Mission: NYC Outward Bound Schools transforms schools and changes lives by bringing out the best in New York City's students, teachers and school leaders. We operate a citywide network of public schools in partnership with the City's Department of Education, which primarily target students from underserved neighborhoods. Our educational approach delivers rigor through active, real-world learning, develops character skills, inspires students to serve their communities, and instills in them the grit to overcome challenges. Our graduates succeed in more than just college and careers - they're active citizens who make their communities better for all.

To further extend our impact, we provide a robust set of supports to the students and alumni of our network schools via our To & Through College initiative. We also reach schools outside of our network through our Adventure & Team Building programs and the targeted professional development we offer teachers through our Associate Schools work.

NYC Outward Bound Schools is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 1989, and donations are tax-deductible.

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Contact Information

  http://www.nycoutwardbound.org

 29-46 Northern Boulevard
Long Island City NY 11101  

  718-706-9900


You are viewing this organization's new Charity Navigator profile page. To view the legacy version, click here.

Star Rating System by Charity Navigator


Charity Navigator evaluates a nonprofit organization’s financial health including measures of stability, efficiency and sustainability. We also track accountability and transparency policies to ensure the good governance and integrity of the organization.




Exceptional

This charity's score is 91.00, earning it a 4-Star rating. Donors can "Give with Confidence" to this charity. 

This score is calculated from two sub-scores:

This score represents Form 990 data from 2019, the latest year published by the IRS.

View this organization’s historical ratings.


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Star Rated Report

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Program Expense

Program Expense Ratio

84.2%


The Program Expense Ratio is determined by Program Expenses divided by Total Expense (average of most recent three 990s).


This measure reflects the percent of its total expenses a charity spends on the programs and services it exists to deliver. Dividing a charity's average program expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Administrative Expenses

6.2%


As reported by charities on their IRS Form 990, this measure reflects what percent of its total budget a charity spends on overhead, administrative staff and associated costs, and organizational meetings. Dividing a charity's average administrative expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Fundraising Expenses

9.5%


This measure reflects what a charity spends to raise money. Fundraising expenses can include campaign printing, publicity, mailing, and staffing and costs incurred in soliciting donations, memberships, and grants. Dividing a charity's average fundraising expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Liabilities to Assets Ratio

3.4%


The Liabilities to Assets Ratio is determined by Total Liabilities divided by Total Assets (most recent 990).


Part of our goal in rating the financial performance of charities is to help donors assess the financial capacity and sustainability of a charity. As do organizations in other sectors, charities must be mindful of their management of total liabilites in relation to their total assets. This ratio is an indicator of an organization’s solvency and or long term sustainability. Dividing a charity's total liabilities by its total assets yields this percentage.


Source: IRS Form 990

Fundraising Efficiency

$0.20


The amount spent to raise $1 in charitable contributions. To calculate a charity's fundraising efficiency, we divide its average fundraising expenses by the average total contributions it receives. We calculate the charity's average expenses and average contributions over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Working Capital Ratio

1.70 years


Determines how long a charity could sustain its level of spending using its net available assets, or working capital, as reported on its most recently filed Form 990. We include in a charity's working capital unrestricted and temporarily restricted net assets, and exclude permanently restricted net assets. Dividing these net available assets in the most recent year by a charity's average total expenses, yields the working capital ratio. We calculate the charity's average total expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Program Expense Growth

2.15%


We compute the average annual growth of program expenses using the following formula: [(Yn/Y0)(1/n)]-1, where Y0 is a charity's program expenses in the first year of the interval analyzed, Yn is the charity's program expenses in the most recent year, and n is the interval of years passed between Y0 and Yn.


Source: IRS Form 990

Governance


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990 that the organization has these governance practices in place.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990

Governance:
Independent Voting Board Members  ... (More)
No Material Diversion of Assets ... (More)

A diversion of assets – any unauthorized conversion or use of the organization's assets other than for the organization's authorized purposes, including but not limited to embezzlement or theft – can seriously call into question a charity's financial integrity. We check the charity's last two Forms 990 to see if the charity has reported any diversion of assets. If the charity does report a diversion, then we check to see if it complied with the Form 990 instructions by describing what happened and its corrective action. This metric will be assigned to one of the following categories:

  • Full Credit: There has been no diversion of assets within the last two years.

