JOIN-UP INTERNATIONAL, INC

aka Horse Sense & Healing, Fired-Up, Partner-Up, Lead-Up   |   Solvang, CA   |  www.join-up.org
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Mission

Join-Up International is a 501(c)(3) non-profit founded in 1997, that helps Veterans, first responders, at-risk youth and other vulnerable populations find healing through the experience of Monty Roberts' globally acclaimed Join-Up® and other equine-assisted activities.

Ruling year info

1997

Founder

Mr. Monty Roberts

Main address

PO Box 246

Solvang, CA 93464 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

77-0459889

NTEE code info

Military/Veterans' Organizations (W30)

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

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Recent data has shown, one in five military personnel (22%) returning from conflict zones has post-traumatic stress. 34% suffer from other mental concerns. Nearly one in four women reported sexual assault while in the military. 22 Veterans in the United States commit suicide each day. They are three times as likely to be under 30. These statistics highlight the importance of the work we do to help Veterans better manage their PTSD/PTSI. Our first responder community suffers equally. Research shows 20% of fire service personnel, and other first responders, pass the diagnostic threshold for PTSD/PTSI at some point in their career. Rates in the general population are around one third of this (6.8%). Additionally, suicide has overtaken line-of-duty deaths for both fire service personnel and law enforcement officers. Police officers are at higher risk of suicide than any other profession. Our programs work to help our service personnel recover from their stress injuries.

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?

Horse Sense & Healing

Horse Sense & Healing, launched in 2010, is a 3-day equine-assisted retreat for Veterans experiencing posttraumatic stress (PTSD/PTSI).

Horse Sense & Healing helps Veterans, and their families, overcome past emotional injuries and learn to trust, communicate emotions and build resiliency to cope after deployment. Like the horse, a flight animal, these heroes have found it difficult to trust again.

In May 2020, results from the first Horse Sense & Healing science trial were published. Data was collected over 3 years in this prospective, non-interventional, single center study. Participant assessments were made at Baseline, Day 3 and Day 85. “Score changes in post-traumatic stress symptom severity at Days 3 and 85 show a clinically meaningful improvement that is higher than comparative clinical literature assessing pharmacological interventions."

Population(s) Served
Veterans
Adults
Emergency responders
Military personnel

Lead-Up® is a two-day program for at-risk youth, aged 15 to 21. The program’s goal is to reduce violence by creating peaceful leaders through interaction with horses. The participants are welcomed into a compassionate and non-judgmental environment, far removed from the violence, abuse, addiction and neglect they often experience at home.

During the Lead-Up program, participants are introduced to humane ways of handling and interacting with horses. They discover non-violence and non-aggression for themselves, principally through the experience of Join-Up® with a horse, the non-violent training system designed by Monty Roberts, world-renowned horseman and author of The Man Who Listens to Horses.

Lead-Up was founded in 2012 in Guatemala by Monty Roberts student Katie Cunningham Pokorny. A study published in 2016 showed Lead-Up provides youth with “tools of leadership, reduced violence and aggression, and better emotion regulation.”

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
At-risk youth

Fired-Up is a two-day equine-assisted retreat for active-duty fire service personnel, both structural and wildland. The program aims to provide participants with tools to overcome the daily stress and trauma associated with operating in a high-risk environment.

Through the experience of Monty Roberts’ ground-breaking Join-Up techniques, and other ground-based horsemanship activities, participants learn trust-building, and develop tools for overcoming trauma, improving relationships, better self-regulation and emotional intelligence, improved self-worth, and a willingness to open up and ask for help.

Population(s) Served

Partner-Up is a two-day equine-assisted retreat for active-duty law enforcement officers. The program aims to provide participants with tools to overcome the challenges they face working in law enforcement, through the experience of Monty Roberts’ ground-breaking Join-Up techniques and other ground-based horsemanship activities.

Join-Up is a non-violent training system designed by Monty Roberts. Convinced there must be a more humane and effective system to train horses, Monty Roberts created Join-Up, a consistent set of principles based on the horse’s inherent body language and herd-behavior. The result of Join-Up is a willing partnership based on mutual respect and trust.

Learning outcomes from the two-day retreat include trust-building, overcoming trauma, improving relationships, better self-regulation and emotional intelligence, improved self-worth, and a willingness to open up and ask for help.

