Paradox Sports

aka Paradox Sports   |   Boulder, CO   |
GuideStar Charity Check

Paradox Sports

EIN: 26-0153796


Paradox Sports revolutionizes lives through adaptive climbing opportunities that defy convention.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Dave Elmore

Main address

Po Box 19044

Boulder, CO 80308 USA

Show more contact info



Subject area info




Special population support

Population served info


People with disabilities

NTEE code info

Services to Promote the Independence of Specific Populations (P80)

Recreational, Pleasure, or Social Club (N50)

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

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


What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

On February 2, 2007, DJ Skelton, a severely injured Iraq war veteran, and several professional rock climbers conducted one of the first adaptive rock climbing clinics in the United States in a small local climbing gym just outside Washington DC. Over 20 participants representing a variety of disabilities including visual impairments, amputations, severe burns, paraplegia, and muscular atrophy showed up to participate that day and Paradox Sports emerged. The mission amongst the group of participants, climbers, medical professionals and volunteers who participated that day was clear: to define life on their own terms and help each other accomplish a goal regardless of real or perceived limitations of the body and mind. Thus, a physical adaptive sport community was born which continues to facilitate and inspire post-traumatic growth among all members of the Paradox Sports community today.

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?

Paradox Trips

We host one-of-a-kind adaptive ice climbing, rock climbing and moutaineering trips across the country each year. We provide all ability levels of instruction to all types of mobility limitations. Together we face the challenge of climbing under your own power, learning about the specialized equipment and techniques needed for adaptive ice climbing. Men and women of all skill levels with a physical disability or adaptive need will receive instruction, guidance and gear from world class climbers. We extend a special invitation for disabled veterans and wounded military personnel.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities

We provide in depth adaptive climbing trainings to gyms, universities and other programs across the country in order to increase opportunities nationally for people with disabilities to climb.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities

Paradox Climbing Club is currently local to the Boulder/Denver Metro Area with hopes to expand to other markets in the near future. This is a climbing club that is focused on creating a community rather than one-on-one instruction.

Population(s) Served
People with physical disabilities

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 participants who would recommend program to others

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

People with disabilities

Related Program

Paradox Trips

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

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.

Simply put, Paradox Sports' goal is to make climbing accessible for everyone. Since its inception, Paradox Sports has created an environment for connection amongst the community, and a place to push personal limits and change beliefs about what is possible for people with a disability. Paradox Sports has implemented more than 30 adaptive climbing clubs and programs around the United States. We successfully published the first ever-adaptive climbing manual that is being utilized in the industry nationwide with over 200 facilitators trained. In 2017, Paradox served over 500 participants in nearly 1,300 experiences from 16 states.

Paradox Sports provides signature trips and runs adaptive climbing trainings across North America, helping create more accessible programs and gym space for individuals with disabilities.

We plan to continue our growth by expanding our adaptive climbing clinics across the country, increasing our climbing experiences by nearly ten percent, including two new climbing trip formats, and implementing a certification program which will offer Adaptive Climbing Certifications to individuals as well as Adaptive Climbing Accreditation to organizations, with the end goal of a national standard for climbing facilitation.

Paradox Sports continues to grow. We have an ever growing network of adaptive climbers, our ACI courses are in several states currently with more on the horizon, and our signature trips continue to thrive.

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

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

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback

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 21.96 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 10.2 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 12% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Paradox Sports

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Paradox Sports

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

Paradox Sports

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of Paradox Sports’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.

Created in partnership with

Business model indicators

Profitability info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $188,398 $55,431 -$28,894 $182,695 -$6,896
As % of expenses 52.8% 14.9% -11.4% 59.4% -1.8%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $170,862 $22,292 -$44,594 $180,375 -$7,028
As % of expenses 45.6% 5.5% -16.5% 58.2% -1.8%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $545,307 $427,019 $225,167 $490,315 $374,104
Total revenue, % change over prior year 40.2% -21.7% -47.3% 117.8% -23.7%
Program services revenue 18.5% 19.9% 17.6% 16.1% 19.5%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.1%
Government grants 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other grants and contributions 82.5% 78.7% 91.0% 64.5% 79.9%
Other revenue -1.0% 1.4% -8.5% 19.3% 0.5%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $356,909 $371,588 $254,058 $307,621 $380,999
Total expenses, % change over prior year 18.9% 4.1% -31.6% 21.1% 23.9%
Personnel 53.0% 60.6% 61.5% 56.9% 63.0%
Professional fees 1.8% 5.3% 1.7% 2.6% 3.4%
Occupancy 6.7% 4.0% 1.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.7%
All other expenses 38.5% 30.1% 35.8% 40.5% 32.8%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $374,445 $404,727 $269,758 $309,941 $381,131
One month of savings $29,742 $30,966 $21,172 $25,635 $31,750
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $161,193 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $565,380 $435,693 $290,930 $335,576 $412,881

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 6.5 10.1 21.6 22.8 17.8
Months of cash and investments 6.5 10.1 21.6 22.8 17.8
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 9.3 10.8 18.7 22.5 18.0
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $194,414 $313,632 $458,331 $584,243 $566,376
Investments $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Receivables $76,400 $15,748 $30,500 $8,750 $1,450
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $164,978 $165,064 $10,454 $10,454 $7,457
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 11.3% 31.7% 40.6% 62.8% 49.7%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 1.3% 1.8% 19.5% 2.7% 1.6%
Unrestricted net assets $423,505 $445,797 $401,203 $581,578 $574,550
Temporarily restricted net assets $0 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 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total net assets $423,505 $445,797 $401,203 $581,578 $574,550

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.

Executive Director

Dave Elmore

As Executive Director, Dave works collaboratively with the board of directors and staff to achieve the overall strategic and operational goals of the organization. Dave was introduced to Paradox Sports as a volunteer on a local climbing program. Inspired by the mission and community, Dave joined the board of directors. After four years of serving as board chair, Dave joins the Paradox Sports team with decades of non-profit leadership experience. Dave began his career with Outward Bound, ultimately working for fourteen years as an educator, staff trainer and program leader. Dave has served as Patagonia Program Director, Environmental Resource Director, Director of Programs and Safety and is a co-founder of Mountain Professionals, where he has served as lead guide for international expeditions around the globe. Most recently Dave served as an experiential education school leader and volunteer for local non-profits. As a true believer in the transformative power of being outside, you can

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

Paradox Sports

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.

Paradox Sports

Board of directors
as of 01/18/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Jake Gaventa


Term: 2019 - 2024

Jake Gaventa

Julie Yates

Judd MacRae

Mike Pigg

Chad Olcott

Mike Kane

Megin Wolfman

Erin Beth Agee

Jen Nam

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 10/17/2023

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
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data