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Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center, Inc.

 PO Box 127
 Boston, MA 02127
[P] (617) 328-3900
[F] (617) 426-5637
[email protected]
Beth MacNeill
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 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-3027900

LAST UPDATED: 05/25/2017
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years Yes



Mission StatementMORE »

Through our partnership with Boston’s public schools, each year thousands of students board the Thompson Island Outward Bound ferry to discover who they are and all they can become, on an island classroom that spans 204 acres of salt marshes, woods, campsites, labs, dormitories, and dozens of challenge structures. 

In order to reduce the achievement and opportunity gaps facing Boston middle schoolers, our research-based curriculum features hands-on field science infused with Outward Bound’s unique approach to character development.

Our education programs are provided at no cost to schools or students, funded by a combination of philanthropy and the island’s events business. 

Mission Statement

Through our partnership with Boston’s public schools, each year thousands of students board the Thompson Island Outward Bound ferry to discover who they are and all they can become, on an island classroom that spans 204 acres of salt marshes, woods, campsites, labs, dormitories, and dozens of challenge structures. 

In order to reduce the achievement and opportunity gaps facing Boston middle schoolers, our research-based curriculum features hands-on field science infused with Outward Bound’s unique approach to character development.

Our education programs are provided at no cost to schools or students, funded by a combination of philanthropy and the island’s events business. 

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2017 to Dec 31, 2017
Projected Income $629,041.00
Projected Expense $6,187,870.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Connections
  • Youth Development Programs

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

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


Mission Statement

Through our partnership with Boston’s public schools, each year thousands of students board the Thompson Island Outward Bound ferry to discover who they are and all they can become, on an island classroom that spans 204 acres of salt marshes, woods, campsites, labs, dormitories, and dozens of challenge structures. 

In order to reduce the achievement and opportunity gaps facing Boston middle schoolers, our research-based curriculum features hands-on field science infused with Outward Bound’s unique approach to character development.

Our education programs are provided at no cost to schools or students, funded by a combination of philanthropy and the island’s events business. 

Background Statement

Thompson Island has been a place of education and character building for underserved youth since 1833, when the Boston Farm School for orphaned boys was founded on the Island. As generations passed, the school evolved from agrarian to industrial to academic, but always emphasized “learning by doing.” In the 1970s, the school was restructured as an outdoor education center and, through a merger with Outward Bound in 1988, Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center was established.

Today, Thompson Island helps thousands of students discover who they are and what they can become amid 204 acres of marshes, beaches, woodlands, and meadows. Our free work for Boston’s middle school students provides a multi-year sequence of hands-on field science integrated with Outward Bound’s unique approach to character development – building resilience, compassion, and leadership.

Thompson Island programs demonstrate best practices for both students and teachers in experiential education, providing a model to advance public education nationally. From our multi-year STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) curriculum to kayaking expeditions to summer jobs for teens, research has proven that time spent on Thompson Island is expanded learning that works, laying the groundwork for students’ success in the classroom, workplace, and community.

Impact Statement

Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center strives to:

  1. Lead the expanded learning community by demonstrating how to successfully integrate out-of-school STEM academic and social-emotional learning and providing an evaluation system that benchmarks against national norms.
  2. Drive systemic change in Boston’s public education system by working with BoSTEM to give 100% of Boston’s middle school students the opportunity to participate in STEM learning experiences. We will do our part by serving 15% of the Boston Public School middle school population (2,500 students) from 20% of Boston Public Schools (10-12) by 2020 through multi-year Connections.
  3. Impact the national education system by modeling how to integrate character building with academic lessons and training teachers to engage students beyond the walls of the classroom.
  4. Grow our unique and sustainable funding model that supports our youth programs through a combination of philanthropy and earned income from corporate and private events on the Island.


Our major accomplishments included:

  • Developed a communications plan that unifies our entire operation of youth-serving programs and mission-supporting businesses.


