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Waypoint Adventure

 453 Concord Avenue
 Lexington, MA 02421
[P] (781) 3257980
[F] --
Dan Minnich
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 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 27-3045996

LAST UPDATED: 01/04/2019
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No


Mission StatementMORE »

Waypoint's mission is to challenge people with disabilities to discover their purpose, talents and strengths through the transforming power of adventure. 

Mission Statement

Waypoint's mission is to challenge people with disabilities to discover their purpose, talents and strengths through the transforming power of adventure. 

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2018 to Dec 31, 2018
Projected Income $545,000.00
Projected Expense $605,010.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Open Enrollment and Custom Adventure Programs

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

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


Mission Statement

Waypoint's mission is to challenge people with disabilities to discover their purpose, talents and strengths through the transforming power of adventure. 

Background Statement

Founded in 2010, Waypoint Adventure has been recognized by the Social Innovation Forum as one of the most effective non-profits in Eastern Massachusetts.  Waypoint’s leadership team has received training in outdoor leadership through the following institutions: University of New Hampshire Outdoor Education Program, Montreat College Outdoor Education, SOLO Wilderness Medical School, National Outdoor Leadership School, Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics and the American Canoe Association.

Waypoint implements programs in two formats.  We call them “open enrollment programs” and “custom programs.” 

Open enrollment programs gather individuals from the community around a challenge such as summiting a mountain, rock climbing or kayaking. Open enrollment programs are usually one-day events and are open to anyone from the general public.

Waypoint’s custom programs are collaborative efforts with schools such as Boston Public Schools and Perkins School for the Blind, social service agencies such as those serving people with brain injuries, youth and adults on the autism spectrum, those with Down syndrome and/or who are born profoundly hard of hearing or deaf.  We collaborate with teachers and social workers to design a curriculum that supports the social, character and community goals they are already working on.

Custom programs may be one-time or a series of weekly, monthly or seasonal events. These sequential programs allow us to develop relationships and increase opportunities for the challenge of the activities and support of the community to truly transform participants’ views of themselves, their abilities and their relationships within their community.

Impact Statement

In 2017 Waypoint led 128 adventure education programs and served 1,145 people. Participants joined programs which were open to the general public as well as custom-designed programs for organizations including:

  • Perkins School for the Blind
  • Boston University Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation
  • Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation
  • Boston Public Schools
  • Cotting School
  • Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital 
In 2018 Waypoint's goals include:
  • Increasing the number of people served by a minimum of 10%
  • Reporting on program outcomes
  • Building organizational infrastructure (i.e. capital investments to increase and diversify adaptive equipment, professional development opportunities for staff)
  • Increasing the percentage of annual revenue that comes from individual donations
  • Developing new program models (canoeing, disability specific cohorts, social groups for same age peers to participate in adventures together, etc.)   

Needs Statement

Volunteer support for programs is needed on weekdays, weeknights, and/or weekends.  
Capital purchases: 
Fleet of canoes - $10,000 
Additional adaptive seats for kayaks and canoes - $2,000 
Day packs for hiking and snowshoeing trips - $800

CEO Statement

Thank you for taking time to view Waypoint's profile!

Other than joining us for an adventure, one of the best ways to understand the "flavor" of a Waypoint program is to hear from someone else who participates and volunteers. On a recent rock-climbing program 14 individuals with a variety of disabilities joined us. The following letter was written by one of Waypoint’s volunteers afterwards and is his perspective on why Waypoint programs are unique.

“Ok, it’s a little odd: seeing a paraplegic pulling himself up a rock-climbing wall without the use of his legs, or an amputee with a hockey puck screwed to the bottom of her prosthetic climbing leg for traction. But here are the facts – these two climbers are veterans of many challenging climbs - on the wall and in life. Each is here today to help first time climbers discover what it means to be capable and to conquer a challenge. 

When you’ve been told all your life that you are limited, disabled or incapable it’s easy to believe that you are helpless. That’s what we’re fighting – the sense of learned helplessness. 

