Religion, Spiritual Development

VENTURE

Tough Things In Tough Places

aka Venture Expeditions

Burnsville, MN

Mission

We Spend Our Greatest Energy on the World's Greatest Needs as an Active Response to the Gospel.

Ruling Year

1992

Executive Director

Mr. Paul Hurckman

President

Mr. Ryan Skoog

Main Address

511 E Travelers Trial

Burnsville, MN 55337 USA

Keywords

Adventure, Biblical Justice, Relief, Development, Christian

EIN

41-1720155

 Number

2080838974

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (X12)

Community Improvement, Capacity Building N.E.C. (S99)

IRS Filing Requirement

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

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve New!

Venture has spent the last decade identifying some of the greatest injustices in the world - such as refugee crises in war-torn areas, human-trafficking of vulnerable populations, water crisis and famine, and extreme poverty. We specialize in serving in areas where the needs are great, and the compassion organizations are few. We partner with local national leaders in those areas, to create a sustainable plan that moves individuals and communities, from relief, to development, to sustainability, to fulfilled living. With the need identified, and a sustainable plan developed, we then invite the Venture Community to participate in a unique way. We have individuals and groups who choose to run, bike, hike, swim, and paddle, to raise money and awareness to respond to these great needs. They choose to bike across the country, run across states, climb mountains, or simply run a 5k - so that their sacrifice of time, miles, and money, results in lives around the world being changed.

Our programs

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Biking, Hiking and Running Tours

Venture Local

Venture Projects

Where we workNew!

Charting Impact

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

As a faith-based organization, we want to respond to Gospel in clear and tangible ways, by feeding the poor, rescuing the orphan, caring for the widow, and standing with the oppressed. In order to accomplish this, we need to focus on two specific and inter-connected populations. The first population are all of the ones discussed previously - those who are most vulnerable, due to age, gender, violence, culture, government… These are the ones that sick, hungry, oppressed, trafficked. These are the communities that have experienced ongoing, even systematic oppression and injustice. We desire to stand by these populations, to respond to their needs, support their dreams, empower their ability, and offer the hope of Christ, in all we do. Consistent with in the variety of injustices we fight, in the various geographic places they occur, is a driving passion to move help vulnerable children become future Christian leaders. The second population are those who want to respond to the needs they hear about, or ones they have not yet heard about. They want to make a difference, but don't know how, and don't fully know what that means. To us, it means that we who want to bring about change, must be willing to change. This is an extremely important part of the work Venture is called to. We must move past simply feeling bad for the situation that others are in, and even move past giving a bit of money, to willingly sacrificing our current comfort, so that others may thrive. We must change our lifestyles, and reorient our choices around principles of radical generosity, hospitality, and sacrifice. We must be willing to have less, so others may have what they need. And when we do this, we are changed. When we focus on meeting the needs of the oppressed and vulnerable, while also calling others to a more sacrificial and generous lifestyle, then true biblical justice will be served, lives will be transformed, and the Gospel will be more fully revealed.

Thousands of people, log hundreds of thousands of miles, to raise millions of dollars every year to help some of the most vulnerable children become future Christian leaders. All this is summed up in our mission: We spend our greatest energies on the world's greatest needs as an active response to the Gospel. We use a 3 step strategy to accomplish our mission. 1. Identify the injustice. 2. Work with local leaders to develop a sustainable solution. 3. Raise funds through miles-based programs.
Identify the Injustice. Venture is a 'where organization'. We identify places where the greatest injustices are happening. We define these areas, through our greatest needs matrix - where the least resourced, overlaps the least reached. The Least Resourced are defined as those who are subjected to the extreme injustices of oppressive poverty, refugee crisis, and/or human trafficking. The Least Reached are defined as those in areas where there is less than a 5% professing christian witness. It is at this intersection of Least Resourced and Least Reached, that we focus our greatest energies.

Partner with Local Leaders for Sustainable Solutions. Venture partners with local leaders, who are already at work in these regions. We identify leaders with high leadership, strategic, and discipleship capabilities. We believe that God is already at work in the most vulnerable parts of the world, and is already raising up these leaders in these areas. Our role is to come alongside these leaders, to develop sustainable solutions, build capacity, and create a pathway that leads individuals and communities to experiencing the fullness of God's Kingdom Principles in their lives, and for generations to come.

