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Travis Roy Foundation

 75 State Street
 Boston, MA 02109
[P] (617) 227-0781
[F] --
Marge Oppold
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 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-3327883

LAST UPDATED: 05/03/2017
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No


Mission StatementMORE »

The Travis Roy Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the life of individuals with spinal cord injuries and their families by providing adaptive equipment and to finding a cure through increased funding of research, resulting in self-reliance and the ability to be as independent as possible.

Mission Statement

The Travis Roy Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the life of individuals with spinal cord injuries and their families by providing adaptive equipment and to finding a cure through increased funding of research, resulting in self-reliance and the ability to be as independent as possible.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Oct 01, 2016 to Sept 30, 2017
Projected Income $900,000.00
Projected Expense $100,000.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • TRF Individual Grant Program

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

The Travis Roy Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the life of individuals with spinal cord injuries and their families by providing adaptive equipment and to finding a cure through increased funding of research, resulting in self-reliance and the ability to be as independent as possible.

Background Statement

The Travis Roy Foundation was started in 1997 by Travis Roy and his family to raise money and awareness for other quadriplegics and paraplegics and to research for a cure. Travis Roy received an outpouring of public support after a freak paralyzing injury playing ice hockey in his first varsity game for the then NCAA champions Boston University Terriers.  In an effort to give back Travis created a fully recognized section 501(c )(3) tax exempt charitable entity to raise money for others. The organization is fully recognized as a publicly supported section 170(b)(1)(A) charity eligible for corporate and foundation grants.

Funds raised by the Foundation are used (1) to support grants for adaptive equipment, renovations, computers and other means to allow spinal cord injured survivors move on with their lives and (2) to support research for a cure.  

The Foundation is overseen by ten trustees all of whom support the Foundation with time and energy.  The trustees are Travis Roy, Lee Roy, Brenda Roy, Dan Ronan, Benton Burgess, Steve McLaughlin, Keith VanOrden, John Butterworth, Tobe Berkovitz, Ed Farrington and Arthur Page.  Most of the administrative services are provided pro bono by a Boston legal and fiduciary firm, Hemenway and Barnes, and the Foundation’s Executive Director, Marge Oppold, serves with an annual stipend of $25,000.

Since 1997 the Foundation has raised and given away over $5 million to needy individuals and for research.  Individual grants are made typically on a quarterly basis; research grants are awarded on a multi-year basis subject to annual review.

All funds raised are custodied and accounted for through the Hemenway and Barnes Trust Department and the Foundation undergoes an annual audit by an independent accounting firm.

Impact Statement

Our impact has been the support and help we have provided to over 900 individuals that allow them to live a more independent life and to help their families with the financial strain. Travis understands firsthand what can be done when you have the appropriate equipment, and takes great pride in knowing the TRF is helping other spinal cord injured survivors.

We couldn’t say it better than David did, "I received my new ultralightwieght wheelchair today and I just can’t thank you enough for allowing me to keep my independence.  It has been along time since a smile that big has been on my face, and thanks to you I can keep up with the best of them.  As I stroll down the road I enjoy my freedom, and the outside world and now I have the wheelchair to do it all in style.  You are no doubt my angel, and as far as I know I can’t thank you enough for how grateful I am that there was someone like me out there to understand my situation.”

Since 1997 the Travis Roy Foundation has helped over 1400 people just like David and the only way to move forward is to increase funding.

Our future goal is to provide more awareness and more fundraising to help other individuals live more productive lives.  2017 was the 20th anniversary of the Travis Roy Foundation and we have come a long way since the inception. We hope you will continue the journey with us.

Needs Statement

Our ongoing needs are:

1)    Volunteer support. The TRF is supported by our fabulous volunteers. We depend on the volunteers talent and commitment to help run the day-to-day activities of the Foundation – from data entry, writing, media relations and more.

2)    Fundraising.. Our goal to support SCI survivors and research is dependent on our ability to inspire others to fundraise and spread awareness of the Foundation. With no staff, we rely upon every day people in the community for the greater part of our fundraising efforts to maximize cost effectiveness.

3)    Increase the number of people receiving annual individual grants.


