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Community Rowing Inc.

 Harry Parker Boathouse, 20 Nonantum Road
 Brighton, MA 02135
[P] (617) 779-8267
[F] (617) 779-8269
[email protected]
Kate Lee
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 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-2863756

LAST UPDATED: 01/04/2019
Organization DBA CRI
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years Yes


Mission StatementMORE »

Our mission is "Rowing for All" and we make rowing accessible without regard to individual ability, background, experience, or income. We enrich lives and our local community by providing rowing and its profound academic, social, and physical benefits to as many as possible.


Mission Statement

Our mission is "Rowing for All" and we make rowing accessible without regard to individual ability, background, experience, or income. We enrich lives and our local community by providing rowing and its profound academic, social, and physical benefits to as many as possible.


FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Nov 01, 2017 to Oct 31, 2018
Projected Income $6,213,461.00
Projected Expense $6,148,257.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Middle School Indoor Rowing Program
  • Military Veterans Rowing
  • Para Rowing
  • Row Boston

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

Our mission is "Rowing for All" and we make rowing accessible without regard to individual ability, background, experience, or income. We enrich lives and our local community by providing rowing and its profound academic, social, and physical benefits to as many as possible.


Background Statement

Community Rowing, Inc. (CRI) was founded in 1985 by a group of Olympic and National Team rowers who wanted to expand access and increase diversity within rowing. Until then, rowing on the Charles River had been reserved for members of private clubs and students at elite universities. Community Rowing changed all that, opening the river, and its possibilities, to anyone who was interested in taking part.

In 2006, after 20 years of operating from a seasonal facility, CRI launched a $16 million capital campaign to build a year-round boathouse of its own. The campaign experienced extraordinary support and in October 2008, CRI opened the doors to its new Harry Parker Boathouse. The final boathouse construction loan was paid off in 2014.

The impact of the facility has been enormous. The recipient of several prestigious architectural honors, including the “Most Beautiful Building in Boston” award by the Boston Society of Architects, the Harry Parker Boathouse is already a landmark on the river and in the city itself. From well before dawn until after the sun goes down, there is always action at CRI. A visitor might see throngs of teenagers eagerly warming up for their afternoon row; paralyzed adults using their legs for the first time to propel specialized rowing machines; a group of shy high school boys from the Boston public schools going out on the river for the first time; Row Boston youth studying in their classroom overlooking the Charles; or administrative offices bustling with staff and volunteers.

At the root of all of this is a deep commitment, both on the water and off, from people who have been changed by rowing and who believe in the sport’s capacity to improve lives and enhance communities.

Impact Statement

With 11,000 rowers, we are the largest and most successful public access rowing organization in the world. Our outreach programs are the backbone of our organization and exemplify our mission of ‘Rowing for All.’ We use a “high challenge/high support” programming model and make a conscious effort to break down any barriers to participation that might arise. Each year, we are proud to reach over 6,000 individuals with our free outreach programs for urban youth, military veterans, and individuals with cognitive and physical disabilities.

Major accomplishment over the last five years include:

1. Over the last 5 years, CRI has introduced more than 16,000 Boston Public School youth to the sport of rowing in our Let’s Row Boston program.

2. In 2018 CRI hosted the largest and most diverse middle school rowing event with over 1,000 youth.

3. Since 1998, 100% of Row Boston participants have graduated from high school and 99% have gone on to a 4-year college or university.

4. CRI is a Gold Level Paralympic Sports Club and in 2016, hosted the selection and training camp for the US Paralympic Legs Trunks and Arms Four with coxswain that won a silver medal at the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janiero, Brazil.

Program goals for the current year include:

1. Provide numerous high quality rowing programs that align with our mission and core values. Through these programs we will serve more than 9,000 individuals including 1,000 military veterans and service members, 4,500 Boston Public School youth, and 500 individuals with disabilities.

2. Regularly and effectively attract new participants, especially those who live in our community, are not currently involved with rowing, and need access to safe and meaningful physical activity options.

