Frequently Asked Questions

About The Cairn Project

Where does the name The Cairn Project come from?

A “cairn” is a human-built trail marker made from stacked rocks. Cairns range from loose piles to intricately stacked columns, sometimes only a foot tall but occasionally towering above the route they mark. A relic of ancient cultures, cairns remain our beacons during adventures in mountains, deserts, and other wild places around the world today.

Is The Cairn Project a non-profit?

Yes! The Cairn Project is a charitable project of Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs (SEE), an organization that offers fiscal sponsorship services for nonprofit startups around the United States, and internationally. We maintain our own budget, do our own fundraising, manage our own program, and are responsible for our internal governance. As a charitable project of a fiscal sponsor, The Cairn Project retains SEE’s 501(c)(3) status as a nonprofit organization. We work with SEE on an ongoing basis to ensure compliance with applicable tax law.

How do I get more information/ get on the mailing list?

Email us at [email protected] or sign up for our newsletter.

Get Involved

Can I create an adventure-fundraiser in support of The Cairn Project?

We put out a call for individual fundraisers multiple times a year. To receive updates and information about how to create a group or individual adventure-fundraiser, sign up for our email list. See past ambassadors and fundraisers.

How do I support a fundraiser?

Visit Crowdrise to make an online donation on behalf of a specific fundraiser. Use the search function and simply type in the name of the individual you’d like to support. You can also see live fundraisers on each current ambassador’s page. You may also simply make a general contribution to The Cairn Project if there isn’t a fundraiser you wish to support.

I’m interested in working with The Cairn Project. Are there opportunities?

We are a growing organization that’s just getting started. If you think you would make a great addition to our team, we want to hear from you. Please reach out via email at [email protected].

Does The Cairn Project have events/opportunities in my area?

Short answer, yes! To stay in the loop with news and find out about events and opportunities near you, sign up for our newsletter and stay connected with us via Facebook and Instagram.

Our Grantees

What does The Cairn Project support?

The Cairn Project supports homegrown, community-driven organizations that are doing the exceptional work of getting pre-teen and teenage women outside and into wild places. We select our local partners based on the quality of their programs, their commitment to expanding access for underprivileged young women, and their potential for even greater impact with the help of increased resources. These community changemakers are equipping and empowering young women to embark on an array of human-powered adventures in their backyards and beyond – backpacking, mountain biking, mountaineering, packrafting, surfing, and more.

I want to recommend a group for funding from The Cairn Project. How do I do that?

Awesome! We are always excited to hear about local groups that might be a good fit for The Cairn Project’s funding program. Please help them out by sharing a bit more information about the group with us at [email protected].

How big are the grants that TCP gives?

As we embark on this new initiative, we are starting small and leaving plenty of room to grow. Our first round of grants averaged $5K. We are excited to reach groups in a number of different cities and communities, laying the groundwork for growth and longer-term partnerships. As a start up organization, our grant program will evolve as we do. To date, we have granted over a quarter of a million dollars to organizations across the United States.

Does a group need to be a non-profit to be eligible for a grant from The Cairn Project?

All of the local partners we have identified for our inaugural year are registered non-profit organizations. In general, non-profit status is required for our grantees, and is an important attribute of organizations with the internal capacity we are looking for in our local partners. However, there are exceptions. Contact us at [email protected] for more information.

Why girls-only programs?

Because girls are inspiring! Let’s face it, girls and boys are different. They struggle with different challenges, they encounter different expectations, and they have different needs as they develop their confidence and their sense of self. The Cairn Project applauds all programs that are working to get kids and young adults outside and on the trail. Our particular mandate is to foster opportunities where young women can set off on their own adventures, free from the social dynamics that are unavoidable in the coed context. And as an organization started by two women whose friendship is fueled by outdoor adventure, we want to help seed the unique bond and support that can grow among young women getting outside together.

Why teen and pre-teen programs?

A lifetime of adventure and stewardship is best seeded when women are still young women. The teen and pre-teen years are a crucial period for girls to discover their strengths and passions, build self-esteem, and explore their sense of place in the world. They are also years that pose tremendous pressures and challenges for young women. The Cairn Project is about affirming all of the good that can come of young women getting outdoors — for themselves, their communities, and for the planet.

Supporting The Cairn Project

How do I support a fundraiser?

Visit Crowdrise to make an online donation on behalf of a specific fundraiser. Use the search function and simply type in the name of the individual you’d like to support. You may also make a general contribution to The Cairn Project if there isn’t a fundraiser you wish to support.

How can I donate to The Cairn Project?

You can support one of our adventure-fundraisers via Crowdrise. Alternatively, we are grateful for general support donations or check. Checks can be made out to The Cairn Project and mailed to us at:

The Cairn Project
Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs
23532 Calabasas Road, Suite A
Calabasas, CA 91302

Is my donation tax deductible?

Yes, all donations to The Cairn Project are fully tax deductible. For donations of $100 or more our fiscal sponsor, Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs, will issue a charitable gift receipt by mail.

Can my donation to The Cairn Project be matched by my employer?

Yes, many companies offer a matching gift program that can match all or a portion of employee donations to charitable organizations. Inquiries should be made directly to your employer.