CEO Statement

The strength of the Travis Roy Foundation lies in the fact that we are a family-based, grassroots organization, made up of a volunteer board and staff.  We are grateful for the everyday people who are inspired to initiate fundraisers which benefit our cause. Annual fundraising events include The Travis Roy Foundation Wiffle Ball Tournament, the Spring Fling Gala, Charity Beanpot Challenge and our Annual Appeal.

When I review the applications we receive from spinal cord injured survivors, I am overwhelmed by their basic needs for adaptive equipment: an automatic page-turner for a child learning to read; a ramp into a woman's life-long home so that she can leave the nursing home; a power wheelchair allowing someone to go back to college or work.  Having the right equipment not only helps the recipient become more independent and productive, but also relieves some of the physical and emotional strain on the loved ones who care for them.
The second priority of the TRF is to fund critical spinal cord research for it is only through extensive research that a cure will be found.  Finding a cure has taken longer than I hoped, but we can not give up on the pursuit of a breakthrough.
The TRF is uniquely positioned to touch individual lives with its focus on providing adaptive equipment and funding important research toward a cure.  We are very grateful to our volunteers and for the continued support of our donors.  One day we will find a cure, but, in the meantime, we provide a ray of hope and relief for those living with spinal cord injuries. 
-- Travis Roy, Founder

Board Chair Statement

The Travis Roy Foundation is about helping others move forward. There are 10,000 serious spinal cord injuries each year in this country. There is no government safety net for the paralyzed survivors of those injuries. The Travis Roy Foundation is uniquely positioned to help individuals living with paralysis deal with their daily activities and to support research to allow them greater movement and function.

Our founder and leader, Travis Roy, is a paralyzed survivor of a freak accident. Yet he inspires those around him with his commitment to enjoy his life and to help others.

We are a grass roots organization. Our main support comes from volunteers and individual fundraisers, and not, as of yet, from Hollywood galas or the titans of industry or Wall Street.  Following the lead of Travis and his family, we are also about fun—Have Fun, Do Good­-­­--it is part of our New England tradition to enjoy being part of the greater community and to giving back. 

"It alters your angle of regard to know there is in fact, a family of man. To know the generous side of human nature, the fine, unselfish side, is around us all the time, waiting to emerge when the need is truly there." - Travis Roy

-- Arthur Page, Board Chair

Geographic Area Served


Organization Categories

  1. Human Services - Fund Raising & Fund Distribution
  2. -
  3. -

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



TRF Individual Grant Program

TRF provides personalized assistance for individuals living with spinal cord injuries. Most people who apply for TRF grants do so because they have no where else to turn. While researchers are still searching for answers in this field, the TRF Individual Grant Program is the ready answer for individuals whose day to day challenges we can address now.  Through much needed direct funding assistance for unique adaptive equipment or strategic home or vehicle modifications, we help provide individuals with increased personal mobility and the self-reliance needed for greater personal independence. TRF is distinctively able to influence and provide, often for the first time, the ability for individuals to conquer barriers previously impenetrable, regain connections and ties with family, as well as continue to improve their livelihoods. At TRF, we believe that with the right adaptive equipment, people with paralysis cannot only become more independent, but can live incredibly productive lives.

Budget  350,000
Category  None of the above
Population Served US
Program Short-Term Success 

For someone with a spinal cord injury, having the right wheelchair or proper home and vehicle modifications can mean the difference between feeling helplessly insufficient and being independent. Our Founder and President, Travis Roy, understands this first-hand and is able to use his own personal experiences to assist with the needs of our grant applicants. Individual grants are awarded nationally on a quarterly basis. Anyone living with paralysis due to a spinal cord injury is eligible to submit an application. Since 1997, TRF has awarded more than $2.6 million in grants for adaptive equipment or vehicle and home modifications to over 725 spinal cord injured survivors across the United States. During our most recent application cycle in June, 2012, we awarded $100,000 in grants to 40 individuals with spinal cord injuries.  

Program Long-Term Success 

It is impossible to prepare for life’s tragedies. At TRF, we understand that a catastrophic accident affects not only the injured, but also their family, both emotionally and financially. We provide independence for the injured, relief for their family and hope for all. Our goals are to: 1) Increase the number of grants we award each year. 2) Alleviate the hardship experienced by injured individuals and their families. 3) Increase national visibility of TRF, highlighting our grant opportunities.

