Glacier Rescue started after realizing that glacial melt is the most clear visual sign of climate change, and that it happens where very few people live or visit. We simply wanted to use art and design to communicate information about glacial melt in a visual and easily understood way.
Our group received a lot of criticism that what we were doing was not “profitable” and we were frequently asked: “but how are you going to pay yourselves?” The truth is, Glacier Rescue wasn’t built with the goal of making a lot of money. GRP has stuck around because our mission is important and we have the opportunity to make a global impact with everything we do.
The first year of Glacier Rescue could be described as a lot of exhausting work and not a lot of return. We had just about no money in the organization and we couldn’t really accomplish anything without some money to spend. We were all college students at the time, with limited time and even more limited money. During my junior year at college, I was fortunate enough to have received funding from the school’s career center for an unpaid summer internship I had. I was careful with my spending that summer and saved $300 out of the total funding award, which was mean't to help me cover living and transportation costs. That 300 bucks went straight to the Glacier Rescue. That’s what started it all.
Over the course of our first year, we had applied for six different grants, with a couple taking well over 100 hours of preparation. We received funding from only one of those six. For that one, which we were beyond excited to receive a "yes" from, we were the only group that had even sent in an application. They ended up giving us half the funding amount we had originally requested in our application. But hey, take what you can get...right? Each time we have put together a grant proposal though, we've learned a little bit more about what works and what doesn't. Sometimes I hate to admit it, but it is definitely true that often times you've got to find failure in order to find out what it takes to be successful.
We have for sure had an uphill battle at times to get GRP to where we want it to be, but we are so thankful for the individuals that have supported and encouraged us from the start. It is crazy to think about where Glacier Rescue is now, compared to two years when it was nothing more than an idea and a few pages of a sketch book.
Onward and upward.
Below: A picture of myself giving the "please give us funding" pitch. We sadly left empty handed after that one. Another chance to figure out what need to be improved.