Here’s an interesting fact: neuroscience reports that exercise provides an unparalleled stimulus, creating an environment in which the brain is ready, willing and able to learn. So when a Waypoint Adventurer is flushed with exhilaration and exercise he is most ready to learn new concepts. This is where Waypoint does its real work; in an open mind ready to accept a new concept or a new self-image.

Many programs offer ‘adaptive’ experiences - a boat ride or ski run – and those are great days. Waypoint is different. We use adventure to teach school codes: safety, respect and responsibility or program specific themes such as teamwork, support or challenge. Every Waypoint adventure emphasizes the power and beauty of nature.

When participants leave a Waypoint adventure, they have felt the exhilaration of success; their muscles are worked, their heart rates elevated. Their brains have been challenged and they have learned new skills. Yes, technical skills, but also relationship skills, social skills and confidence skills.  Most of all, they are strongly motivated to try new adventures - on the climbing wall and in life. So when you support Waypoint, you may change a life, start a career, or empower a big step toward independence and ability.”

I'd love have you consider joining us for an adventure! Please give me a call if you are interested. 
Dan Minnich 
Co-Founder, Co-Executive Director 

Board Chair Statement


Geographic Area Served

Greater Boston Region-All Neighborhoods
Massachusetts-All Regions
Waypoint Adventure facilitates programs primarily within the metro Boston area but also offers programs in western Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. As we work with diverse groups, we choose from a variety of program locations to specifically meet the needs of each client. Waypoint does not own an outdoor facility but makes use of both public and private property for its programs. This model not only allows participants to experience the exciting range of New England’s natural resources but enables them to return to local green-space after a Waypoint adventure.

Organization Categories

  1. Education - Educational Services
  2. Recreation & Sports - Physical Fitness/Community Recreational Facilities
  3. Human Services - Children's and Youth Services

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



Open Enrollment and Custom Adventure Programs

Waypoint implements programs in two formats. We call them “open enrollment” and “custom” programs. Regardless of whether Waypoint programs are open to the general public or custom-designed for a group, programs always focus on a theme – building community, challenging oneself, the importance of asking for and giving help and support, appreciation of nature and others.

Waypoint’s custom programs are collaborative efforts with schools such as Boston Public Schools and Perkins School for the Blind or social service agencies serving people with all types of disabilities. We collaborate with teachers and social workers to design curriculua that support specific themes such as social, character and community goals.

Budget  800-1300 day
Category  Human Services, General/Other Services for Individuals with Disabilities
Population Served People/Families with of People with Physical Disabilities People/Families with People of Developmental Disabilities People/Families with of People with Disabilities
Program Short-Term Success 

The challenges faced and the support discovered on Waypoint programs transform people’s views of themselves and their abilities. Individuals walk away from our programs with their heads high and a new realization of their strengths and abilities, thus becoming more self-determined, contributing members of the community.

Program Long-Term Success 

One example of a longitudinal study was conducted by a Gordon College research student to determine the impact of a 12 week Waypoint program at the Mario Umana Academy in East Boston. Her research determined that the repetition, consistency and relationships built through a series of teambuilding and adventure programs increased students' positive social behavior and confidence. We believe in evidence-based research and plan to continue to use the measurement techniques listed above to help us create the most effective programs possible.

Program Success Monitored By 

Program evaluation methods include:

·                     Pre- and Post-Evaluation

·                     Post-program surveys

·                     Staff observations

·                     Individual interviews

·                     Meta-cognitive strategies (i.e. Facilitated Debrief)

Examples of Program Success  See long-term success.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments



