Today the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) announced the receipt of grant funds to help increase angler and boater participation through digital marketing. The funds come from the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies’ (AFWA) Multistate Conservation Grant Program (MSCGP).

The grant funds come at an important time when more Americans than ever are completing transactions online – from groceries to cars and everything in between. In fact, e-commerce sales are expected to reach $4.2 trillion by the end of 2020, according to Statista.

To help state fish and wildlife agencies better integrate with the digital environment, RBFF is working with select state agencies to implement digital marketing campaigns aimed at increasing angler and boater participation and fishing license sales and boat registrations. Each state campaign will have a total budget of at least $65,000 ($40,000 coming from the AFWA MSCGP, $15,000 from RBFF and at least $10,000 coming directly from the state agency) to carry out a marketing campaign. In addition to RBFF’s expertise, states will employ the help of a third-party marketing agency to assist them in their campaign planning and execution. The state agencies have been working with their marketing agencies to adjust timing and messaging of the campaigns to ensure people remain responsible and safe while fishing and boating.

The state agencies working with RBFF through this program are:

“Fishing license sales have always been critical to the future of conservation, and now we have an opportunity to tap into strong consumer interest in responsible outdoor recreation,” said RBFF President & CEO Frank Peterson. “We are thrilled that AFWA recognizes the importance of digital marketing and supports RBFF to assist state agencies in better engaging with their anglers and boaters.”

At the conclusion of the state marketing campaigns, RBFF will create case studies and a marketing toolkit based on the results. The toolkit will include everything from learnings to help with planning to creative assets to help other state agencies with implementation of similar campaigns.

AFWA’s Multistate Conservation Grant Program was established in 2000 by the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Fund (WSFR) Programs Improvement Act. The program aims to address the regional or national level priorities of state fish and wildlife agencies through grant funding. Through the program, AFWA selects priority programs for funding, which the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) ultimately evaluates for funding with up to $6,000,000 in available funding per year.