RELEASE: Great Outdoors Foundation Announces Conservation Fund, Investment from Athene USA

DES MOINES, IA (Oct. 13, 2023) – The Great Outdoors Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of its brand-new fundraising mechanism geared toward multiplying Iowa’s investment in water quality. The Great Outdoors Foundation Conservation Fund is a dynamic funding solution that matches value-driven donors with expertly-selected investment opportunities, ultimately yielding high impact for the environment and high return for donors.

The Conservation Fund produces timely, desirable outcomes via a proprietary capital stacking model that leverages private investments to unlock public funding. At present, the federal government is channeling billions of dollars into conservation via United States Department of Agriculture grants. In order to capitalize on this funding, a private partner is needed to step in and bridge the gap on match requirements. In filling this need, the Conservation Fund is projected to unlock $250 million worth of water quality investments over the next decade. Yesterday, Athene USA announced that it will be investing more than $1.8 million in the next five years as seed money for the Conservation Fund’s initiatives.

“We’ve seen how private investments, like those made to ICON Water Trails, can act as a catalyst for further public funding, and the Conservation Fund is really just an evolution of that strategy,” Hannah Inman, Chief Executive Officer of the Great Outdoors Foundation, said. “The Conservation Fund is the new frontier for value-driven donors. It’s not a capital campaign; it’s an investment.”

“Athene USA is proud to invest in innovative solutions like the Conservation Fund,” Grant Kvalheim, Chief Executive Officer and President at Athene USA, said. “What’s so attractive as an investor is that all Conservation Fund projects guarantee at least a 4:1 public to private match. This multiplying affect makes our dollars go even further and create even more impactful change for our communities and stakeholders.”

“We are incredibly grateful to Athene USA for their consistent leadership in advancing conservation and sustainability for our region,” Jen Cross, Vice President of Donor Relations at the Great Outdoors Foundation, said. “Their investment is confirmation of the efficacy and impact that the Conservation Fund can offer to our private investors.”

“Our community and environment aren’t just an addition to our business; they’re at the core of everything we do,” Rona Berinobis, Senior Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility and Organizational Development at Athene USA, said. “The Conservation Fund is a strategic commitment to sustainability, and we believe it is the model implementation of the values we hold at Athene.”

For more information or to become a Conservation Fund investor, click here.



About Great Outdoors Foundation

The Great Outdoors Foundation exists to advance conservation through innovation, collaboration, and stewardship. We are the foremost fundraising professionals in the conservation and outdoor recreation sector. Together, we activate meaningful, accessible initiatives that enhance our environment and improve quality of life. Over the last three years, we have invested more than $200 million in conservation and outdoor recreation initiatives, and we’re just getting started.

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