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Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center, Inc.

Rating: 5 stars   1 review 402


Po Box 127 Boston MA 02127 USA


In 1988, the internationally renowned Outward Bound organization brought its traditional wilderness education methodology to Boston's urban youth and public schools. It partnered with Thompson Island Education Center, which had been serving Boston since 1833, and created an Outward Bound center that reaches boys and girls of all ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds at the pivotal middle school age. By guiding them through challenging situations, Thompson Island enables young men and women to develop and embrace self-confidence, teamwork, determination and compassion.

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Reviews for Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center, Inc.

Rating: 5 stars  

Dear Charity Navigator Subscribers:

Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center has demonstrated strong financial performance since beginning implementation of our strategic plan in 2009. Our audited financials show positive cash flow from operations in 2009, 2010 and 2011 and we have no debt. In 2011, annual philanthropic support increased 9% and overall giving grew by 25% when one includes generous early gifts to our capital campaign. Functional expenses on youth programs grew 8%. Earned revenue including our enterprise and professional business lines grew by 25%. General and administrative expenses were 11% of total expenses.

It is unfortunate that Charity Navigator’s rating system places enormous weight on “primary revenue growth” and “program expense growth”. Thompson Island’s growth is evaluated over a period going back to 2008, prior to the reorganization and downsizing which resulted in a dramatically more cost effective program model and produced the financial performance noted above.

While our reorganization has been a striking success, we lose 20 points for having negative growth compared to 2008. By contrast, from 2010 to 2011, “primary revenue growth” was 12% (excluding capital campaign revenue) and “program expense growth” was 7%. If these growth figures and our other 2011 financial metrics are applied to Charity Navigator’s rating system, Thompson Island earns a 3-star financial rating.

William L. Elcock
Volunteer Trustee, Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee, Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center.
Chief Executive Officer, Batterymarch Financial Management, Inc.

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