Advocate Webinars

Access Fund is dedicated to providing resources for climbing advocates to bring back to their communities to increase or evaluate access opportunities. Quarterly webinars are a way for listeners to tune in from anywhere and listen to experts on a range of topics. See below for a list of dates for future webinars as well as past recordings.

Upcoming Webinars

Check back for our next webinar.

Past Webinars

Mentoring Responsible Climbers
Andrea here—Access Fund stewardship manager. Over the years, we’ve learned a thing or two about keeping climbers on the right track when climbing outside—locally, regionally, and beyond. Our Climber Stewards and Conservation Teams are in the field and on the road for months out of the year, interacting with climbers at the crag, in the gym, and during events across the country. In this webinar we share our proudest stewardship education sends as well as lessons learned from some of our biggest epics.

Our speakers for this webinar are:
-Johanna & Aida, Indian Creek Climber Stewards
-Ryan & Bill, New River Gorge Climber Stewards
-Emily & Karson, Conservation Team Community Connections

Project Planning for Adopt a Crags
Do your climbing areas need some help but you aren’t sure where to start? Are you getting ready for your next Adopt a Crag but not sure which project to pick? The webinar will cover how to assess the needs of a crag, how to prioritize projects, and how to get the most out of an Adopt a Crag when the day arrives.

Access Fund’s Stewardship Program staff have seen it all when it comes to prioritizing stewardship needs and planning Adopt a Crag projects. Over the years, they’ve all learned a thing or two about assessing how climbers use an area, identifying priorities, and learning from the existing impacts. Any advocate looking to advance their stewardship and Adopt a Crag plans should watch this recording.

Our speakers for this webinar are:
-Ty Tyler, stewardship director, Access Fund
-Andrea Hassler, stewardship manager, Access Fund
-Loryn Posladek & Kyle Leihsing, Conservation Team, Access Fund

Finance and Budgeting for LCOs

In this webinar we hear from Access Fund Vice President of People, Finance & Operations, Michelle Estrella, on accounting and budgeting best practices for nonprofits.

We cover a variety of topics:
-Ensuring your 501(c)3 nonprofit LCO is compliant with required annual IRS filings.
-Nuances of state-specific filings.
-Planning cash flow to meet your mission.
-Setting up and managing a reasonable budget that makes sense for climbing advocacy organizations.

Whether your organization is just starting to think about your next budget or you're in the middle of your fiscal year, check out this webinar about how Access Fund tackles financial planning and our best tips to set your LCO up for fiscal success.

LCO Budget Model Template

Digital Marketing for LCOs

Digital marketing pros from Access Fund and Red River Gorge Climbers’ Coalition share proven tactics that empower supporters and pull in new advocates. Best of all, they’re all low cost and low commitment strategies that any volunteer organization can fit into its budget.

Our speakers for this webinar are:
-Brittany Hamilton, Membership Marketing Manager, Access Fund
-Colin Howell, Director of Communications, Red River Gorge Climbers’ Coalition

Hamilton and Howell cover their best tips and lessons learned for social media, email marketing, and lead generation.

Slides are linked here.

How LCOs Can Use KAYA to Fundraise

KAYA, the climber’s app, helps climbers discover new areas, connect with other climbers, and level up their climbing. Already partnered with hundreds of gyms, KAYA is currently working to deepen its connection to the outdoors through LCO partnerships.

In this webinar, we covered a case study in which an innovative event between KAYA and the Southeastern Climbers Coalition (SCC) helped raise over $20K through virtual climbing competitions. Then we explained how your LCO can leverage KAYA for fundraising and engagement in 2022 and beyond.

Our speakers for this webinar were:

-Kimberly Ang, Co-Founder and CEO, KAYA Climb, [email protected]
-John Oungst, Director of Partnerships, KAYA Climb, [email protected]
-Andrea Hassler, Field Coordinator, Access Fund, [email protected]
-Caleb Timmerman, Marketing Director, Southeastern Climbers Coalition, [email protected]

If your LCO is interested in hosting an event with KAYA, please feel free to email our speakers.

Managing a Paid Anchor Maintenance Team
The Salt Lake Climbers Alliance (SLCA) has developed a paid anchor maintenance team that is dedicated to assessing fixed anchor conditions and replacing unreliable hardware. This webinar covers how SLCA has managed to overcome administrative barriers in setting up its fixed anchor maintenance program and how it plans to continue supporting it.

Our speakers for this webinar are:
-Julia Geisler, executive director, Salt Lake Climbers Alliance
-Jesse Williams, fixed anchor field coordinator, Salt Lake Climbers Alliance

Moderated by:
-Mike Morin, northeast regional director, Access Fund

This webinar is for all LCOs that are curious about providing compensation for anchor maintenance work and want to learn about the work protocols adopted by SLCA as part of this program.

-SLCA's Anchor Maintenance Program - Concept of Operations
-SLCA's Fixed Anchor Resource Webpage (Anchor Observation Form, handbooks, etc)
-Access Fund's Fixed Anchor Resource page

    JEDI for LCOs: Case Studies from the Field

    LCOs across the country are stepping up and taking on the difficult but essential task of addressing justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) within their communities. This webinar showcases work done by a handful of LCOs that are making strides in this realm.