CEO/Executive Director Mr. Dan Minnich
CEO Term Start July 2010
CEO Email
CEO Experience Dan received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Outdoor Education from the University of New Hampshire and is a Certified Wilderness First Responder. Prior to founding Waypoint, Dan trained and served with the International Alert Academy - specializing in disaster relief and emergency medical services and worked as a Program Coordinator for Outdoor Explorations in Medford, MA. Dan and his wife, Merri, have two boys and a daughter and enjoy hiking, canoeing and exploring together. 
Co-CEO Mr. Adam Combs M.Ed.
Co-CEO Term Start July 2010
Co-CEO Email
Co-CEO Experience Adam holds a Master's Degree in Special Education from Appalachian State University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Outdoor Education from Montreat College in Black Mountain, NC. Prior to founding Waypoint, Adam spent three years serving as the Associate Program Director at River's Way Outdoor Adventure Center in Tennessee and two years as a Senior Program Coordinator for OUtdoor Explorations in Medford, MA. In his free time you can find Adam, his wife and two boys on the beach, on the rock or in the garden. 

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --


Award Awarding Organization Year
Social Innovator Social Innovation Forum 2015


Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --



CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 3
Number of Part Time Staff 1
Number of Volunteers 35
Number of Contract Staff 1
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

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

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Business Continuity of Operations Plan --
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Under Development
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit --
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions


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. Jeff Alderson
Board Chair Company Affiliation MathWorks
Board Chair Term July 2014 -
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Jeff Alderson Eduventures Software Voting
Ellen S. Cohn ScD, OTR/L, FAOTA Boston University, Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Voting
Adam Combs Assistant Director / Co-Founder Waypoint Adventure Voting
Deborah "Dubs" Dickey Healthcare Professional Voting
Charles Gould Esq. Attorney Voting
Joseph Hardy Central Rock Gym Voting
Bill Levin President, Levin Realty Group, LLC Voting
Dan Minnich Executive Director / Co-founder Waypoint Adventure Voting
Jessica Solomon MD Boston Children's Hospital Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Richard Helstein Kraft General Foods NonVoting
Michael Landers Morgan Stanley Smith Barney NonVoting
Benjamin Marcus Ph.D. Suffolk University NonVoting
Martin West Ph.D. Harvard University NonVoting

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 7
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 1
Male: 6
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths --
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % 90%
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 70%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2018 to Dec 31, 2018
Projected Income $545,000.00
Projected Expense $605,010.00
Form 990s

2016 990

2015 990

2014 990

2013 990

2012 990

2011 990

Audit Documents

2017 Audited Financials

2016 Reviewed Financials

2015 Reviewed Financials

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Revenue $416,244 $356,491 $359,777
Total Expenses $404,771 $344,136 $260,964

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- $103,334 $147,733
Government Contributions $0 $0 $7,343
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- $7,343
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $313,348 $173,087 $138,821
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $90,660 $80,030 $65,837
Investment Income, Net of Losses $32 $40 $43
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $12,204 -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Program Expense $235,293 $233,756 $188,030
Administration Expense $118,106 $105,105 $67,380
Fundraising Expense $51,372 $5,275 $5,554
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.03 1.04 1.38
Program Expense/Total Expenses 58% 68% 72%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 16% 2% 2%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Assets $306,934 $296,477 $282,664
Current Assets $287,528 $277,071 $260,149
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 --
Current Liabilities $1,999 $3,015 $1,557
Total Net Assets $304,935 $293,462 $281,107

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy N/A
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
Waypoint has not yet conducted a capital campaign but hopes to launch one by 2023.  It will likely aim to create an endowment to:
1. provide scholarships for those who cannot afford the modest program fees;
2. expand programs to more schools, hospitals, group homes and social service agencies;
3. purchase new and replacement equipment.
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates Jan 2023 - Dec 2028
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 143.84 91.90 167.08

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Waypoint's projected total expense in 2018 includes $60,000 for one-time equipment purchases using some of the operational surpluses generated in 2015, 2016 and 2017. We hope to raise additional funds to purchase these items (including a pick-up truck and canoes) so we don't have to use $60,000 of our cash reserves. The above and attached 2018 budget projections offer a worst-case scenario (i.e. buying the equipment without having raised additional funds to cover the expense). However, it bears emphasis that Waypoint has never spent more than it raised during any given year. We hope to continue that discipline and purchase the necessary equipment when we can afford to do so.

