Operating in Sandpoint, Selkirk Outdoor Leadership & Education (SOLE) has evolved since its inception in 2011. They have helped over 1,700 local area youth and have gained national recognition for their SnowSchool Experience program. SOLE is one of two organizations that have a National Flagship SnowSchool Site accreditation.
Founder and Executive Director, Dennison Webb, says “[Collaboration] serves our community’s and our grantors’ best interests. Simply put, when nonprofits team up collectively, we are able to do more, underpinned by the strengths of each organization.
“We partner with the Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center (IPAC) - to support our middle and high school SnowSchool Experience curriculum while provide avalanche education. We will [also] be collaborating with Y2Y to develop conservation literacy curriculum, which will include citizen-science efforts to monitor wildlife in key locations.”
SOLE continues to reach out to potential partners to further their mission. Looking to develop Field Campus sites, they will work with ski areas to so they “can continue to serve these communities, now and into the future.”
When measuring their success, SOLE utilizes participant surveys as well as assess the students’ portfolios and progress. All forms of measurements are used to ensure that program goals and objectives are being met.
If Webb were to give advice to starting nonprofits it would be: “Developing and sustaining a nonprofit is not easy. Do your research. Learn from experts. Take this knowledge and create a road map before jumping in with both feet blind!”
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