Philanthropy

Partnering with non-profit organizations and community involvement have always been a part of New Belgium. In 1995 when the philanthropy program was conceived, we began donating $1 for every barrel of beer sold to non-profit organizations in the communities where we sell our beers. This effort spurred the establishment of a philanthropy committee that, to this day, remains the backbone of the program. This inter-departmental group, open to all interested coworkers, researches, reviews and grants funding to many worthy organizations doing important work across our areas of distribution. Since its inception, New Belgium Brewing has donated more than $6 million through our grant programs and in 2013 co-workers donated over 2500 hours of volunteer time to their community.

Vision in action

Colorado Water Trust: Removal of the Josh Ames Diversion Dam

The Cache la Poudre River has been called the heart of Fort Collins, and the City of Fort Collins has been focusing on improving the river’s health.  A healthy working river is also key for another Fort Collins staple…beer! Local breweries and the Colorado Water Trust have come together to support a restoration project and the removal of the Josh Ames Diversion Dam at North Shields Ponds Natural Area.  In addition to a $300,000 grant from Colorado Water Trust, Odell Brewing Company, New Belgium Brewing Company, Pateros Creek Brewery, and Funkwerks Brewery, are contributing nearly $37,000 in matching dollars. Learn more. 

Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy: Environmental Education program

New Belgium supports Youth Environmental Education programs and one of our most recent partnerships is with Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy.  This one-year pilot environmental education program offers a diverse range of activities.
  • Field Trip – University of Maryland Center for Environment Science, Horn Point Environmental Education Center – The students will attend a one day field trip, learning water quality monitoring and environmental assessment techniques that they can apply to their local watershed.
  • Best Management Practice Agriculture Program – students will visit local farms to learn more about sustainable agriculture practices.
  • Water Quality Testing and Report Card Program – students will test water monthly in a local river and compile a State of the River Report Card with training provided by water quality scientists from the University of Maryland.
  • Oyster Program – students will complete an oyster education program through the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum and assist with the construction and delivery of oyster “floats” (cages to grow live oyster spat) to contribute to and participate in the MRC oyster restoration program.
  • Environmental Citizenship and Issue Investigation – students will complete an issue investigation unit from the Chesapeake Study developed by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce. They will choose a local issue to focus on and a make a short documentary film on this issue. The best of these films will be shown at MRC’s annual Environmental Film Festival.
  • Schoolyard Habitat Program - the students will assess their school grounds for a pollution-reducing structure, such as a rain garden or ditch planting, and implement the most effective project.

2013 Grants Summary

Download PDF here.

Grant Program and Application

The purpose of New Belgium’s Environmental Stewardship Grants Program is to serve and connect with the communities where we sell our beers. We want to cultivate relationships and support those making an impact. Our goal is to improve the health of the planet and inspire others to joyously embrace sustainable choices. In 2014 we will donate $790,000 to programs in 36 states.

*Youth Environmental Education

We believe environmental stewards draw inspiration from their earliest experiences in the outdoors. At New Belgium Brewing Company we are reminded every day that we are a part of the natural world because producing world-class beers depends on the health of the environment.

As environmental stewards we are enthusiastic about programs that foster connectivity between humans and nature. We aim to discover programs that engage youth from a variety of backgrounds in the outdoors and prepare them to make knowledgeable choices about the environment. New Belgium is devoted to honoring nature at every turn of the business, and we are privileged to support programs that share our commitment. Let’s go outside!

We are in support of Youth Environmental Education (grades K-12) projects that: 
  • Apply an interdisciplinary approach
  • Influence positive behavior change
  • Experientially engage students in the outdoors
  • Build a comprehensive curriculum tied to national and state learning standards

*Sustainable Agriculture

Beer is an agricultural product, born from nutritious soil, water, and hard-working hands. New Belgium Brewing purchases barley, hops, and various spices primarily from the United States and Canada, as well as a very small amount from abroad. Our business depends on these high quality, affordable, and reliable ingredients to make the delicious beer we all enjoy. Because of this, we value a vibrant and complete ecosystem to support our livelihoods and great beer for many generations to come.

Agriculture accounts for the majority of water consumed by human-based activity on the planet, and it emits significant greenhouse gas emissions. Through our charitable contributions and work with our suppliers, we hope to do our part in encouraging agriculture to become more sustainable and even regenerative.