    Topics include:
    -Getting Started: Knowing how to begin is often one of the hardest steps.
    -Route Names: Examples of how LCOs in different regions have addressed this issue.
    -Partnerships: Creating relationships with affinity groups, gyms, and other organizations involved in JEDI work.
    -Diversifying: How LCOs have worked to diversify their boards and membership.
    -Dealing with Conflict: JEDI can be a controversial subject, and managing disagreements is crucial.
    -Programs: Examples of initiatives LCOs have taken within their communities to make climbing more accessible to all (i.e., scholarship programs, gear libraries, etc.).
    -Communications: How to make the stories and images that LCOs use in their publications more representative without tokenizing.

    Speakers include:
    Elena Fouch-Watson, Head of Inclusion Committee, New River Alliance of Climbers
    Andres Villa, Board Member, San Luis Valley Climbers Alliance
    Alex Handloff, Board Member, San Luis Valley Climbers Alliance

    Moderated by:
    Taimur Ahmad, JEDI and Policy Associate, Access Fund

    Finding, Writing, and Landing Grants

    Grants are a key way for LCOs to diversify funding for all kinds of projects. This webinar will tap the real-world experience of three experts on how to successfully find grant opportunities for stewardship projects, research, general operating costs, and more. The webinar will cover grant funding basics, funding sources and opportunities, and tips for writing successful proposals—whatever your project. This webinar is for LCOs of any size and experience level, whether you’re brand new to grant funding, or an organization looking for more options and resources.

    Our expert speakers include:
    Kate Beezley, Executive Director, Boulder Climbing Community
    Mike Reardon, Executive Director, Carolina Climbers Coalition
    Scott Dissel, Development Director, Access Fund


    The Race to Defend Public Lands
    Gareth Martins, Marketing & Communications Director for Access Fund, and Policy Director Erik Murdock facilitated a discussion on how recent events relate to our community’s work to protect and defend public lands. Gareth brings 20 years of experience working in the outdoor industry and conservation movement and has been dedicated to furthering JEDI work in these spaces. Erik has decades of policy experience and also speaks from his own experiences establishing two new positions at Access Fund—Native Lands Coordinator and JEDI Fellow—to create a more diverse Access Fund that is better equipped to navigate social justice issues.

    Additional speakers include:
    -Jessica (Wahl) Turner, Executive Director, Outdoor Recreation Roundtable
    -Dr. Len Necefer, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of Arizona; CEO NativesOutdoors
    -Peter Metcalf, Founder & CEO Emeritus, Black Diamond Equipment

    Climbing During the Pandemic
    We all must do our part to protect public health and prevent the spread of COVID-19. All indications are that we are in this for the long haul. This webinar discusses how climbing has changed since the coronavirus pandemic began and the precautions that our community needs to continue to take. Our speakers for this webinar included Dr. Paul Pottinger, director of the Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine Clinic at the University of Washington Medical Center; Andrea Hassler, executive director of the Southeastern Climbers Coalition; and Chuck Reid, director of stewardship for the Mohonk Preserve. Chris Winter, executive director of Access Fund, moderated the conversation.

    LCO Fundraising in the COVID-19 Era
    In good times and bad, fundraising is essential to local climbing organizations’ ability to steward and protect climbing areas. Our fundraising team hosted a panel-style webinar to discuss fundraising tactics and strategies that work during our global pandemic and beyond. Discussion was focused on three key strategies—donor outreach, digital platforms, and virtual events—with special consideration to navigating the challenges of COVID-19. This webinar featured Access Fund’s Development Director, Scott Dissel, Membership Director, Jordan Fisher, and Events & Outreach Manager, Heather Distad.

    Resources from this webinar for LCOs are linked here.
    Articles from the webinar:
    Coronavirus and Events: Outlook and Recovery Timeline
    ‘In These Uncertain Times,’ Coronavirus Ads Strike Some Repetitive Notes

    Responding to COVID-19 as a Local Climbing Organization
    The COVID-19 epidemic presents an unprecedented challenge to local climbing advocacy and conservation organizations. This webinar discusses what Access Fund and local climbing organizations (LCOs) have done to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, remain operational, and stay strong for the future of our climbing areas and society at large. Access Fund’s Executive Director, Chris Winter, and Affiliate Director/Southeast Regional Director, Zachary Lesch-Huie, hosted the webinar and highlighted how our climbing advocacy community has responded, the epidemic’s impact on our collective work, and challenges and solutions for the future. Jason Keith also jumped in as Access Fund's Senior Policy Analyst to describe legislative updates that may impact LCOs. The situation is fluid and changing daily, but it’s also a great time to come together as climbing advocates.

    Resources from this webinar for LCOs are linked here.
    Access Fund's "COVID-19 Resources for Climbers" is linked here.

    Land Managers & Climbers: A Critical Partnership for Land Managers
    Learn to develop positive and productive relationships with land managers in order to ensure collaborative climbing management. Join Access Fund's Stewardship Director and the Executive Director of the Salt Lake Climbers Alliance as they share best practices for understanding the land manager audience, speaking their language, and working to develop a shared vision for climbing management.

    Links to more resources from this webinar:

    Climbing Responsibly During Raptor Season
    Climbers can play an active role in protecting raptors and their environments during nesting season. Access Fund's Policy Analyst, Katie Goodwin, and Natural Resources Senior Specialist/Wildlife Ecologist, Chelsea Beebe, will present on why seasonal raptor closures are important, and the ways that the climbing community can partner with land managers to maintain long-term access to climbing areas.

    Photo credit: Chris Vultaggio and Brad Wenskoski