  • Served 5120 students through our Connections, Summer Expedition, Discovery and Green Ambassador youth programs.


  • Rewriting a curriculum for our core mission Connections program that is more engaging for students and the foundation from which we can build deeper science lessons.


  • Outperformed national programs in 9 out of 12 Dimensions of Success evaluation scales; The PEAR Institute at Harvard Medical School observed that “quality programs like (Connections) can enhance life skills through engagement with science learning, and this experience may better prepare students to cope with increasingly complex life and work environments.”


  • Completed capital improvements and upgrades to island facilities that have expanded our season by six weeks since 2013.


  • Needs Statement


    All young people deserve the opportunity to reach their full potential. Yet national research shows that low-income urban middle school students are 6,000 hours behind their middle-income peers participating in out-of-school and summer learning experiences. This opportunity gap translates into a significant bias in academic performance over time, and impacts students’ prospects for higher education and a viable career.

    Our Connections program plays a crucial role in closing this opportunity gap by immersing low-income students in challenging outdoor expeditions that blend academics, teamwork and leadership.

    According to evaluations conducted by The PEAR Institute, students who started Connections in the spring of 2015 with low interest in science showed a remarkable 17% interest gain by the spring of 2016.

    Those same students who discovered their passion for science also made significant gains in social-emotional skills such as perseverance, critical thinking, and teamwork, proving that time on Thompson Island also builds critical life skills.

    In 2017, we anticipate serving nearly 3,000 students through our general Connections programming. 75% of the students we serve are considered low-income and are 41% Hispanic, 35% Black, 14% White, 9% Asian, and 1% Other/Multiracial.


    CEO Statement

    We are Boston’s Island Classroom, the hub of youth education for the Boston Harbor Islands National Park area. Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center’s programs prepare Boston’s most vulnerable young people to be the leaders of tomorrow by offering learning experiences that engage both their hearts and minds.

    Annually, nearly 5,000 young people from the Boston area will have the opportunity to participate in our unique and effective curriculum-based, challenge-based or career-based learning programs designed to unleash the potential in every student. The National Park Service and Boston Public Schools are key partners among a group of more than 80 collaborating schools and organizations.

    Board Chair Statement


    Geographic Area Served

    City of Boston- Citywide (Indiv. neighborhoods also listed)
    City of Boston- North Dorchester
    City of Boston- South Dorchester
    City of Boston- Downtown
    City of Boston- East Boston
    City of Boston- Fenway/ Kenmore
    City of Boston- Hyde Park
    City of Boston- Jamaica Plain
    City of Boston- Mattapan
    City of Boston- Mission Hill
    City of Boston- Roxbury
    City of Boston- South Boston
    City of Boston- Harbor Islands
    City of Boston- Chinatown/ Leather District
    Our organization principally serves early adolescents from all economic and social communities of greater metropolitan Boston, and the institutions and adults who serve them.

    Organization Categories

    1. Youth Development - Youth Development Programs
    2. Environment - Environmental Education
    3. -

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




    Connections was created in direct response to the request from Boston Public Schools (BPS) for out-of-school experiences that directly support BPS curriculum. In partnership with BPS, Connections are curriculum-based programs that serve students in grades 4-8 from over 40 schools, 75% of which are located in Boston's underserved communities. The Connections programs use outdoor learning in teams to enhance student academic achievement and social emotional skills. Massachusetts state curriculum being taught in school classrooms is enriched by hands-on outdoor activities that take place on Thompson Island. These field experiences range from one- to three-day overnights during the school year and daily sessions for five weeks during the summer. Year Round Connections provides sequential learning for students focused on extended, field-based science investigations that develop proficiency in Next Generation Science Standards; activities progress from season to season and year to year.
    Budget  $1,043,567.00
    Category  Education, General/Other Afterschool Enrichment
    Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years) Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent At-Risk Populations
    Program Short-Term Success 
    • Students improve academic achievement in Math, Science and English Language Arts.
    • Students develop social emotional skills such as confidence, collaboration, problem solving, leadership, ambition, and persistence.
    Program Long-Term Success 
    • Students pursue professional and vocational careers, including careers in Scientific, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)-based industries.
    • Students become active and informed citizens ready to take responsibility for creating a more sustainable world.
    • Opportunity and achievement gaps become extinct in Boston.
    • Boston students are prepared to excel in school, in college and in life.
    Program Success Monitored By 