Program Success Monitored By 

The way we measure success is three-fold. First, our success is measured by the number of grants we are able to award each year. It is our goal to continually increase the amount of people we help. Second, we gauge our program’s success on the positive feedback we receive from our grantee recipients, who share with us their insight as to how a TRF grant has improved their life. Finally, we track the visibility and accessibility of our program, with success based on the number of applicants we receive each quarter. 

Examples of Program Success 

After spending six years living in a handicap accessible apartment, Midge was finally able to move back into her own home. A grant she received from TRF helped her build a ramp, giving her access to her home for the first time since her accident that caused her C-5 spinal cord injury. Stories like Midge’s remind us how important and successful our individual grant program has become.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments



CEO/Executive Director Mrs. Margaret C Oppold
CEO Term Start Nov 2009
CEO Email
CEO Experience

Marge Oppold has been Executive Director of the Travis Roy Foundation for the past 8 years after first volunteering for 8 years as Tournament Director of the Foundation’s Wiffle Ball Tournament. As ED, she directs the Foundation’s operations and management.

In her career, Marge was Vermont’s Walk Manager for NAMI successfully executing their first walkathon.  Prior to that she spent 23 years at IBM’s Semiconductor Division as the Event Marketing Manager, leading the strategy, planning and communications efforts around the world.

Since joining the Travis Roy Foundation, Marge has volunteered her time, bringing business and marketing experience to her role leading the Foundation.    

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

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Mrs. Lisa Kielt -- Lisa has deep experience providing strategic operational, communications, public affairs, and fundraising counsel to a mosaic of nonprofit sectors, including medical research, pediatric health, education and social services environments


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


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

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --



CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Since becoming the first Executive Director of the Travis Roy Foundation back in 2009, my work has been extremely satisfying and valuable both to the SCI community and to me personally. Getting to know Travis, his family, our board, and all the wonderful volunteers I can say with all sincerity that it has changed my life.  

Running a non-profit requires passion and hard work. We must continue to insipire fundraising and awareness to ensure our programs are successful.

We build on our relationships with volunteers and supporters educating and inspiring them through stories and videos of our grantees. We give them a personal fundraising page to help them raise money and we connect them to the impact they make through thank you letters from grantees as well as Travis.

The bottom line is I am helping change lives and that is my reward.  Join me, together we can Help Others Move Forward

-- Marge Oppold, Executive Director

Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 1
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 15
Number of Contract Staff 1
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

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

Plans & Policies

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

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A


Board Chair Mr. Arthur B. Page
Board Chair Company Affiliation Hemenway & Barnes, LLP
Board Chair Term Jan 1997 - Dec 2025
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Mr. Tobe Berkovitz Boston University --
Mr. Benton Burgess Cadence Design System Voting
Mr. John Butterworth CBRE Voting
Mr. Edward Farrington Natixis --
Mr. Stephen M. McLaughlin . Voting
Mr. Arthur B. Page Hemenway & Barnes, LLP Voting
Mr. Dan Ronan BYN Mellon Wealth Management Voting
Mrs. Brenda Roy Retired Voting
Mr. Lee Roy Retired Voting
Mr. Travis Roy Founder, Travis Roy Foundation Voting
Mr. Keith VanOrden Blackrock 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: 10
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 1
Male: 9
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths --
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % 99%
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions --
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees


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 $672,164 $1,010,110 $830,837
Total Expenses $675,203 $882,933 $669,927

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $489,046 $846,166 $710,831
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue -- -- --
Investment Income, Net of Losses $11,923 $15,197 $2,692
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $171,195 $148,747 $117,314
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Program Expense $571,937 $754,492 $568,196
Administration Expense $57,604 $60,428 $44,940
Fundraising Expense $45,662 $68,013 $56,791
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.00 1.14 1.24
Program Expense/Total Expenses 85% 85% 85%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 7% 7% 7%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Assets $1,191,989 $1,230,629 $986,838
Current Assets $736,030 $846,733 $716,662
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $173,718 $193,463 $108,113
Total Net Assets $1,018,271 $1,037,166 $878,725

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 $350,000.00
Spending Policy Income Only
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? --

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? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 4.24 4.38 6.63

Long Term Solvency

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

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above are per the organization's IRS Form 990s. Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently 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?


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?


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


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


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