  • Partial Credit: There has been a diversion of assets within the last two years and the charity has used Schedule O on the Form 990 to explain: the nature of the diversion, the amount of money or property involved and the corrective action taken to address the matter. In this situation, we deduct 7 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
  • No Credit: There has been a diversion of assets within the last two years and the charity's explanation on Schedule O is either non-existent or not sufficient. In this case, we deduct 15 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
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Audited Financials Prepared by Independent Accountant ... (More)

Audited financial statements provide important information about financial accountability and accuracy. They should be prepared by an independent accountant with oversight from an audit committee. (It is not necessary that the audit committee be a separate committee. Often at smaller charities, it falls within the responsibilities of the finance committee or the executive committee.) The committee provides an important oversight layer between the management of the organization, which is responsible for the financial information reported, and the independent accountant, who reviews the financials and issues an opinion based on its findings. We check the charity's Form 990 reporting to see if it meets this criteria.

  • Full Credit: The charity's audited financials were prepared by an independent accountant with an audit oversight committee.

  • Partial Credit: The charity's audited financials were prepared by an independent accountant, but it did not have an audit oversight committee. In this case, we deduct 7 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
  • No Credit: The charity did not have its audited financials prepared by an independent accountant. In this case, we deduct 15 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
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Does Not Provide Loan(s) to or Receive Loan(s) From Related Parties ... (More)
Documents Board Meeting Minutes ... (More)
Distributes 990 to Board Before Filing ... (More)
Compensates Board ... (More)

Policies


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization has these policies in place.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

Policies:
Conflict of Interest  ... (More)
Whistleblower ... (More)
Records Retention and Destruction ... (More)
CEO Compensation Process ... (More)
Donor Privacy ... (More)

Donors have expressed extreme concern about the use of their personal information by charities and the desire to have this information kept confidential. The exchanging and sale of lists for telemarketing and the mass distribution of "junk mail," among other things, can be minimized if the charity assures the privacy of its donors. Privacy policies are assigned to one of the following categories:

  • Yes: This charity has a written donor privacy policy published on its website, which states unambiguously that (1) it will not share or sell a donor's personal information with anyone else, nor send donor mailings on behalf of other organizations or (2) it will only share or sell personal information once the donor has given the charity specific permission to do so.

  • Opt-out: The charity has a written privacy policy published on its website which enables donors to tell the charity to remove their names and contact information from lists the charity shares or sells. How a donor can have themselves removed from a list differs from one charity to the next, but any and all opt-out policies require donors to take specific action to protect their privacy.
  • No: This charity either does not have a written donor privacy policy in place to protect their contributors' personal information, or the existing policy does not meet our criteria.

The privacy policy must be specific to donor information. A general website policy which references "visitor" or "user" personal information will not suffice. A policy that refers to donor information collected on the website is also not sufficient as the policy must be comprehensive and applicable to both online and offline donors. The existence of a privacy policy of any type does not prohibit the charity itself from contacting the donor for informational, educational, or solicitation purposes.

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Transparency


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization makes this information easily accessible.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

Transparency:
CEO Salary Listed on 990 ... (More)
Board of Directors Listed on Website ... (More)
Key Staff Listed on Website ... (More)
Audited Financial Statements on Website ... (More)
Form 990 Available on Website ... (More)

Additional Information

Unscored

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Total Revenue and Expenses

Total Revenue and Expenses

This chart displays the trend of revenue and expenses over the past several years for this organization, as reported on their IRS Form 990.

Salary of Key Persons

Presented here are this organizations key compensated staff members as identified by our analysts. This compensation data includes salary, cash bonuses and expense accounts and is displayed exactly how it is reported to the IRS. The amounts do not include nontaxable benefits, deferred compensation, or other amounts not reported on Form W-2. In some cases, these amounts may include compensation from related organizations. Read the IRS policies for compensation reporting



Richard Stopol, President, CEO

$206,530 (3.08% of Total Expenses)


Current CEO and Board Chair can be found in the Leadership & Adaptability report below.

