The Outsiders

No, we aren’t talking about the Greasers and Ponyboy. We’re talking about the real outsiders: nature-loving, open space-craving, body-moving recreation enthusiasts. They’re the focus of the latest fundraising efforts of Friends of Des Moines Parks, a private, nonprofit foundation that supplements the city’s Park and Recreation department.


Our charge was to persuade potential new donors to privately supplement Des Moines’ publicly supported parks programs. Despite philanthropic appeals being relatively common, we set out to find a more inspired method of driving action. Through conversations with both active supporters and prospective donors, we found the perfect appeal: enlightened self-interest of those who love the outdoors. We then developed an arresting name for that active segment of park and trail users, a label that park patrons (and supporters) could proudly identify with and adopt: The Outsiders.

The Friends of Des Moines Parks’ Outsiders campaign celebrates outdoor enthusiasts and asks them to help safeguard and improve the amenities they and others enjoy. Through their private donations, future generations will be able to continue to enjoy Des Moines’ expansive system of beautiful parks, nearly endless trails and valuable community programs.