    TIOBEC has contracted with the Program in Education and After-School Resiliency (PEAR) and the National Instituted of Out-of-School Time (NIOST) to evaluate the short-term impacts of Year Round Connections.

    PEAR has been funded for several years by the Noyce Foundation to develop tools that evaluate STEM program quality and impacts, including the Common Instrument student survey and the Dimensions of Success observational protocol. PEAR will provide these instruments and training to NIOST who will administer the surveys, conduct the observations and document the process. PEAR will conduct statistical analysis and reports, comparing TIOBEC’s results to results of comparable programs across the country using the same tools. In this way, TIOBEC will be able to benchmark our results against national standards of program quality and student interest and engagement in STEM.

    TIOBEC will work with each of our partner schools separately to determine how to measure student mastery of NGSS, since we must conform to each school’s existing assessment systems and confidentiality requirements.
    Examples of Program Success 
    Participation in national research studies shows that our programs effectively engage students’ interest in science and teach life skills that support academic excellence.
    2010: TIOBEC and BPS created a summer program which went on to win the 2013 New York Life Excellence in Summer Learning Award.
    2011: TIOBEC was selected for Wallace Foundation’s national research study into the efficacy of summer learning. In 2014, the first published results showed two significant effects: a summer of student participation in a program like Connections leads to improved math proficiency, and Summer Connections positively impacted social and emotional growth, validating that focusing on social emotional learning (SEL) can be effective for student academic achievement.

    Youth Development Programs

    Urban youth often spend their summers inside, watching television as their minds and muscles grow stale. To succeed in school and in life, they need access to experiences that teach and reinforce courage, confidence, problem-solving and teamwork. Teaching these skills is precisely what our Summer Expeditions (for individuals) and Discovery (for groups) challenge-based programs and Green Ambassadors career-based programs are designed and proven to do. Youth thrive in the Boston Harbor Islands, learn technical skills, participate in physical and mental challenges, and participate in service projects.

    Our Youth Development Programs provide entry points for TIOBEC to develop long-term relationships with Boston’s urban youth. This continuum of leadership opportunities includes 10-14 day Summer Expeditions for 12-17 year olds, Discovery courses for school and youth groups throughout the season, and Green Ambassador summer jobs for high school youth.

    Budget  $1.2 million
    Category  Youth Development, General/Other Youth Leadership
    Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) At-Risk Populations
    Program Short-Term Success 
    • Program courses are delivered safely and incident-free, with an element of fun.
    • Students learn Outward Bound philosophy, knowledge about the Boston Harbor Islands National Park area and marine conservation, and technical skills such as camp craft and trail maintenance.
    • Students improve their physical condition and mental and emotional growth.
    • Students exhibit an increased appreciation for the environment.
    Program Long-Term Success 
    • Students are prepared to excel in school, in college and in life.
    Program Success Monitored By  Evaluation is an integral part of program development. Our evaluation tools give us a clear picture of what we are doing well and areas in need of improvement. We rely on parent, student, and teacher/group leader feedback in the forms of focus groups, surveys and confidential interviews that ask about improvements in specific areas such as the students’ self-confidence, communication, compassion, decision-making, teamwork, and leadership. Overall feedback received from the 2012 surveys showed that Thompson Island Outward Bound met or exceeded student, parent and teacher expectations.
    Examples of Program Success 
    I was in a group of supportive girls who I could trust with anything. We all came out of our shells and become so comfortable with each other, it was like we had known each other for years.
    - Anastasia, Summer Expeditions graduate
    It helped him grow and become much more CONFIDENT. It helped him to appreciate all he has in life. He gained something no one can ever take away from him: The knowledge of how much he can accomplish if he tries. This gives him confidence that cannot disappear. It was hard, but completely worth it to him.
    - Parent, Summer Expeditions
    In 2012, 100% of Discovery Teachers/Group Leaders surveyed strongly agreed that the program:
    • "Exceeded Our Expectations”
    • Helped students gain self-confidence
    • Helped students develop leadership
    • Helped students gain greater compassion for their peers
    • Would recommend the program to another group
    • Plan to apply for a group scholarship next year.

    CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments



    CEO/Executive Director Mr. Arthur N. Pearson
    CEO Term Start Sept 2005
    CEO Email [email protected]
    CEO Experience Arthur N. Pearson, President/CEO has been involved in the Outward Bound movement for four decades serving as an instructor, field supervisor, program director, trustee and board chair. After receiving an MBA from Harvard and spending 14 years in the energy industry, he joined Thompson Island in 2005 and has led the organization’s expanded learning initiatives in field-based science, character development and summer learning. Arthur currently serves on the Out of School Time Task Force of the Boston STEM Network and is a member of the Boston After School and Beyond Partnership Council, the Boston Youth Environmental Network Steering Committee, and the Orchard Garden K-8 Pilot School Advisory Board. Mr. Pearson was selected as a 2015 Barr Fellow.
    Co-CEO --
    Co-CEO Term Start --
    Co-CEO Email --
    Co-CEO Experience --

    Former CEOs and Terms

    Name Start End
    Mr. George Armstrong Oct 1994 Oct 2004
    Mr. Peter O. Willauer Jan 1988 Oct 1994

    Senior Staff

    Name Title Experience/Biography
    Mr. Kevin Coleman Chief Financial Officer --
    Keri Fitzgerald General Manager --
    Beth MacNeill Vice President of Development --
    Ms. Laurie Sherman Executive Vice President --
    Jenn Smithwood-Greene Vice President of Organizational Development --
    Nikki Tabron Vice President of Education --


    Award Awarding Organization Year
    Best Event Venue in Boston EVENTup 2016
    Official Resolution for excellence as an innovative partner to the Boston Public Schools Boston City Council 2012
    Boston Green Business Award Boston Office of the Mayor 2010


    Affiliation Year
    -- --
    Member of state association of nonprofits? No
    Name of state association --

    External Assessments and Accreditations

    External Assessment or Accreditation Year
    -- --


    Our key partners are Boston Public Schools (BPS), Boston After School and Beyond (BASB), the National Park Service (NPS), and the Lawrence Hall of Science (LHS) at the University of California Berkeley. Our partnership with BPS targets our programs at schools where we can be most effective with the young people who are most at risk and most in need. Our partnership with BASB allows us to reach more students through collaborative city-wide initiatives including Summer Learning Programs, BoSTEM, and badging (much like earning badges in scouting once one completes a certain skill). NPS manages the research on Thompson Island and is our partner in engaging young people in scientific learning expeditions. LHS’s BEETLES (Better Environmental Education, Teaching, Learning & Expertise Sharing) project provides TIOBEC instructors with quality professional development materials and instructional protocols for observing, questioning and field journaling with students.

    CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


    Foundation Comments


    Staff Information

    Number of Full Time Staff 26
    Number of Part Time Staff 6
    Number of Volunteers 1,800
    Number of Contract Staff 95
    Staff Retention Rate % 89%

    Staff Demographics

    Ethnicity African American/Black: 3
    Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
    Caucasian: 26
    Hispanic/Latino: 1
    Native American/American Indian: 1
    Other: 2
    Other (if specified): 0
    Gender Female: 19
    Male: 15
    Not Specified 0

    Plans & Policies

    Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
    Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
    Years Strategic Plan Considers N/A
    Management Succession Plan No
    Business Continuity of Operations Plan Yes
    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 No
    State Registration No