Source: IRS Form 990 (page 7), filing year 2020

Business Master File Data

Below are some key data points from the Exempt Organization IRS Business Master File (BMF) for this organization. Learn more about the BMF on the IRS website


Activities:

Other instruction and training (BMF activity code: 149)

Combat juvenile delinquency (BMF activity code: 328)


Foundation Status:

Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public   170(b)(1)(A)(vi) (BMF foundation code: 15)


Affiliation:

Independent - the organization is an independent organization or an independent auxiliary (i.e., not affiliated with a National, Regional, or Geographic grouping of organizations). (BMF affiliation code: 3)

Data Sources: IRS Forms 990

The Form 990 is a document that nonprofit organizations file with the IRS annually. We leverage finance and accountability data from it to form Encompass ratings. Click here to view this organization's Forms 990 on the IRS website (if any are available).

Pandemic Response

Due to the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, we give charities such as this one the opportunity to share the story of COVID's impact on them. Charities may submit their own pandemic responses through their nonprofit portal.


NYC Outward Bound Schools reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery

  • Fundraising Capacity


How COVID-19 impacted the organization's operations financially:

We experienced a 28% decrease in funding from both fundraising and program services sources due to COVID-19. Because of the pandemic, we canceled our spring 2020 outdoor programming season – a total of 23 programs in all – resulting in a loss of approximately $500k in revenue. And we had two months to pivot to a virtual gala resulting in a loss of $400K+. We also applied and received the PPP loan and thus were able to employ a full staff.


How COVID-19 impacted the organization's delivery of programs:

We reimagined what school could look like in the remote and hybrid environments, and provided remote support to help teachers develop curriculum that empowered students to make vital connections to the real world and be of service to their communities in a virtual environment. And when social distancing protocols threatened to isolate students from their peers, our schools brought Crew, the organization’s signature advisory program, into the virtual space to ensure that students had a lifeline to their school communities and felt a sense of belonging and purpose. We have not been able to run our overnight adventure programs for students as schools are still not allowed to do trips, but we have created a 1-2 day community bulding and leadership development program for students that take place in nearby parks.


How this organization adapted to changing conditions caused by COVID-19:

We offered virtual programming for the first time and created open-source toolkits for schools addressing critical needs as they arose such as how to create a sense of belonging for all students and project-based learning resources. We launched a data-driven continuous improvement approach to boost achievement levels and close equity gaps for students. this helped us to focus our resources on the areas having the greatest impact.


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

The virtual support we provided the staff of our Network Schools was a success and we will continue to provide that support going forward. It has made it much easier to bring principals, teachers and college counselors together from across our network schools which are in all 5 boroughs of NYC.


Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
11/1/20212019 91.00
12/1/20202019 90.12

This organization received multiple star ratings within this fiscal year, due to an update to it's Accountability and Transparency data and/or the receipt of an amended Form 990.

9/3/20192018 92.77
9/1/20182017 97.26
12/1/20172016 96.82
10/1/20162015 93.89
6/1/20162014 89.14
Rating Version: 2.0
11/1/20152014 84.13
12/22/20142013 82.94
11/1/20132012 84.64
9/1/20122011 90.56
9/20/20112010 94.39
Rating Version: 1.0
10/1/20102009 86.09
11/1/20092008 78.78
12/1/20082007 83.66
11/1/20072006 84.47
12/1/20062005 83.63
1/1/20062004 78.48
10/1/20042003 81.25
11/1/20032002 86.21
10/15/20022000 97.90

...   Impact & Results


This score estimates the actual impact a nonprofit has on the lives of those it serves, and determines whether it is making good use of donor resources to achieve that impact.


Impact & Results Score

Not Currently Scored

NYC Outward Bound Schools cannot currently be evaluated by our Encompass Rating Impact & Results methodology because either (A) it is eligible, but we have not yet received data; (B) we have not yet developed an algorithm to estimate its programmatic impact; (C) its programs are not direct services; or (D) it is not heavily reliant on contributions from individual donors.

Note: The absence of a score does not indicate a positive or negative assessment, it only indicates that we have not yet evaluated the organization.

Learn more about Impact & Results.