3. Maintain strong finances so that we can continue to provide aid for those who need it and continue to ensure that money is not a barrier to participation in the sport.

Needs Statement

1) Expand Middle School Indoor Rowing Program to mitigate obesity epidemic. Each school: $4,600.

2) Invest in study to measure results of all outreach programs. $35,000.

3) Invest in a transportation consultant to determine the best way to transport youth across the City of Boston to our boathouse and mitigate travel at the entrance to our boathouse. $15,000

4) Invest in a communications expert to share our mission with local community. $30,000

5) Invest in strategic planning to determine how best to 1) share the incredible resource of our boathouse with the community; 2) reach the people who will benefit most from the health and social benefits of rowing; and 3) expand on a regional and national level. $70,000.

CEO Statement

I came to CRI as a coach 22 years ago because it was one of the only rowing organizations I knew that focused on providing non-elite, public access to the sport of rowing.  That spirit remains today as we have grown into our award-winning building and advanced programming. When you approach CRI or drive by you can see that our huge bay doors are open and we provide avenues that meet the interests of nearly every interest.  We are the largest public access organization in North America and likely the world. We continue to see the tremendous positive impact that rowing has on our community. It provides life lessons addressing team work, responsibility, and self-advocacy for middle school kids, senior citizens and everyone in between.  


I am excited about the opportunity to serve those who may not otherwise imagine participating in rowing.  We have focused our entire community on helping our participants succeed in a really supportive and positive environment. By way of example, those with disabilities can build their physical strength to become more independent, feel connected to a peer group, and progress in a group setting at a self-controlled pace.  We’ve seen rowers advance from true beginners to the highest competitive level. We are equally proud to see our recreational and adaptive rowers return year after year for our programming.    


We serve a lot of people and make a big impact. On a typical day, 1,000 people may come through our doors, 96% of whom are serviced by one of 125 coaches who work at CRI. Last year, we provided over $1 million in free programming to the community – this support included free programs for over 4,500 Boston Public School kids, providing access for over 1,000 veterans and members of the armed services and giving over $430,000 in financial aid to over 700 families and kids in the surrounding area.

We couldn’t do it without the wonderful support we receive from our donors and funders. We look forward to fulfilling our mission and make rowing accessible for all.

- Ted Benford

Board Chair Statement

Rowing is a sport that changes lives. Community Rowing is strong. Our programs are thriving, financial support is healthy, and our reputation as a place of innovation and excellence continues to grow.

What we have accomplished together is simply astounding. We are who we are because of people like you who believe in our mission and engage in our rowing community.

It is a true honor to serve as the Board President of CRI. Thank you for being with us on this incredible journey!

- Lila McCain, President

Geographic Area Served


Almost one-fourth of CRI participants live in the City of Boston, and the remainder live in surrounding communities. Our Row Boston and Middle School Indoor Rowing Program reach underserved youth in Boston.

Organization Categories

  1. Recreation & Sports - Physical Fitness/Community Recreational Facilities
  2. Youth Development - Youth Development Programs
  3. Human Services -

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

Under Development


Middle School Indoor Rowing Program

CRI’s Middle School Indoor Rowing Program (MSIRP) works in partnership with the Boston Public Schools to engage youth in vigorous physical activity and introduce them to the sport of rowing right in their own schools and neighborhoods. We provide indoor rowing machines, a fun and meaningful curriculum, and coaches to more than 40 schools across the City. By breaking down the traditional barriers to participation, we serve a wide range of hard to reach target groups, including inner-city youth, youth who are not drawn to traditional sports, those who may not have access to safe and meaningful physical activity options outside of school, and youth with physical and intellectual disabilities.
Budget  $200,000.00
Category  Recreation & Sports, General/Other Physical Fitness
Population Served Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success  In 2018, we held our largest Youth International Erg Trials Competition with over 1,000 students at the Reggie Lewis Center
Program Long-Term Success  The program grew from 2,200 participants in 2015 to 4,500 BPS participants today, a 51% increase in youth served.
Program Success Monitored By  We measure the number of meters rowed, the number of youth served, and teacher surveys.
Examples of Program Success  Since its inception in 2012, the Middle School Indoor Rowing Program has quadrupled in size and is on track to reach 5,000 youth in the coming academic year.

