National Park Service Press Release

For Immediate Release:
March 29, 2016
Jeremy Barnum,, 202-208-6843

National Park Service to Enhance Philanthropic and Partnership Efforts

Proposed revisions to philanthropic policies will be open for public comment

WASHINGTON – The National Park Service (NPS) is proposing revisions to its policies for partnerships and philanthropy to better align with current best practices in the philanthropic sector.

Current NPS policies governing partnerships and philanthropy efforts, outlined in “Director’s Order #21,” limit the ability of the agency and its partners to keep up with a changing philanthropic field that has become increasingly sophisticated and competitive. 

The proposed revisions will provide the agency the needed framework and flexibility to work with a diverse range of philanthropic partners, including individuals, start-up organizations, and long-established organizations with years of demonstrated success in supporting national parks.

Private philanthropy has played a vital role in the success of the National Park System since its creation 100 years ago. “A number of national parks exist today because motivated citizens contributed time, talent, and funds to create or improve them,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis.  “As we celebrate the centennial anniversary of the National Park Service, these improved partnership and philanthropy guidelines will give a new generation of Americans the opportunity to care for their national parks through the 21st century and beyond.”

The proposed revisions to Director’s Order #21 would:

  • Simplify the agreement process with philanthropic partners.
  • Enhance the authority for regional managers and park superintendents to accept donations.
  • Broaden the scope of philanthropic giving through electronic donations, mobile giving, and individual and planned giving.
  • Expand and clarify guidance on donor recognition.
  • Update guidance for brand management, sharing intellectual property, and the use of NPS marks and logos.
  • Maintain the integrity and impartiality of the National Park Service in all facets of its philanthropic efforts.

The National Park Service will post the draft revised Director’s Order on March 30 on the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment website where reviewers may submit comments electronically. A formal notice of availability will appear in the Federal Register on March 30 announcing a 45-day public comment period. 


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