Give with Confidence
You can support Wilderness Inquiry with the confidence that our organization meets and exceeds standards for program excellence and financial management. Pound for pound and dollar for dollar, few deliver on their mission as much as Wilderness Inquiry. Since 1978 we have served over 400,000 people, and received numerous awards along the way. Transparency is important to us. You can download our most recent audit and more from our Annual Report page. If you have any questions, please call us.
“We are proud to announce Wilderness Inquiry has earned a 4-star rating. Receiving four out of a possible four stars indicates that your organization adheres to good governance and other best practices that minimize the chance of unethical activities and consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way. Approximately a quarter of the charities we evaluate have received our highest rating, indicating that Wilderness Inquiry outperforms most other charities in America. This “exceptional” designation from Charity Navigator differentiates Wilderness Inquiry from its peers and demonstrates to the public it is worthy of their trust.” – Michael Thatcher, CEO, Charity Navigator, June 1, 2016
“Congratulations on meeting Charities Review Council’s 25 Accountability Standards. A thousand hoorays to you and your staff! Your commitment to strength and accountability makes the whole sector thrive.” – Kris Kewitsch, Executive Director, Charities Review Council, September 1, 2016
“Summer programming and opportunities are now, more than ever, crucial for the well-being of our youth. Thanks to programs like Canoemobile and fellow awardees, kids are able to stay engaged over the summer months through fun and unique learning experiences that will prepare them for the start of the school year.” — Matthew Boulay, CEO of the National Summer Learning Association
“Wilderness Inquiry was founded on the idea that shared outdoor experiences have the power to transform individuals and communities – a discovery made after an seven-day trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area for people with and without disabilities. Today, Wilderness Inquiry continues to bring out the best in people by forming strategic alliances with the National Park Service, the Mississippi River Fund, the Minneapolis and Saint Paul schools, and other organizations. The organization has used strategic planning to achieve aggressive growth goals for each of the past 15 years, completed two successful capital campaigns, has active collaborations with more than 100 different organizations serving youth, families, people with disabilities, low-income families and the elderly and is actively engaged in evaluating the results of its work both through internal and independent studies.” – Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, September 20, 2010.
The Arc of Hennepin County
In 1997, The Arc of Hennepin County presented Wilderness Inquiry with its Leisure Services Award for WI’s advocacy and support for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.
In 1996, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources presented Wilderness Inquiry with the Diversity Award for cooperative effort in organizing successful St. Croix events.
Metro Work Center, Inc.
In 1995, Wilderness Inquiry received its third Metro Work Center, Inc. award in appreciation of continuous business partnership and employment opportunities to clients and staff of Metro Work Center, Inc.
Illinois Park and Recreation Association and Illinois Association of Park Districts
Received in 1989, the Community service award was given to Director and Founder, Greg Lais in recognition for his selfless devotion for the advancement of parks, recreation and leisure in the state of Illinois.
Minnesota Access Achievement Awards
In 1989, Wilderness Inquiry received the Outstanding Recreation Award for it’s distinguished contribution towards the independence of persons with disabilities.
Received in 1989 from First Lady Barbara Bush, this Thank You letter was given to Founder and CEO, Greg Lais for his efforts in helping people with disabilities.
Metro Work Center, Inc.
In 1991, Wilderness Inquiry received the Metro Work Center, Inc. award for providing employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities in partnership with employees of Metro Work Center, Inc.
Metro Work Center, Inc.
In 1992, Wilderness Inquiry received it’s second Metro Work Center, Inc. award in a row for establishing business partnerships with clients and staff of Metro Work Center, Inc.
Minnesota State Council on Disability
In 1992, Founder and Executive Director, Greg Lais received the Certificate of Appreciation: Distinguished Service Award from the Minnesota State Council on Disability.
Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park, Hennepin Parks
In 1993, Wilderness Inquiry received a letter of appreciation from the Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park, Hennepin Parks for its support in the Mississippi River Cap Festival.
National Park Service
In 1993 the National Park Service presented a Certificate of Appreciation to Wilderness Inquiry for their outstanding contributions to the Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway.
Access America’s Great Outdoors
In 1993, Access America’s Great Outdoors presented Founder and Executive Director, Greg Lais and Wilderness Inquiry with a Certificate of Appreciation for their un-matched professional quality in instructing the National Designers Short Course.
Vietnam Veterans of San Diego’s Family Assistance Program
In 1994, the Vietnam Veterans of San Diego’s Family Assistance Program presented Wilderness Inquiry with a Certificate of Appreciation for their generous support in providing services to combat Vietnam veterans and their families.
Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis
Founder and Executive Director, Greg Lais was presented with the Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis Conservation Award in 1996.
The Arc of Minnesota
In 1996, Arc of Minnesota presented Wilderness Inquiry with it’s Boggs/Mitchell Award.
United States Department of Agriculture
In 1999 the United States Department of Agriculture presented its Certificate of Appreciation to Wilderness Inquiry Founder and Executive Director, Greg Lais for his extraordinary dedication, professionalism, and caring in development of the Short Course on Universal Design & the Outdoor Environment.
Carlson School of Management; University of Minnesota
In 2007, Carlson School of Management; University of Minnesota recognized Wilderness Inquiry’s contribution in the Securian Leadership Series, a leadership development series designed to bring underclassmen together to increase their knowledge and skills as upcoming community leaders.
The United States Department of the Interior
The US Department of the Interior Take Pride in America awarded Wilderness Inquiry with Service and Support Certificate as a Charter Partner of Take Pride in America.
National Therapeutic Recreation Society
In 1988, the National Therapeutic Recreation Society recognized Wilderness Inquiry’s exceptional contributions to the field of therapeutic recreation with the Organization Citation.
Paralyzed Veterans of America
In 1998, the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) – National Bass Trail recognized Wilderness Inquiry and their significant contribution to the PVA National Bass Trail.