Do you work at NYC Outward Bound Schools? Join the waitlist for an updated Impact & Results score.


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Additional Information

Unscored

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Largest Programs

Largest Programs



NYC Outward Bound Schools reported its three largest programs on its FY 2020 Form 990 as:


$3,656,182

Spent in most recent FY

65%

Percent of program expenses


NYC Outward Bound Schools Network We operate a citywide network of public schools that fully embody our educational approach. Our network is mainly comprised of district schools but also includes one  ... (More)


$1,081,517

Spent in most recent FY

19%

Percent of program expenses


Adventure and Team Building Programs Some of the most important lessons are learned outside of the classroom. Drawing upon Outward Bounds nearly 80 years of preeminence in experiential education, NYC  ... (More)


$822,256

Spent in most recent FY

14%

Percent of program expenses


Select Strategies for Schools In addition to operating our network of schools, we also bring the most effective and replicable school-wide structures and classroom practices from our Network Schools t ... (More)


...   Leadership & Adaptability


This score provides an assessment of the organization's leadership capacity, strategic thinking and planning, and ability to innovate or respond to changes in constituent demand/need or other relevant social and economic conditions to achieve the organization's mission.


Leadership & Adaptability Score

100

out of 100

The score earned by NYC Outward Bound Schools is a passing score. This score has no effect on the organization's Star Rating.

Encompass Rating V4 provides an evaluation of the organization's Leadership & Adaptability through the nonprofit organization submitting a survey response directly to Charity Navigator.


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Leadership & Adaptability Report

100

of 100 points

Mission

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s mission


To effect positive and lasting change in the lives of New York Citys young people and their public schools.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s vision.


To prove that transformation and innovation can happen within a public school system, and that with truly equitable schools, all students — regardless of background or circumstance — are capable of achieving at high levels.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Strategic Goals

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking and goal setting through sharing their most important strategic goals.


Goal One: Grow our footprint in the NYC public school system and build our capacity to disseminate.

Goal Type: Grow, expand, scale or increase access to the existing programs and services.


Goal Two: Prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion/strengthen our capacity to work with Black & Brown students.

Goal Type: Focus on core programs to achieve mission and scale back on programs not seen as core.


Goal Three: Adopt an adaptive approach to our work with schools.

Goal Type: New program(s) based on observed changes in needs among our constituencies/communities served.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Leadership Development

The nonprofit provides evidence of investment in leadership development


Describe an investment in leadership

Our Management Team, Great Place to Work Committee, Board's Executive Committee Members participated in several online workshops led by Be the Change Consulting as part of their "Becoming an Antiracist Organization" series. And we followed up on that work by working with Dr.Yolanda Sealey Ruiz (a professor, coach, writer, and parent to NYC public school students) to help us identify ways to gather meaningful data about our organization’s "justice- equity-diversity-inclusion efforts and how to use that data to change both our internal structures and practices and the work we do with our schools. We expanded our Management Team to include mid-level leaders in the organization so that they could learn more about how to manage and lead an organization.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Mobilizing for Mission

The nonprofit provides evidence of leadership through focusing externally and mobilizing resources for the mission.


This organization mobilizes for mission in the following ways:
  • Strategic Partnerships

  • Networks of Collective Impact Efforts

  • Raising Awareness

  • Community Building

  • Policy Advocacy

What are this organization’s external mobilizaton efforts?

We operate a citywide network of public schools in partnership with the NYC Department of Education that fully embody our educational approach and EL Education, a whole-school model with its roots in Outward Bound. We currently have 14 schools in our network and continue to add new schools each year. In addition, in partnership with the NYC Council, we have been able to take the most successful and replicable practices from our schools and adapt them to other schools citywide. We raise awareness through events such as our annual citywide College March which has now been replicated in 14 cities around the country, our gala which we invite both our funders and educational partners to, our social media channels, and press outreach.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Story of Adaptability

The nonprofit has an opportunity to tell the story of how the organization adapted to tremendous external changes in the last year.