Population(s) Served

Horse Sense & Healing II is a 2-day follow-on retreat for Veteran participants of our Horse Sense & Healing program, that focuses on post-traumatic growth – how those living with post-traumatic stress can use their experiences to build a stronger foundation and thrive in various aspects of their daily lives.

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

Each year, hundreds of thousands of good horses find themselves in transition of career or ownership. And each year, a growing number of these horses end up at risk of inhumane treatment. Research by the ASPCA indicates there are over 1.2 million homes that have both the perceived resources and desire to house an unwanted horse. This number greatly exceeds the approximately 200,000 unwanted horses living each year in the United States.

However, a lack of high-quality training for remedial issues and wild / feral horses is one of the most consistent, ongoing needs for horses in transition. A well-trained, safe and pleasant horse has a much higher adoption rate, lower length of stay in a shelter and a higher likelihood of staying safe for life.

This is where the MRTHP comes in. By utilizing Monty Roberts’ world-renowned gentle and effective training techniques, Monty and his team re-train horses in need of adoption to help find their forever homes.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

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 veterans with PTSD served

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

Veterans

Related Program

Horse Sense & Healing

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of animals rehomed

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

Monty Roberts' Mustang & Transition Horse Program (MRTHP)

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

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.

The Join-Up International goal is to promote gentle, more effective alternatives to violence and force through programs that teach Monty Roberts' concepts of non-violent, trust-building communication. Horses are used as examples and vehicles for this learning process. It is our intention to leave the world a better place for both horses and humans.

Our programs are dedicated to removing violence as a way of coping with stress, and instilling the ability to trust again in persons who have been traumatized and suffer from PTSD/PTSI and other behavioral wellness issues. This is achieved through the deeply healing power of establishing a trusting relationship with horses, without the use of force or violence. It is our intention to return these individuals to their families and communities far better able to function in their everyday lives.

The three-year science trial conducted on the Horse Sense & Healing program has shown the method's effectiveness in relieving symptoms of post-traumatic stress and increasing quality of life scores.

We work with local and national first responder peer-support teams, Veterans organizations, counselors and psychologists to provide our retreats to participants most in need of our help.

Our retreats provide effective, lasting solutions for service personnel dealing with post-traumatic stress and other behavioral wellness issues - decreasing symptoms, improving communication skills and relationships, and reducing stress.

With your help, we can increase the number of service personnel served by our programs each year, helping to positively impact the brave men and women who sacrifice for our country.

For over a decade we have been providing life-transforming retreats to Veterans and first responders from around the United States. Our team of staff and volunteers consist of many experts in their fields of mental health, behavioral wellness and/or horsemanship.

Monty Roberts, our founder, is still actively involved in all of our programs. Honors received include the ASPCA “Founders” award, the MSPCA George T. Angell Humanitarian Award, FEI’s Man of the Year and one of Horse and Hound Magazine’s Top 50 Horsemen of All Time.

Horse Sense & Healing was our first program to launch (2010), with Lead-Up following on in 2017. In 2019, our Monty Roberts International Learning Center was separated from Join-Up International to allow a focus on our programs for post-traumatic stress and other behavioral wellness issues.

Since 2020, we have successfully piloted and launched four additional programs - the Monty Roberts' Mustang & Transition Horse Program (Oct, 2020), Horse Sense & Healing II (Aug 2021), Fired-Up (April, 2022) and Partner-Up (June, 2022).

The creation of these new programs to serve additional communities in need of our support is in line with our goal and mission to positively affect change through the healing power of horses.

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 demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Veterans and first responders dealing with post traumatic stress and other behavioral wellness issues, as well as youth at-risk.

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

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person),

  • 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, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We have switched our accommodation for program participants from group housing with shared rooms to individual hotel rooms to provide more privacy and sense of security to the vulnerable populations we serve.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    Participants feel empowered that they can effect real change in our programs based on their feedback. We discuss recent program changes with new groups to enable them to weigh in on the positives and negatives for them of various aspects of the program(s), and adjust our program(s) based on participant feedback.

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

    We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, 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, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

JOIN-UP INTERNATIONAL, INC
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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

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JOIN-UP INTERNATIONAL, INC

Board of directors
as of 08/18/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

James Stretchberry

James Stretchberry

Ed Seamans

Mike Hollis

Audrey Natzinfer

Deborah Loucks

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 ? Not applicable
  • 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 7/12/2022

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

Leadership

No data

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 07/12/2022

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 review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • 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.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • 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.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.