Military Veterans Rowing

Since 2010, CRI has provided free programs that work to enhance the quality of life for Active Duty Service Members, Veterans, Service-disabled Veterans and family members by helping them achieve a sense of independence and belonging. Over the years the program has expanded to include 17 sessions/week, allowing us to serve 1,000 service members and veterans with all types of disabilities, including both physical and “hidden” disabilities such as TBI and PTSD. We create a safe and inclusive environment that allows service members to connect with one another by providing structure and building camaraderie amongst participants.
Budget  $100,000.00
Category  Recreation & Sports, General/Other Recreation & Sports, General/Other
Population Served Veterans People/Families with of People with Psychological Disabilities People/Families with of People with Physical Disabilities
Program Short-Term Success  Participants gain physical fitness, builds a sense of connectedness through teamwork and support, and helps to relieve stress related to both everyday life and their military experiences
Program Long-Term Success  Reduce symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder and stress.
Program Success Monitored By  Pre and post surveys, interviews with participants.
Examples of Program Success  For many, the program is truly transformative. As Fred related, “A couple years ago I would wake up at 4:00 am and start drinking. It was that bad and I was not able to detox. But now I get up at 4 in the morning and row on the Charles river." Heather, another military participant said, “Rowing has made me more confident, taken away social anxiety, and helped with my brain injury."

Para Rowing

By combining the social and emotional benefits of a cohesive team experience with the dramatic physical benefits of rowing, CRI's Para Rowing program meets a real need in the Greater Boston community and serves as a model for other inclusive sport programs nationwide. Our Para Rowing Program aims to enhance the quality of life for individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities by giving them the opportunity to fully participate in the sport of rowing. Our program not only improves physical fitness and overall health but also provides opportunities for individuals to engage in competitive events and helps them build a sense of connectedness through teamwork and support.
Budget  $200,000.00
Category  Recreation & Sports, General/Other Physical Fitness
Population Served People/Families with of People with Disabilities People/Families with People of Developmental Disabilities People/Families with of People with Physical Disabilities
Program Short-Term Success  Improves athletes’ physical fitness, independence, emotional well being, and sense of community.
Program Long-Term Success  Increase participants’ ability to function independently and recover from injuries.
Program Success Monitored By  Fitness tests, participant satisfaction surveys, attendance and retention of athletes, coaching feedback.
Examples of Program Success 
“In six months of rowing, I’ve gone from being confined to a wheel chair to using just leg braces and a cane. Rowing has also helped me psychologically. It gave me the confidence to get back to work.” –Josh
“A few days ago, without thinking, I bent over a short distance in a chair and then straightened myself out. Augustine, my home health aide, commented she had never seen me do that before.In the past year when in a chair and I moved forward, I would flop over and someone would have to grab me before I hurt myself by falling out of the chair. This is a direct result of Community Rowing assisting me in developing my core muscle group.” – Helen.
“Four years ago I suffered a spinal cord injury that left me partially paralyzed from the waist down. A year and half later I came to Community Rowing and after my first practice on the water, I was completely addicted. The coaches and community at CRI have been a critical part of my recovery.Rowing has not only gotten me in the best shape of my life, it has also been the best therapy for me. Knowing I have teammates counting on me gets me up in the morning and a long practice on the Charles centers me when I am feeling discouraged or frustrated by my injury.CRI has helped me find purpose and meaning in my life following my injury.” – Kate

