National Park ServiceU.S. Department of the Interior
Partnership header Roundtable discussion in a conference room setting
Earned Income
Most successful parks that support nonprofits today rely on a combination of contributed and earned income to pay their staff and operating expenses and underwrite starting up fundraising initiatives. A good rule of thumb is that you want to generate earned income sufficient to cover staff costs.

In conceiving earned income possibilities, the nonprofit should work with the park to consider the full range of possibilities and determine which are cost-effective to pursue. Earned income marketable products and services can reinforce and create greater awareness of park's themes and features and also brand both the park and the nonprofit partner. The park's chief of interpretation and the concessions chief should be part of these discussions. There may be opportunities for on-site sales working in partnership with parks' concessionaire and cooperating association. Local, regional and national distributors can be an excellent wholesale source and outside-the-park retail operations. The internet can also provide alternative sales venues. There are start-up, inventory, management and marketing costs associated with product development but the rewards can be great.

This section provides how-to information on earned income sources that have proven successful for park support organizations.
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