Over the past 18 months, we faced the twin challenges of a global pandemic and a racial reckoning, both of which brought into bold relief the deep inequities in our society and demanded that we discover and actualize our best selves. Despite setbacks, NYC Outward Bound Schools brought our special brand of education to more than 16,900 students and 1,290 educators in 59 schools across New York City. Our network of educators and staff creatively pivoted to ensure our students were getting the academic and social-emotional supports they needed. They reimagined high-quality learning experiences in new virtual landscapes and made sure that assignments were relevant and empowering to students. They made space for courageous conversations about race and reminded us of the need to double down on our efforts to disrupt and dismantle the inequities that have, until now, prevented too many of our city’s young people from getting the education they need and deserve. And now that students have returned to in-person learning we have taken what we have learned the past 18 months and are helping our schools and educators reimagine what engaging and equitable classrooms can look like. We are providing student programs and professional development for educators aimed at ensuring all of our students experience an education that supports them to: Have the knowledge and skills to pursue opportunities after high school for further learning and thriving; Have all they need to be socially, emotionally, and academically succeeding; Feel seen, heard, and recognized for their full human-selves; Imagine themselves as agents of change with the tools necessary to be critical of their surrounding world and the knowledge and skills to propose and lead change; Be able to care for, negotiate and secure personal needs and growth as well as that of others; Demonstrate in multiple ways what they can do and who they are, with chances to fail and define/reinvent themselves safely.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Additional Information

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Organization Leadership

Organization Leadership


Richard Stopol

President & CEO

Gifford Miller

Chair

...   Culture & Community


This score provides an assessment of the organization's engagement with the constituents it serves, a practice we term Constituent Feedback. When organizations listen to constituents, they are able to better deliver on programs and meet the needs of stakeholders. A future version of this Beacon will also assess an organization's people operations and its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) metrics.


Culture & Community Score

100

out of 100

The score earned by NYC Outward Bound Schools is a passing score. This score has no effect on the organization's Star Rating.

Encompass Rating V4 provides an evaluation of an organization's Culture and Community by measuring its Constituent Feedback practices (see report below). Constituent Feedback data provides 100% of the basis for the initial evaluation of the Culture & Community Beacon.


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Culture & Community Report

100

of 100 points

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Constituent Feedback

Constituent Feedback

Full Credit


This organization reported that it is collecting feedback.


Here's how this organization is listening and learning from the people they serve:


How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Paper surveys, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees


How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve


With whom does your organization share the feedback you got from the people you serve?

The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners


What challenges does your organization face in collecting feedback from the people you serve?

We don't have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection


Briefly describe a recent change that your organization made in response to feedback from the people you serve.

We used to call our post-secondary work "To & Through College" but based on feedback from students, principal partners, and college counselors we are now hiring a Director of Postsecondary Success and shifting the work to also include other postsecondary pathways for students. Our goal is still to ensure all of our students graduate with a college acceptance in hand and the skills to be successful in college. But many students will still choose not to attend and we want to make sure they are also set up for success.



Methodology


Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations that engage in inclusive practices, such as collecting feedback from the people and communities they serve, may be more effective. We've partnered with GuideStar by Candid to survey organizations about their feedback practices. Nonprofit organizations can fill out the How We Listen section of their Candid profile to receive a rating.


Charity Navigator awards full credit for this Beacon to every nonprofit that is eligible for an Encompass Rating that completes the survey, in recognition of their willingness to publicly share this information with the nonprofit and philanthropic communities. This data is not evaluated for quality at this time. Validation will be added in future iterations of this Beacon.

Analysis and Research


Like the overall Encompass Rating System, the Culture & Community Beacon is designed to evolve as metrics are developed and ready for integration. Our partnership with Feedback Labs and Guidestar by Candid, and other partners including Fund for Shared Insight, GlobalGiving, and Keystone Accountability, enables us to launch the first version of this beacon with Constituent Feedback information collected on Candid's site.


Feedback practices have been shown to support better Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion outcomes, an essential area of assessment that we intend to further expand and develop in the future. Feedback Labs has documented several studies which indicate that beyond achieving organizational goals, nonprofits that are attentive and responsive to concerns and ideas raised by beneficiaries establish stronger relationships with the people they serve, promote greater equity, and empower constituents in ways that can help to ensure better long-term outcomes. You can find resources to help nonprofits improve their feedback practices here.

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