Inspiring you to be alive in the wilderness

aka WMS   |   Austin, TX   |
GuideStar Charity Check


EIN: 20-0382329


The mission of the Wilderness Medical Society is to encourage, foster, support, or conduct activities to improve the scientific knowledge of the membership and general public in human health activities in a wilderness environment.

Ruling year info



Renita Fonseca CAE, CMP

Main address

6705 W. Hwy. 290 Ste. 607-243

Austin, TX 78735 USA

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Subject area info


Population served info


NTEE code info

Professional Societies, Associations (H03)

IRS subsection

501(c)(3) Public Charity

IRS filing requirement

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

Tax forms


Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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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?

Fellowship in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine (FAWM)

The Academy is a modular system of adult education that organizes the broad range of information in the discipline of Wilderness Medicine. It measures achievement through a packaged, standardized system according to modern concepts of medical education using objectives as the basis for learning experiences and outcomes evaluation where appropriate.

Population(s) Served

The Diploma in Mountain Medicine (DiMM) is an exciting program designed to train the participant in the essentials of caring for patients in the technical mountain environment. It has set the standard over the past 10 years in Europe and other parts of the world for education of doctors, mid-level providers, nurses, and medics in mountain medicine and rescue. The Wilderness Medical Society is partnering with the University of Utah and University of Colorado to introduce this exciting program in the USA. Medical commissions of the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation (UIAA) and International Commission for Alpine Rescue (ICAR), together with the International Society for Mountain Medicine (ISMM), established minimal requirements for these courses in 1997.

Population(s) Served

DiDMM is an exciting program designed to train the participant in the essentials of caring for patients in the marine environment. The participants will receive specialized training in diving physics, physiology and medicine; management of diving accidents; hazards of the marine environment; the essentials of medicine at sea; water rescue and survival techniques; and trip planning.

The DiDMM is composed of 3 domains: Diving Medicine, Marine Medicine and Sciences, and Medicine at Sea. The DiDMM is open to candidates that possess (or will possess in the near future) a nationally recognized professional medical certification appropriate to the level of the DiDMM curriculum. These include Medical Doctor (MD), Doctor of Osteopathy (DO), Registered Nurse (RN), Physician Assistant (PA), Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN), Paramedic (EMT-P), Advanced EMT (EMT-A). Other certifications may be eligible and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Historically, successful candidates will also have some exposure to diving, sailing, boating, other water sports, and/or marine science.

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 trees planted

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

via Tree Nation

Total number of organization members

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Total dollar amount of grants awarded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Total number of grants awarded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

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.

Prioritize academic rigor in research and education to achieve excellence.
Engage members and enhance the value of WMS membership to improve retention.
Diversify sources of revenue to improve accessibility and ensure financial stability of the WMS.
Implement recruitment strategies to grow and diversify membership.
Increase recognition of the Wilderness Medical Society as the global center of excellence and expertise in wilderness medicine.

Our committees have each identified various SMART goals that will directly impact one of the overarching strategic goals and are working toward the completion of these SMART goals throughout the year.

We have identified strategic goals which we believe are attainable and will have a significant and lasting impact on the society. Through the work of our board, staff, and committees, progress toward our goals will be ongoing and positive.

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 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

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

    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 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?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, It is difficult to get honest feedback from the people we serve, It is difficult to identify actionable feedback


Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 1.07 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 2.7 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 5% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data


Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data


Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of WILDERNESS MEDICAL SOCIETY’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

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Business model indicators

Profitability info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation -$53,972 $209,127 $444,350 $635,924 -$599,426
As % of expenses -3.3% 13.1% 34.6% 48.4% -26.6%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation -$53,972 $209,127 $444,350 $635,924 -$599,426
As % of expenses -3.3% 13.1% 34.6% 48.4% -26.6%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $1,445,589 $1,625,176 $1,985,423 $1,840,089 $2,055,564
Total revenue, % change over prior year -7.2% 12.4% 22.2% -7.3% 11.7%
Program services revenue 96.3% 96.4% 73.1% 89.2% 96.5%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.9% 0.8% 1.0% 1.4% 1.7%
Government grants 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 3.4% 0.0%
All other grants and contributions 0.5% 1.1% 0.8% 2.4% 0.9%
Other revenue 2.3% 1.6% 25.1% 3.5% 1.0%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $1,617,201 $1,596,603 $1,284,703 $1,315,057 $2,255,129
Total expenses, % change over prior year -1.2% -1.3% -19.5% 2.4% 71.5%
Personnel 3.3% 17.7% 31.1% 31.3% 20.2%
Professional fees 23.4% 13.1% 15.5% 20.3% 25.5%
Occupancy 0.7% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 5.4% 2.2% 2.4% 3.1% 1.4%
All other expenses 67.3% 66.7% 50.8% 45.1% 52.8%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $1,617,201 $1,596,603 $1,284,703 $1,315,057 $2,255,129
One month of savings $134,767 $133,050 $107,059 $109,588 $187,927
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $63,159 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $1,751,968 $1,729,653 $1,391,762 $1,487,804 $2,443,056

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 1.4 2.4 3.0 4.5 1.5
Months of cash and investments 6.9 9.4 16.4 24.3 10.6
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets -1.3 0.2 4.4 10.1 2.7
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $193,612 $318,855 $316,852 $497,078 $286,649
Investments $733,355 $926,267 $1,437,050 $2,161,549 $1,704,177
Receivables $9,332 $5,616 $3,490 $5,053 $8,174
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 117.1% 96.9% 73.6% 58.8% 74.5%
Unrestricted net assets -$180,150 $28,977 $473,327 $1,109,251 $509,825
Temporarily restricted net assets $8,696 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $8,696 $12,551 $14,515 $45,835 $46,805
Total net assets -$171,454 $41,528 $487,842 $1,155,086 $556,630

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Material data errors No No No No No


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

Letter of Determination is not available for this organization
Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization


Renita Fonseca CAE, CMP

Renita Fonseca, CAE, CMP joined the WMS as CEO in September of 2018. She is passionate about the association industry where she has spent her entire 20-year career working with all aspects of association management from board governance to strategic planning, conference planning to program development, budgeting to operations, membership to marketing and more. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from Texas Tech University, and is a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), as well as a Certified Association Executive (CAE) - the highest professional credential in the association industry. Renita was born and raised in India, having permanently moved to the United States when she was 16 years old. She is passionate about travelling and the outdoors, and enjoys hiking, volleyball and fitness.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990


Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.


Board of directors
as of 11/08/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Dr. Jennifer Dow

Shana Tarter

Graham Brant-Zawadzki

Stephanie Lareau

Avinash Patil

Jason Williams

Joseph Forrester

Christanne Coffey

Cory Kreutzer

Ian Wedmore

Susanne Spano

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? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/20/2023

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


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Asian/Asian American
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/20/2023

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

  • 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 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 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 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.


Fiscal year ending
There are no fundraisers recorded for this organization.