    Risk Management Provisions

    Automobile Insurance and Umbrella or Excess Insurance
    Commercial General Liability
    Commercial General Liability and D and O and Umbrella or Excess and Automobile and Professional
    Commercial General Liability and Medical Malpractice
    Directors and Officers Policy
    Employee Dishonesty
    Fiduciary Liability
    General Property Coverage
    Improper Sexual Conduct/Sexual Abuse
    Liquor Liability
    Medical Health Insurance
    Umbrella or Excess Insurance
    Water Craft and Aircraft
    Workers Compensation and Employers' Liability
    Accident and Injury Coverage
    Computer Equipment and Software

    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 Mr. William Elcock
    Board Chair Company Affiliation Sequoia Strategic Advisors
    Board Chair Term May 2016 - May 2019
    Board Co-Chair --
    Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
    Board Co-Chair Term -

    Board Members

    Name Company Affiliations Status
    Michael A. Butler Radius Bank Voting
    Jeanette Callahan Cambridge Hospital Voting
    Margaret A. Coleman MD Cambridge Hospital Voting
    Chris Davis New Balance Voting
    William Ducas Community Volunteer Voting
    William Elcock Batterymarch Voting
    Ryan Enright Jones Lang LaSalle Voting
    James Fitzgerald Eastern Bank Voting
    Alexandra Fotiades Community Volunteer Voting
    Jeffrey M. Greene PriceWaterhouseCoopers Voting
    Mossik Hacobian Boston's Higher Ground Voting
    Eddie Jenkins Attorney Voting
    Mark Keating State Street Voting
    Michael J. Koehler Keegan Werlin, LLP Voting
    George Lewis VI Community Volunteer Voting
    James Malerba Radius Bank Voting
    Jamie D. Mambro MMB Group Voting
    John Mayer Community Volunteer Voting
    Arthur N. Pearson Thompson Island Outward Bound, President Voting
    Gordon R. Penman Brown Rudnick, LLP Voting
    Cheryl Pinarchick Murphy & King, PC Voting
    Charles S. Willauer Wellesley Partners Voting
    David Zug HarbourVest Parnters Voting

    Constituent Board Members

    Name Company Affiliations Status
    -- -- --

    Youth Board Members

    Name Company Affiliations Status
    -- -- --

    Advisory Board Members

    Name Company Affiliations Status
    Peter M. Annicelli -- NonVoting
    Luther K Arnold -- NonVoting
    Jeremy Baker -- NonVoting
    Chris Bartel -- NonVoting
    Roland S Barth -- NonVoting
    Andrew J Bendheim -- NonVoting
    Sunni Beville Brown Rudnick NonVoting
    Robert P Bland -- NonVoting
    Edward S. Brewer Jr. -- NonVoting
    Sarah Broughel Choate Hall & Stewart NonVoting
    Steve Calhoun -- NonVoting
    Matthew Cammak CCA Capital NonVoting
    Allen R Campbell -- NonVoting
    Paola Comer -- NonVoting
    Robert Cozzone Rockland Trust Bank NonVoting
    Elizabeth A Dalbeck -- NonVoting
    Baily Dent -- NonVoting
    Dale C. Edmunds -- NonVoting
    David K Eikenberry -- NonVoting
    Camille Forde Community Volunteer NonVoting
    Addison Godine Architecture Design Build --
    Matthew Goehlert -- NonVoting
    Elizabeth Grob Epsilon Associates NonVoting
    Michael Grogan Grogan & Company NonVoting
    Christopher M Hayes -- NonVoting
    Michael Heffernan Corporate Finance Group, Inc. NonVoting
    Gerard J. Hevern -- NonVoting
    Suzanne Jonsson -- NonVoting
    Ryan Kim Castle Island Partners LLC NonVoting
    Michael J Kineavy -- NonVoting
    David S Kirk -- NonVoting
    Venieta Lawrence Community Volunteer NonVoting
    Jenny Leapold Community Volunteer NonVoting
    Richard G. Lucier -- NonVoting
    Paul Marshall -- NonVoting
    Marion Mason -- NonVoting
    Terry McEnany Community Volunteer NonVoting
    Kate Newth State Street NonVoting
    Jeffrey S North -- NonVoting
    Arnold Pesnell Community Volunteer NonVoting
    Margaret S. Phelps -- NonVoting
    Mary M Poluikis -- NonVoting
    Jane W. Puffer -- NonVoting
    Tom Ready Santander Bank NonVoting
    Hiram Samel -- NonVoting
    Roger Scoville Community Volunteer NonVoting
    Anthony I Shaker -- NonVoting
    Philip J Sher -- NonVoting
    Thomas Siegel -- NonVoting
    Robert J. Spear -- NonVoting
    Andrew Strawbridge -- NonVoting
    Chris Sweeney University of Massachusetts Boston NonVoting
    Hooker Talcott -- NonVoting
    Danah Tench -- NonVoting
    Henry W. Wagner -- NonVoting
    Ernest E Washington Jr. -- NonVoting
    Tyler S. Wick -- NonVoting