We are in support of Sustainable Agriculture projects that:

  • Build and maintain healthy and resilient soil
  • Protect and conserve clean and abundant water
  • Create a healthy working environment for farmers, their families, their communities and the wildlife with which they share their land
  • Help young farmers overcome barriers to entering this profession
  • Build collaborative relationships between farmers and suppliers
  • Promote urban farming in low income areas or food deserts

*Water Conservation & Restoration

The communities in which we (will) brew our beer are intrinsically bound to great American rivers: the Cache la Poudre in Fort Collins, CO and the French Broad River in Asheville, NC. Access to clean water is a (threatened) basic human right, and the effects of climate change exacerbate the aridity of the West. Since water makes up over 90% of our beer, we approach our role as stewards of these rivers sincerely. We aim to take only what we need and return any excess water as clean as we got it. This means reducing our water consumption wherever we can and avoiding the use of toxic cleaning agents or anything else that might compromise the purity of the water as it leaves our facility.

Of course, we can do everything within our power to reduce the quantity and increase the quality of the water we use, but that alone won’t preserve and rebuild the country’s many threatened rivers. We are a small splash in a giant pond, and we want to make our splash ripple. Because of this, we started Save the Colorado which donates over $150,000 a year to organizations working to research and repair the Colorado River.

We are in support of Water Conservation and Restoration projects that:

  • Support public policy and advocacy
  • Engage restoration activities
  • Encourage conservation
  • Focus on ecological health and biodiversity

*Sensible Transportation & Bicycle Advocacy

We like bikes. The bicycle is near and dear to our New Belgium hearts, as you might notice from the label of our flagship beer, Fat Tire! Not only is the bicycle all kinds of fun to ride but it keeps us healthy, and, when ridden in place of a car, it is better for the planet.

We are in support of Sensible Transportation projects that:

  • Support bike shops and bike loaning programs
  • Provide low income bike donations/earn-a-bike projects
  • Educate young riders through safe routes to school
  • Create infrastructure that provides safe usage of roads for pedestrians and cyclists
  • Support alternative transportation including walking, biking, and commuter services 

2014 Environmental Stewardship Grant Guidelines

Funding decisions are made by our Sustainability Department and our Coworker Philanthropy Committee.  Specifically, we focus our grants on the following four strategies to mitigate human impacts on the planet:

Youth Environmental Education – Accepting applications February 1, 2014- March 31, 2014. 

Sustainable Agriculture – Accepting applications April 1, 2014- May 31, 2014.

Sensible Transportation & Bike Advocacy – Accepting applications July 1, 2014 –August 31, 2014.

Water Stewardship – Accepting applications September 1, 2014-October 31, 2014.

Our geographic funding areas:

The states to receive funding in 2014 are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

WE DO NOT FUND:

  • Organizations who receive a NBB sponsorship of more than $2500 in a calendar year.
  • Organizations who receive a grant from Save the Colorado.
  • Organizations without 501(c) (3) status, we do not fund organizations utilizing a fiscal sponsor.
  • Organizations who partner with Tour de Fat or Clips of Faith and receive funds from these events
  • Debt reduction
  • Requests from individuals including scholarships
  • Conferences, conventions or workshops
  • Political campaigns
  • Organizations for religious purposes
  • Fundraising events, music festivals, film festivals or cultural events
  • Direct submittals from public or private schools
  • Production of films or other media-related projects
  • General operations
  • Foundations who allocate requested funds to other organizations or individuals
  • City, County or State agencies
  • In order to encourage diverse income sources, organizations that have received consecutive funding over a three year period are not eligible to apply for one calendar year

How much to request:

Grants range from $2,500-$10,000

How to APPLY:

In order to encourage diverse income sources, organizations that have received consecutive funding over a three year period are not eligible to apply for one calendar year.

Grant reporting:

Grant recipients are required to fill out our reporting form for any grant of $2500 or more.  You can find our reporting form at http://www.newbelgium.com/sustainability/Community/Philanthropy/followup.aspx.

Reporting deadlines for grants made in 2013

  • Youth Environmental Education – 3/31/2014
  • Sustainable Agriculture – 5/31/2014
  • Sensible Transportation & Bike Advocacy -8/31/2014
  • Watershed Conservation and Restoration - 10/31/2014