Row Boston

Row Boston is an intensive team-based youth development program for underserved youth designed to combat childhood obesity, improve academic achievement, and encourage positive life choices. Row Boston brings 70 Boston Public School teens out of the inner city and onto the water each year, creating a safe place for them to find their strengths and grow together as a team. Participants row five days a week, not including weekend competitions, and receive academic support, tutoring, mentoring and job and college preparation.
Budget  $280,000.00
Category  Youth Development, General/Other Youth Development, General/Other
Population Served Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent Adolescents Only (13-19 years)
Program Short-Term Success 
Our program activities are centered around three internal tracks: physical health, academic success, and leadership/personal development. Short-term goals include the following:
• Participants increase their physical activity, as measured by PACER and indoor rowing tests
• Participants receive a C or better in all classes; team receives a GPA of 3.0 or better
• Participants report increased personal assets, a stronger sense of self, self-identify as an athlete, emotional connectedness with peers, coaches, tutors and volunteers, as measured from pre and post program qualitative surveys
Program Long-Term Success  Graduation from high school, enrollment in college.
Program Success Monitored By  We measure specific fitness, academic and social emotional learning outcomes, including PACER and indoor rowing tests, pre and post surveys, grades, coach and outside observations.
Examples of Program Success  Since 1998, 100% of Row Boston participants have graduated from high school, and 99% have gone on to four-year colleges. Our goal continues to be 100% college enrollment and graduation for our graduates.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments



CEO/Executive Director Mr. Ted Benford
CEO Term Start Mar 2018
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience

Ted assumed interim leadership in March, 2018. Ted has been with CRI in various roles for 22 years. With a background in strategy and organizational development, a big part of his role is advancing the mission of the organization through partnerships that involve strategic process improvements and staff professional development and growth. Most recently, Ted has been Director of Operations for CRI and has responsibility for all areas of CRI's services and operations, including supporting the strategic advancement of CRI, accountability for organizational improvements and performance, and leveraging cross-program strengths to improve CRI’s overall operations. Ted has a diverse background with over 30 years of coaching, business and educational experience that includes organizational advancement, senior leadership in addition to extensive coaching success.

Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Mr. Bruce Smith May 2008 Mar 2018
Ms. Alyson Magian Jan 1998 May 2008

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Ms. Nonna Giunta Director of Programs

Nonna is one of CRI's most essential, reliable and experienced members of our staff. She has touched nearly every level of the CRI administrative evolution. Her areas of focus at CRI include (but are not limited to!) oversight and management of the CRI registration processes, managing the array of CRI's communication channels, supporting our incredible coaches and their schedules as well as overseeing records tracking, front desk operations, and our ever improving customer service efforts. 

Since becoming Director of Programs, she has made profound improvements at CRI through her innovative and responsive leadership - it has enhanced the rowing experience for nearly every person who rows at CRI.

Mr. Patrick Larcom Director of Coaching Education
Mr. Kane Larin Director of Programs & Operations

With more than 1,500 registrations each year, CRI is a beehive of activity every day. Given his experience in the sport as an athlete, coach, and administrator, Kane is uniquely positioned to provide guidance and leadership in a broad array of special projects at CRI. 

When CRI needs a deft hand at solving a unique challenge, whether it's a facility issue, a challenge with team travel, or to provide representation for CRI to a local constituency, Kane provides CRI an experienced voice and steady guidance. In addition to his special projects role, Kane oversees operations and programming at the CRI Newton - Stoller Boathouse.

Ms. Ellen Minzner Director of Outreach

Ellen is a two-time World Champion rower who has been coaching on the high school, collegiate, masters and elite levels for over 30 years.  She completed a degree in Urban Planning at Tufts University, with a thesis on the Role of Youth Sport in Community Development.  As manager for the Community Development Department for the City of Lawrence, she oversaw the citywide Parks Improvement Plan, and facilitated federal funding for a number of local non-profits.  From there she served as the Executive Director for the local boating program, providing free access to rowing and sailing for all low-income youth. She is currently a presenter for the Positive Coaching Alliance, and oversees CRI’s outreach programs for urban youth, military veterans, and people with disabilities.  