    Board Demographics

    Ethnicity African American/Black: 2
    Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
    Caucasian: 22
    Hispanic/Latino: 0
    Native American/American Indian: 0
    Other: 0
    Other (if specified): 0
    Gender Female: 4
    Male: 20
    Not Specified 0

    Board Information

    Board Term Lengths 3
    Board Term Limits 3
    Board Meeting Attendance % 70%
    Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
    Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
    Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
    Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 3%
    Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

    Standing Committees

    • Audit
    • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
    • Executive
    • Finance
    • Marketing
    • Nominating
    • Operations
    • Program / Program Planning
    • Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)

    CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


    Foundation Comments



    Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

    Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

    Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

    Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

    Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

    Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
    Total Revenue $6,230,560 $8,691,388 $7,798,808
    Total Expenses $6,842,824 $5,756,966 $5,093,226

    Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

    Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
    Foundation and
    Corporation Contributions
    -- -- $1,252,146
    Government Contributions $133,406 $202,094 $99,648
        Federal -- -- --
        State -- -- --
        Local -- -- --
        Unspecified $133,406 $202,094 $99,648
    Individual Contributions $1,457,346 $4,497,546 $2,131,466
    Indirect Public Support -- -- --
    Earned Revenue $3,996,154 $3,334,341 $3,031,865
    Investment Income, Net of Losses $-149,931 $132,829 $725,588
    Membership Dues -- -- --
    Special Events $701,374 $519,420 $555,105
    Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
    Other $92,211 $5,158 $2,990

    Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

    Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
    Program Expense $5,332,031 $4,503,291 $3,919,570
    Administration Expense $880,414 $708,126 $610,811
    Fundraising Expense $630,379 $545,549 $562,845
    Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
    Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.91 1.51 1.53
    Program Expense/Total Expenses 78% 78% 77%
    Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 28% 10% 14%

    Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

    Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
    Total Assets $19,324,304 $20,179,443 $17,275,936
    Current Assets $2,182,044 $4,533,338 $3,536,010
    Long-Term Liabilities -- -- $0
    Current Liabilities $390,900 $633,775 $664,690
    Total Net Assets $18,933,404 $19,545,668 $16,611,246

    Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

    Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
    1st (Source and Amount) -- --
    -- --
    -- --
    2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
    -- --
    -- --
    3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
    -- --
    -- --

    Financial Planning

    Endowment Value $7,484,555.00
    Spending Policy Percentage
    Percentage(If selected) 5.0%
    Credit Line Yes
    Reserve Fund No
    How many months does reserve cover? --

