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Stories of Nonprofit Impact: Inspiring Millions

by Molly O'Connell

gross product infographicMANP recently release the 3rd edition of Partners in Prosperity: The Maine Nonprofit Sector Impact, which showcases the powerful social and economic impact of nonprofits in our state. We’ve been featuring stories from the report here on our blog, and encourage nonprofits, public officials, and community members to download and read the full report for free.

Our final featured story of nonprofit impact highlights the impact of a nonprofit on one of Maine’s most import industries – eco-tourism.

The Impact

Friends of Acadia, which is an independent organization devoted to preserving, protecting and promoting stewardship of Acadia National Park and its surrounding communities, leverages private contributions, public funds, and significant volunteer labor to help Acadia National Park provide the outdoor experience that draws ever-increasing numbers of visitors to the area. These visitors spend about $186 million annually, generating more than 3,100 jobs and creating more than $79 million in labor income.

The Story Behind the Impact

Friends of Acadia (FOA) helped Acadia National Park stretch its limited resources last year by providing nearly $1 million in grants to Acadia and partner entities, including Downeast Transportation, to fund jobs and park-enhancing projects in the local area. FOA also led 2,865 volunteers to contribute a total of 13,569 hours of work to help keep the Park in good condition. The Island Explorer bus system, which FOA has helped plan and support financially, has carried more than 4.3 million riders since its inception, providing much-needed transportation to work for local youth and Mount Desert Island residents; as well as a car-free way for visitors to enjoy the Park. By helping to restore and maintain Acadia’s 125 miles of hiking trails and 45 miles of carriage roads, funding youth initiatives, and supporting the Island Explorer bus system, FOA helps preserve the Park and continue to inspire millions of visitors each year.

For more information, please contact Friends of Acadia.

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