PLATINUM2023

Warriors & Quiet Waters Foundation

Equipped to Thrive.

aka WQW, Warriors and Quiet Waters Foundation   |   Bozeman, MT   |  wqwf.org

Mission

Warriors & Quiet Waters guides post 9/11 combat veterans and their loved ones to thrive and find peace, meaning, and purpose through fly fishing and other inspirational activities in nature.

Notes from the nonprofit

OUR VISION Thriving veterans contribute to thriving communities with means a better future for all of us.

Ruling year info

2007

Chief Executive Officer

Brian Gilman, Colonel, USMC (Ret.)

Main address

351 Evergreen Drive, STE A

Bozeman, MT 59715 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

20-8837637

NTEE code info

Health - General and Rehabilitative N.E.C. (E99)

Single Organization Support (E11)

Other Mental Health, Crisis Intervention N.E.C. (F99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

WQW recognizes that the nation's post-9/11 combat veterans are facing unprecedented medical and reintegration challenges. The wounds of war, visible and invisible, can be lasting and veterans will need decades of support. By serving as an intervention, a WQW Fishing Experience provides veterans and military caregivers with the opportunity to connect with their fellows who experience similar challenges in their daily lives. Such a connection can provide hope for a better future.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Solo Fishing Experience

All WQW programs are based in Bozeman, Montana. During a participant's first WQW Fishing Experience (FX) they are outfitted with a suite of fly fishing equipment to keep including and not limited to waders, rods, reels, rain gear, etc. Participants stay in an ADA-accessible home where volunteer "moms" provide homemade meals.

Each warrior has the support of his/her own professional guide and a volunteer companion for the week. They experience a variety of fishing, contingent on Montana's weather conditions. This includes float trips down rivers and private ponds or walk and wade trips along streams and creeks.

Experiences are offered at no cost to the participant. WQW covers all expenses including: air and ground travel, comfortable accommodations, meals, equipment, and guided fishing.

Population(s) Served
Veterans
Military personnel

For those who have demonstrated a commitment to creating positive change in their life and community, alumni of WQW's Solo Fishing Experience can return with their spouses if on a Couples FX.  The spouses receive personalized fly-fishing instruction and the complete fishing gear package as well. The weeklong activities are similar to the Solo Fishing Experience but is focused on providing couples with the space to connect with one another as well as with fellow couples who understand the unique challenge of a relationship after or between deployments.

Population(s) Served
Veterans
Caregivers

The Coaching Experience was designed to provide long-term support and engagement to WQW alumni with the support of a professional leadership coach. This program model supports alumni in accomplishing a meaningful personal or professional goal over the course of one year. Each month for twelve months, warriors work closely with their professional coaches. Coaches assist by facilitating conversations and asking questions that help to hold warriors accountable while supporting the participant in achieving an ambitious personal or professional goal.

Population(s) Served

Utilizing the traditional Solo FX model, but participants must be female post-9/11 combat veterans. All qualification criteria remains the same as a Solo Fishing Experience.

Population(s) Served
Veterans
Women and girls

The Military Caregiver FX utilizes the traditional program model of the Solo FX, but adapts it for military caregivers. WQW recognizes that the role of a caregiver is emotionally and physically exhausting. A caregiver FX serves the caregiver by providing a 6-day respite from the rigorous demands of their daily life. The Caregiver FX was developed in an effort to fill a significant gap in national services that offer respite programs specifically for caregivers.

Population(s) Served
Veterans
Caregivers

The Overnight River FX immerses six Warrior Alumni on Montana's majestic blue ribbon waters during a 4-day, 3-night float and fly-fishing trip. The Overnight River Fishing Experience (FX):
1. Provides Warriors with respite from stress and anxiety;
2. Connects Warriors to nature in a meaningful way;
3. Helps Warriors experience a renewed sense of purpose;
4. Reduces isolation by connecting Warriors to WQW's community of Alumni, Volunteers and staff.

Population(s) Served
Veterans
Veterans

The Ice Fishing Experience takes place in North Eastern Montana in a physically challenging environment where alumni Warriors must utilize survival and navigational skills that many have not readily used since their military service.

Population(s) Served

Warriors & Quiet Waters Foundation partners with the COMMIT Foundation to facilitate purpose and values-driven workshops that assist high-performing service members in identifying and curating a meaningful life after military service.

