1.What is the Friends of Mammoth Cave National Park's purpose?

We provide a variety of support for programs and projects which enhance, preserve, and protect Mammoth Cave's precious cultural, historic, and environmental resources.

2.Why would anyone give to a public park that is financed by the federal government?

Federal dollars support baseline operations and activities at Mammoth Cave National Park. By raising new sources of funds, the Friends of Mammoth Cave National Park helps the park diversify and enlarge its funding base. These are dollars that support new and innovative projects at Mammoth Cave. New raptor cages, production of the Emmy Award winning Mammoth Cave:  A Away to Wonder, establishment of a transportation grant program allowing schools and civic groups to bring children to Mammoth Cave that may otherwise never have the opportunity, hosting visiting foreign scientists, and support of multiple park events and functions are just a few examples of the work made possible through philanthropy.

From the time of the establishment of the Park in 1945, many people have donated time, talent and financial resources to support Mammoth Cave and protect this nationally and internationally recognized and cherished treasure. Continuing a tradition of private philanthropy for Mammoth Cave will support projects and programs like providing and growing educational and recreational programs, and supporting the Mammoth Cave International Center for Science and Learning, where science, education, and research are made alive and tangible for a broad array of students ranging from elementary through graduate student levels.

Private philanthropy plays an important role in the enhancement of Mammoth Cave National Park and the preservation of its unique natural, historic, and cultural resources.

3. What is Friends of Mammoth Cave National Park's relationship with the National Park Service?

Friends of Mammoth Cave National Park operates under an agreement with the National Park Service which allows us to serve as a park ambassador, create and conduct special events, and solicit contributions to benefit the park. The Friends of Mammoth Cave National Park is similar to one of the many "Friends" organizations affiliated with national parks across the country.

4.How are projects are selected?

Projects are developed primarily by the Park, with some submittals by the Friends.  Jointly with the Superintendent, projects are reviewed and selected; each project chosen has been determined to be critical to accomplishing the National Park Service's mission at the Park. They are also selected with costs, viability, need, and urgency in mind.  While some projects may require only financial support (such as special events), any projects involving construction, land disturbance, or program management must meet planning and development criteria of the Park and the National Park Service.


5.Who governs the Friends of Mammoth Cave National Park?

Our foundation is governed by a volunteer board of directors, which typically meets at least three times a year to set and approve general policy. The board is comprised of individuals with experience in national park concessionaire operations, private foundation management, public utility administration, not-for-profit corporations and the National Park Service.


6.What can you do?

There are many ways you may choose to help.

1. Provide financial assistance at any level to support the Friends of Mammoth Cave National Park programs and projects;

2. Volunteer for projects in which you have a specific interest or expertise;

3. Encourage a corporation or foundation to participating on an in-kind or financial basis with direct donations or employee matching programs;

4. Tell others about our organization and Park needs to help generate interest and increase our network of members and  other constituents who have a similar desire to support Mammoth Cave National Park.

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Frequently Asked Questions