The Quality of Life Plus Program

Engineering an improved quality of life for those who served.

aka QL+   |   Potomac, MD   |  www.qlplus.org

Mission

To challenge university STEM students to create innovative technology solutions that improve the quality of life for injured veterans, first responders and others who have served our nation. VISION: A community of universities partnered with QL+ and committed to improving the lives of veterans, first responders and their families. Geographic Scope: QL+ is currently partnered with the engineering departments at 19 universities in 10 States and the District of Columbia.

Notes from the nonprofit

Quality of Life Plus (QL+) is a unique program as it combines college level STEM education with improving the quality of life of injured veterans, first responders and other who have served our nation. QL+ recruits "Challengers" who describe a condition that would benefit from a unique, innovative solution - one that is not currently on the commercial market. QL+ now works with 19 universities to assign these projects to students as their Senior Design Project that is normally two semesters in duration. Most of the students are in Mechanical, Biomedical, Computer Science or other related STEM degree programs. The students not only produce innovative solutions, they gain an appreciation for veterans and other people with disabilities. Many are inspired by these projects and the courage and persistence of the Challengers they meet. Funding for the QL+ Program comes solely from individual donations, Foundation Grants and corporate sponsorships.

Ruling year info

2009

Executive Director

Mark Robbins

Main address

10221 River Road #60738

Potomac, MD 20859 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

27-0172688

NTEE code info

Engineering and Technology Research, Services (U40)

Higher Education Institutions (B40)

Rehabilitative Medical Services (E50)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

There are many companies creating innovative solutions for individuals leading adaptive lifestyles but these solutions are often one size fits all. QL+ programs and labs are working to close the gap on these solutions with the end objective to create even more independence that these individuals crave. For example, we created a device so that an individual in a wheel chair can change their own tires without assistance. We are also working on solutions so that adaptive skiers who ski in a sit ski can transport the device off the mountain themselves rather than rely on additional assistance as they do now.

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?

THE QUALITY OF LIFE PLUS PROGRAM

The QL+ Program is currently in 19 universities in 10 States (VT, NJ, MD, VA, FL, OH, IN, CO, TX and CA) and the District of Columbia.

Population(s) Served
Veterans
Students
Teachers
Emergency responders
Military personnel

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Newman's Own/Fisher House Award 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 students enrolled

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

Students, Veterans, People with disabilities

Related Program

THE QUALITY OF LIFE PLUS PROGRAM

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

More than 1,000 mechanical, electrical, bio-medical and computer engineering students have participated in QL+ Projects since 2009, developing unique solutions for injured veterans & first responders

Number of students receiving personal instruction and feedback about their performance

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

THE QUALITY OF LIFE PLUS PROGRAM

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

QL+ Project Mangers and mentors provide feedback to students as well as their faculty advisors during the course of a 2-semester Capstone Senior Design Project.

Number of reports written/published

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

Students, Veterans, People with disabilities

Related Program

THE QUALITY OF LIFE PLUS PROGRAM

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Since 2009, university engineering students involved in QL+ projects have written over 500 reports related to adaptive devices designed and built to serve injured veterans and first responders.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

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.

Goal 1. Identify injured or ill veterans, first responders and military personnel who can be helped by QL+ - we call them "Challengers."
Goal 2. Establish and maintain a relationships with colleges and universities to support the QL+ program and STEM education.
Goal 3. Establish and maintain a "Mentor Program" to provide industry professionals an opportunity to mentor the students in the various engineer disciplines, including mechanical, electrical, biomedical, and computer science.
Goal 4. Pursue corporate sponsorships, Foundation grants, and individual donations to support the continuation of the QL+ mission.

Strategies for Goal 1. We partner with other non-profit organizations as well as providing information for these communities on our website and through social media. We have partnership agreements with several regional Innovation Centers of the Veterans Administration. We build a relationship with our Challengers by obtaining feedback while they are in our program and after they leave our program.
Strategies for Goal 2. We identify those engineering programs that will provide QL+ an opportunity to sponsor Senior Capstone Design projects as part of their ABET accredited curriculum. We work with the Dean of Engineering, Department Heads and Faculty Advisors to ensure a successful project for both the students and the Challenger. We send a letter to each faculty advisor and their supervisor at the end of each academic year to recognize their contribution to the success of the project and the QL+ mission.
Strategies for Goal 3. We obtain mentors from our corporate sponsors who benefit by having their employees interact with the engineering students. Most often our mentors say they gain as much from the relationship as they give to the students. We recognize the mentors at the end of each academic year.
Strategies for Goal 4. QL+ would not exist except for the financial support for the mission from corporations, Foundations and individual donors. We continually work to identify corporate sponsors that desire to help injured veterans and first responders, as well as to support STEM education. We apply for Foundation Grants where the QL+ mission aligns with the Foundation's goals and objectives. And we work to maintain a communication link with our individual donors so they see how their dollars are contributing to the goals of the organization.

Quality of Life Plus has a dedicated staff of 6 including a Physical Therapist. QL+ now has a virtual office arrangement with staff in the Washington DC metro area, as well as Ohio, Colorado, Virginia and California. We have several consultants, including a CPA and attorney, to provide technical support. We also have a Mentoring Program of volunteers to mentor the university students assigned to work on QL+ sponsored senior design Capstone projects. Mentors are professionals from the private sector with experience in managing projects and with expertise in various engineering and related disciplines. QL+ also has informal partnerships with over 20 other non-profit organizations which refer injured veterans and first responders (Challengers) to us and have provided projects (Challenges) for QL+ sponsored projects. We also have a partnership with the Veterans Administration's Innovation Ecosystem that allows us to complement the work of the VA.

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.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Wounded or disabled veterans and first responders, and college STEM students.

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

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.),

  • 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 inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

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

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

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback,

Financials

The Quality of Life Plus Program
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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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lock

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.

The Quality of Life Plus Program

Board of directors
as of 07/11/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Lt. Col. (Ret) Michael Phelps

Michael Southworth

COL Joseph Manous, Ph.D., USA (Ret.)

USACE/IWR

MG Anders Aadland, USA (Ret.)

Castlelink LLC

LTC Robert Wolff, Ph.D., USAR (Ret.)

Sidney Collin

De Oro Devices, Inc.

BG Norvell Coots, MD, USA (Ret.)

Holy Cross Health

Scott Grabill

Sentara Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Specialists

Jonathan Grier

Grier Forensics

Mark Robbins

QL+

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? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • 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? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/19/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/09/2021

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

Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.