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above are per the organization's IRS Form 990s. Contributions from foundations and corporation 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?

Waypoint's goal is to make adventure education accessible to people with disabilities. Adventure education has proven to be an effective tool for helping youth and adults without disabilities achieve their goals.
We believe that... if people with disabilities participate in adventure-based challenges in the context of a 'just right' environment, then they will have an increased belief in their ability to face and overcome challenges and increased willingness to practice emerging skills in a 'just right' adventure environment. 
We believe that... if people with disabilities increase their belief in their ability to face challenges and practice emerging skills in a challenging environment, then people with disabilities will increase their self-efficacy to face and overcome challenges and work toward difficult goals in other contexts.
We believe that if people with disabilities increase their self-efficacy for overcoming challenges and working toward goals in a variety of contexts,  then they will be more willing to undertake new, unfamiliar, or difficult activities and increase their participation in recreation, education, employment, and the community.
This will result in increased participation in recreation and physical activity, increased graduation rates, increased employment, increased social engagement and improved health and wellness.  

2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

To accomplish the impact listed above, Waypoint uses the following strategy. 

Waypoint facilitates the following adventure types: 

  • Kayaking
  • Hiking
  • Backpacking
  • Rock-climbing
  • Snowshoeing
  • Ropes Courses
  • Team-building
 Waypoint offers programs in the following formats:
  • Open to the general public
  • Custom-designed for schools and social service agencies
All programs incorporate specific curriculum ingredients: 
  • Community 
  • Access
  • Preparation 
The outcomes from these strategies are:
  • Increased sense of belonging and social support from peers and Waypoint leaders
  • Successfully demonstrate emerging skills in areas such as communication, self-regulation, or problem-solving that are meaningful and individualized to a person and that support increased independence and function
  • Increased sense of self-esteem: one's inherent sense of worth and value to the self and the world
  • Increased self-efficacy: belief in one's abilities to complete a task or reach a goal

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

Availability of indoor and outdoor recreation facilities in the Boston Metropolitan area and greater New England.

Relationships with schools and social service agencies that provide services and support to youth with disabilities.

Staff and volunteers trained in experiential learning and special education.

Special equipment (e.g., off road wheelchairs, adaptive rock climbing systems).

Adventure Education Curriculum.

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

Through collaboration with the Social Innovation Forum, Public Service Economics and the Boston University Occupational Therapy Dept. we have identified four, evidence-based, outcomes areas in which Waypoint programs provide a significant impact. These outcome areas are:

  • sense of belonging
  • self-esteem
  • self-efficacy
  • emerging skills

Researchers have reported that people with disabilities often feel as if they don’t belong, have a low self-esteem, lack self-efficacy and are often working on skills that support independence and function.

We are now using a Likert scale survey to collect self-reported data from participants after Waypoint programs. We have surveyed over 200 people who have participated in a Waypoint program.

Following an experience on a Waypoint program:

  • 91% report feeling a sense of belonging in a Waypoint group
  • 85% report a feeling of high self-esteem
  • 83% report a high feeling of self-efficacy
  • 90% report having developed a new skill
We also asked participants open-ended questions. Common responses include:
  • What they valued - making new friends, learning how to get back in a boat when I flip over, learning teamwork
  • Advice they would give others - trust your abilities, challenge yourself, don’t be afraid, help each other
  • What they would change - nothing, kayak longer, bring a friend next time

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

Waypoint is in year two of a five-year strategic plan. Our program goal during this time is to be broadly recognized as a leader in the field of adventure education and programming for people with disabilities. Objectives include:
  • Implement systems of evaluation, data collection and reporting for all programs and engage third-party evaluators and thought-leaders for regular program assessment. 
  • Obtain accreditation through the Association for Experiential Education. 
  • Increase annual program capacity from 800 to 2,000 participants. 
  • Opportunistically, multiplying our impact and increasing revenue by developing and executing "Waypoint Training" with partner organizations.