Raise Funds through Miles-Based Programs. Venture has always invited its community to move past 'feeling deeply' about the injustice in the world - to doing something. We believe our best response to the Gospel message, is to see need, and then to respond in a generous and sacrificial manner. We use biking, hiking, and running, as physical sacrifice on behalf of others. There is a powerful experience, when an individual is physically exhausted, having given every ounce of energy on behalf of someone else. Not only does it change the participant, it also inspires their community to get involved in giving of their time, money, and physical sweat. Until we are all ready to sacrifice significantly, we will not see significant change.

In the end, lives are changed in some of the most desperate areas of the world, while the lives of our participants are changed as they reorient their lives to a more sacrificial life that is will to live with less, so that others in need may thrive. This is an appropriate response to the Gospel

Venture has three areas that it measures vigorously - partner impact, participant impact, and fiscal stewardship.. We measure all three areas with both quantitative and qualitative data.

Partner Impact. Every mile that is logged is connected to dollars that are raised. And those dollars are connected to specific MIU - Measurable Impact Unit. This means that we measure how the dollars are impacted our partners (partners are the organizations and individuals that receive the fiscal support from Venture). We know how many meals we provide (over 10,000 meals a day), and we know where they are distributed, and how they are improving the lives the recipients. We know how many young girls and boys we have partnered to rescue, house, feed, educate and disciple. And we know how their lives are improving. Finally we measure the effectiveness of where each project is at through a 4 Step Matrix - think of it as a bridge that moves individuals and groups from being in crisis toward becoming thriving communities that reflect the Gospel:
Stability: We partner to provide food, water, housing, and safety.
Structure: We partner to develop and infrastructure of farms, schools, and churches.
Support: We partner to build capacity through business and microfinance, leadership and vocational training centers, and higher education opportunities.
Leave: We plan an exit strategy from the start. We believe that one of the most dangerous relationships, is community dependency on NGO's, and NGO dependency on needy communities.

Participant Impact: We believe that for true biblical justice to take place, all involved must be transformed. This means that not only will our Partners be impacted, but so will those who participate in logging miles for those in need. So we are very intentionally about including a 'Life and Faith Development' component to all of our miles-based programs - and then we measure how we are doing.
92% of those who participate in a tour, say that their faith is stronger as a result
91% say they are more excited about the church and christian community
81% say they have increased their practice of spiritual disciplines

Fiscal Stewardship. Venture has grown fiscally every year since it was established. But simply increasing in the amount of dollars that an organization receives, is not the ultimate indicator of success. We measure our fiscal progress on our Four Guiding Principles:
Accountable: We are audited by a third party firm, annually. We have always received an unqualified report (that's really good).
Lean: Our administrative costs are always less than 10% - half of the industry standard (that's really good as well).
Efficient: We actually partner with other non-profits to share efficiencies.
Basecamp: A group of companies and foundations cover 100% of our administrative costs. That means that 100% every public

In the last decade we have have turned a cross-country bike ride, by 3 college students, into a national brand that has:
Logged 1,036,608 Miles
Raised $13,752,024
Impacted 135,725 Lives
Established 2 Foundations in SE Asia that serve vulnerable populations, including refugees, trafficking victims, and those impacted by extreme poverty in conflict zones.

We are currently working on innovative fundraising platform, including a patented app, that scale everything we have learned in the last decade. This app will connect GPS tracking of miles logged, to crowdfunding through social media, to specific Measurable Impact Units. This means that anyone, anywhere can pick a cause they care about or an organization they believe in, and they can log miles daily, and see the impact they are having with each mile - in real time. With this app, not only will Venture scale its growth, but it will allow other organizations to grow through miles-based programming. Ultimately, it means that more people will sacrifice their miles, so that more people will move from vulnerable to thriving, and the gospel will be realized more fully for all.

External Reviews

Financials

VENTURE

Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

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  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2016, 2016 and 2015
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Click here to view a Sample Report.

Operations

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

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2016, 2016 and 2015
A Pro report is also available for this organization for $125.
Click here to see what's included.

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & 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 & 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