Award Awarding Organization Year
Gold Level USOC Paralympic Sports Club United States Olympic Committee 2015
"Rings of Gold" Award United States Olympic Committee 2012
Club of the Year US Rowing 2012
Administrator of the Year -- Bruce Smith, Executive Director Rowing News Magazine 2011
Paralympic Sports Club US Olympic Committee 2010
Club of the Year US Rowing Association 2009
Most Beautiful New Building in Boston Boston Society of Architects 2009


Affiliation Year
Affiliate/Chapter of National Organization (i.e. Girl Scouts of the USA, American Red Cross, etc.) - Affiliate/chapter --
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


International Olympic Committee (IOC)
The World Rowing Federation (FISA)
Agitos Foundation
United States Olympic Committee (USOC)
United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA)
Boston Public Schools
The Boston Foundation Physical Activity Partners
Madison Park Community Center
Disability Task Force
Ramapo for Children
Partners for Youth with Disabilities
Bedford VA & Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital
Brockton Regional Veterans Support Council
Cerebral Palsy of Massachusetts
Hanscom Air Force Base
Boston Children's Home
Spaulding Rehabilitation Center
Team RWB 
United States Olympic Committee
USO New England
VA Boston Health Care System 

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 33
Number of Part Time Staff 72
Number of Volunteers 300
Number of Contract Staff 3
Staff Retention Rate % 90%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 0
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 105
Other (if specified): we do not track ethnicity
Gender Female: 96
Male: 80
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Exempt
State Registration Yes

Risk Management Provisions

Automobile Insurance and Umbrella or Excess Insurance
Accident and Injury Coverage
Automobile Insurance
Automobile Insurance and Umbrella or Excess Insurance
Blanket Personal Property
Boiler and Machinery
Commercial General Insurance
Commercial General Liability and D and O and Umbrella or Excess and Automobile and Professional
Crime Coverage
Directors and Officers Policy
Disability Insurance
Employee Dishonesty
General Property Coverage
Improper Sexual Conduct/Sexual Abuse
Life Insurance
Medical Health Insurance
Special Event Liability
Umbrella or Excess Insurance
Water Craft and Aircraft
Workers Compensation and Employers' Liability

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually


Board Chair Ms. Lila McCain
Board Chair Company Affiliation None
Board Chair Term Dec 2010 -
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Mr. Howard Anderson Harvard Business School Voting
Mr. Jim Coyne Concentric Energy Advisors Voting
Ms. Marion Dancy Communications and Marketing Consultant Voting
Ms. Laura Davis Biotech Consultant Voting
Mr. Denis Holler The MENTOR Network Voting
Ms. Tamsin Kaplan Davis, Malm, and D'Agostine Voting
Ms. Priscilla Lowell R & P Lowell Architects Voting
Mr. Stephen Maire Goetz/Aragon/Arrant Voting
Ms. Cameran Mason Wellesley College Voting
Ms. Lila McCain None Voting
Ms. Erin McKenna Boston Biomedical Innovation Center Voting
Dr. Mark Proctor Boston Children's Hospital Voting
Ms. Olivia Tapia Boston Public Schools Voting
Ms. Christina Wood Baker None Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 11
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 2
Other (if specified): Physically Disabled, LGBTQ
Gender Female: 9
Male: 5
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % 83%
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

  • Board Governance
  • Building
  • Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Executive
  • Human Resources / Personnel
  • Investment

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Revenue $6,156,596 $5,681,734 $5,343,980
Total Expenses $6,768,034 $5,884,930 $5,052,420

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $1,427,160 $1,771,661 $1,910,945
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $3,991,191 $3,298,009 $2,890,768
Investment Income, Net of Losses $139,846 $36,717 $33,884
Membership Dues $337,343 $327,690 $281,545
Special Events $128,712 $85,825 $107,577
Revenue In-Kind $102,939 $142,906 $93,261
Other $29,405 $18,926 $26,000