Population(s) Served
Veterans
Veterans

Where we work

Awards

Veteran Ready Organization 2018

PsychArmor Institute

Top-Rated Nonprofit 2020

Great Nonprofits

Affiliations & memberships

America's Warrior Partnership: Four Star Alliance 2018

Better Business Bureau Northwest Torch Award for Ethics 2019

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of post-9/11 combat veterans, spouses, and military caregivers who have access to therapeutic outdoor recreation

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Veterans, Caregivers, Families

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Since WQW's inception in 2007, we have served more than 1,000 post-9/11 combat veterans, spouses and caregivers. Due to COVID-19, the number of 2020 participants was limited.

Number of evaluations conducted

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Veterans, Caregivers

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Since 2016, every FX (Fishing Experience) was evaluated by an experience survey to all participants and volunteers, as well as an effectiveness survey by participants, both before and after the FX.

Number of programs documented

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Veterans, Caregivers, Children and youth

Related Program

Solo Fishing Experience

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Since our inception in 2007, WQW has increased the number of programs available each year until 2020, when COVID-19 required us to cancel programs. Beginning in 2022, we will host 31 programs!

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Veterans, Caregivers, Families

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

WQW relies heavily on volunteers for our success. In a normal year, this saves the organization over $239K. Due to state COVID limitations, WQW was forced to reduced the number of volunteers.

Number of new programs/program sites

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Veterans, Families, Caregivers

Related Program

Military Caregiver Fishing Experience

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Due to COVID-19, WQW launched a virtual Fishing Experience. In 2021, we will start 2 Family Programs, and 2 Conservation Programs, as well as 3 additional Solo FXs.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Short-Term Outcomes
- Improved Mood (priority)
- Enhanced Camaraderie (priority)
- Greater Trust (secondary)
- Deeper Desire for Change (secondary)
- Better Management of Physical Limits (secondary)

Long-Term Outcomes
- Better Mental Health (greater emotional stability and resilience)
- Higher Employment (livable wage employment)
- Healthier Relationships (socially embedded and secure)
- Greater Sense of Purpose (confident, secure leaders)

Screening and Recruitment: WQW staff members actively promote the program with partner nonprofits and agencies that serve veterans. They also seek referrals from former participants and receive on-line and phone inquiries from interested individuals. WQW serves post-9/11 veterans experiencing invisible or visible wounds as a direct result of combat experience; who are experiencing life challenges, and who are determined to make positive change in their life. WQW serves active duty, separated, and retired service members.

The time spent with WQW is a powerful intervention for warrior participants that interrupts negative patterns of thinking, improves participants' mood, and enhances their motivation to make positive changes. At the end of the week, participants return home with expanded social networks and greater interpersonal connection and support. The five short-term outcomes that are expected to result from the program are classified into priority and secondary groups.

A cadre of dedicated, loving volunteers. Professional staff. Professional, licensed, Montana fly-fishing guides. A hands-on and diversified Board of Directors and National Advisory Board. Post-9/11 combat veterans on staff and board. A facility of our own with no outstanding debt. Strong partners in the veteran services landscape.

Since the foundation's inception in 2007, WQW has helped more than 965 post-9/11 combat veterans, spouses, and caregivers take steps toward positive change in their lives.

WQW's executive director has been tasked by the Board of Directors to increase WQW's impact. In 2021 WQW will host a record 26 weeks of programs, comprising 15% of the total number of programs hosted since WQW's 2007 inception. The team is developing new program models that will serve as progressive, successive alumni programming.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • 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 strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome

Financials

Warriors & Quiet Waters Foundation
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Warriors & Quiet Waters Foundation

Board of directors
as of 07/21/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Philip Uihlein, Sr.

Aaron Demro

commonFont

Ali Ramirez, PT, DPT

Root Therapy and Wellness

Gregory Putnam

Little Belt Cattle Co.

Jim Collins

Tim Richmond

Abbvie

James Conway, General, USMC (Ret.)

Textron

James McCray

Highwood Capital, LLC

Peter Nalen

Peak Advisory

Tom Stiffler

Ed Brandt

Cardinal Distributing

Phil Uihlein

Aaron Demro

CommonFont

Sandy Stash

Dr. Kath Williams

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 6/1/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 06/01/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.