18,000 individuals through our online and guide-led programming, which is 10,000 more people than the year before!
It’s not a secret that online events were a major focus for us this past year (which greatly improved our ability to reach more people!) but these events also helped us build partnerships with other community organizations, which in turn helped us reach more people–and specifically more people who want to go outside but might not know where to start–or how.
This transformation was possible because we leaned into our values. We dreamed of connecting our community to themselves, to the outdoors, and to one another through transformative outdoor play. We took a jump and started providing as many free and donation-based ($1 minimum donation) events as possible–events geared toward skill building and confidence development that remind us we never stop learning. And now, we have grown into an organization capable of impacting thousands of women and girls each year.
We dream. We jump. We grow.
The small steps we took as a team led to this big change, and now we need your help to sustain the impact.
We’re asking our community to donate today so we can sustain this tremendous growth and continue to cultivate community leadership in the process. By donating to SheJumps, you’re contributing to free and low-cost outdoor education and investing in SheJumps programs’ that offer access to the outdoors regardless of age, ability, background, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status.
Please join SheJumps in making the outdoors a better space, a more inclusive space, and an easier space to access for everyone. Please help us reach our $40,000 fundraising goal by donating today. We need your help, and every dollar counts.
– Claire Smallwood, SheJumps Co-founder and Executive Director