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Program Expense $5,011,040 $4,476,202 $3,396,492
Administration Expense $1,280,009 $1,082,678 $1,107,027
Fundraising Expense $476,985 $326,050 $548,901
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.91 0.97 1.06
Program Expense/Total Expenses 74% 76% 67%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 31% 18% 27%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Assets $15,498,491 $16,554,272 $16,909,325
Current Assets $2,020,988 $2,270,119 $2,010,141
Long-Term Liabilities $2,704,443 $3,012,569 $3,308,893
Current Liabilities $578,923 $715,140 $570,673
Total Net Assets $12,215,125 $12,826,563 $13,029,759

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value $1,326,915.00
Spending Policy Percentage
Percentage(If selected) 4.0%
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 3.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 3.49 3.17 3.52

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 17% 18% 20%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Excess of revenues over expenses in 2009 and 2010 reflects capital campaign income for the construction of the Harry Parker Boathouse.

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above are per the organization's audited financials. Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals as the breakdown was not available.


The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.

1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

Rowing changes lives, and we believe that all should have access to the benefits to physical health and personal development that are inherent in our sport. The rigorous activity--rowing burns more calories than almost any other sport--along with the cooperative skills required in the ultimate team sport have been transformative for many in our target populations, many of whom would not have any access to the sport were it not for our outreach programs. By recruiting and retaining participants from target populations of inner-city youth, military veterans, people with disabilities, and youth at risk for pediatric obesity into the life-long sport of rowing, we play a key role in the health and vitality of the communities we serve.

2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

We bring rowing to as many individuals as possible by addressing the common barriers to participation--namely, transportation, lack of financial resources, and lack of swimming ability. CRI Inclusion programs are free or sliding scale, subsidized by grants. We address transportation in two ways: first, by bringing rowing into the schools using indoor rowing machines, and second, by providing bus transportation for our boathouse after-school teams and programs. For students without swimming ability, we provide appropriate life jackets and swim instruction so that none are held back from participating.

Further, we provide or build custom equipment so that athletes are safe and can row to the best of their ability in comfort and support. Our coaches are given training specific to their sport and the population that they serve, so that individuals with a wide range of abilities and experience can learn and grow in the sport.

3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

We are known for our in-depth coach education, equipment innovation, and commitment to rowing excellence. We invest heavily in coach training and professional development using positive coaching and athlete-centered coaching methods, so that all participants experience a high-challenge/high-support environment. We are the only rowing club in the country that requires 45 hours of training for our coaches. In addition, we have dedicated boathouse shop staff that maintain our fleet of boats and build custom equipment for our para athletes. Our award-winning boathouse is recognized for its functionality and houses one of the largest fleets of boats in the country. The diversity of these boats enable us to meet our rowers’ needs. We are ADA compliant so we are handicapped accessible. For example disabled participants are able to transfer from their wheelchairs to our boats.

4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

We measure progress in a number of ways, first by the growing number of participants we serve each year. In the last five years, our Middle School Indoor Rowing Program has grown from serving 1,900 students to over 4,500 students in 40 Boston Public Schools. Our Para Program now reaches 500 individuals and our military program reaches 1,000 participants. Since the inception of our Row Boston program, which provides academic support and college visits, 100% of students have graduated from high school and 95% continued on to college. In addition, we collect survey data and interview our participants so we better understand the difference we are making in people’s lives. For example, Fred, a military program participant said, “A couple years ago I would wake up at 4:00 am and start drinking. It was that bad and I was not able to detox. But now I get up at 4 in the morning and row on the Charles river.” Josh, a participant in our para program reported, “In six months of rowing, I’ve gone from being confined to a wheelchair to using just leg braces and a cane. Rowing has also helped me psychologically. It gave me the confidence to get back to work.”

5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

We are proud of the tremendous progress we have made in reaching so many people through our outreach programs who otherwise would not have access to rowing. Our programs have grown substantially over the years and we are thrilled to see the difference rowing is making in transforming lives. Growth has increased expenses, so we are looking at ways to most efficiently sustain our programs, specifically in the area of transportation.