    Capital Campaign

    Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
    Capital Campaign Purpose In 2014, TIOBEC successfully completed an $8.35 capital campaign, with $7.35 million for capital reinvestment needs and $1 million for endowment. Campus modernizations have been in progress since 2012, including safer and more efficient access to the island, restoration of historic buildings, and enhancement of facilities that support educational programs and our hospitality business units. In 2015, we rebuilt the heating infrastructure, allowing for an extended operating season.
    Campaign Goal $8,100,000.00
    Capital Campaign Dates Jan 2012 - Dec 2014
    Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount $8,350,000.00
    Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No

    Short Term Solvency

    Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
    Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 5.58 7.15 5.32

    Long Term Solvency

    Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
    Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

    CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

    In the context of the economic climate of the past several years, the leadership at TIOBEC has taken significant steps to strengthen the organization by enhancing program curriculum and evaluation, refining our business model for operations, and developing a sound organizational strategy. As a result, TIOBEC’s operating results are strong, generating a modest positive cash flow from operations for the past few years.

    Foundation Comments

    Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above is per the organization's audited financials. 


    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?

    Through our youth-serving programs, TIOBEC is aiming to provide Boston inner-city students with challenging and life-altering outdoor experiences that guide them on a journey of self-discovery. We set the stage for young people to explore their possibilities as leaders, problem solvers, and responsible citizens of the global community.

    2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

    Using outdoor activities like sailing, kayaking, and island exploration, TIOBEC programs prepare students for the challenges in life by helping them realize that they are capable of overcoming frustration, failure and defeat. Placing students in a physical environment that is dramatically different from their familiar surroundings opens up the students’ minds to “aha” moments that inspire perseverance and self-discipline.

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

    ·         Our vision: Into 2017, we are updating our strategic plan to develop a vision for the next five years that will refine programmatic and operational strategies. Our focus continues to be service to inner-city youth. We recently completed an $8.35 million capital reinvestment campaign that restored and refurbished island infrastructure and will allow us to expand our work with youth program participants.

    ·         Our team: Senior Leaders, Program Directors, and TIOBEC instructors embrace the Outward Bound philosophy that brings learning alive for students.

    ·         Our safety record: Thompson Island is committed to the relentless pursuit of incident-free programs and makes the safety of all students its priority. Safety is the largest component of instructor training and the first lesson taught to students on course.

    ·         Our partners: Our partnerships with Boston Public Schools and Boston After School and Beyond target our programs at schools where we can be most effective with the young people who are most at risk and most in need. The National Park Service manages the research on Thompson Island and is our partner in engaging young people in scientific learning expeditions. UMass Boston is the lead partner that manages remote-sensing equipment placed throughout the island that allows Connections students to actively engage in science learning back in their school rooms.

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

    For TIOBEC, evaluation is an integral part of program development. Our internal and external evaluation tools give us a clear picture of what we are doing well and areas in need of improvement. At the completion of our youth programs, we rely on student, teacher, parent and group leader confidential surveys and interviews to rate the quality and efficacy of our courses. Based on previous year responses our the results from our outside evaluators, we are making progress towards providing Boston underserved youth with unparalleled educational experiences that have a lasting impact on their lives.

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

    In the wake of completing an $8.35 capital campaign, a significant goal of 2016-2017 is to develop a Strategy Refinement and Business Plan that would guide us for the next five years and reflect our commitment to delivering the best possible programs for our city’s youth. Working with experts Paul Rosenberg from Bridgespan and John Hogan from Value Management Advisors and with extensive input from Thompson Island’s Board and senior staff, the resulting Plan will lay out ways to maximize staff, grow revenue, shore up operational systems and infrastructure,  and provide a competitive pricing analysis for our events business. As part of the Plan, we are also working with pro-bono partners MMB on a re-branding campaign to develop more cohesive messaging across the organization that takes into account our different audiences and includes an expanded media campaign.

    Our program department underwent substantial changes in the last two years as well, most importantly, hiring Nikki Tabron as the Vice President of Education to streamline our youth-serving program offerings. To date, Nikki has already reorganized the program staff and restructured our Summer Expeditions Outward Bound program to be tuition-free and offered exclusively to students from our Connections partner schools.