Opportunities for Providers, Programs, and Services

Creating Accessible Analysis for the Programs Serving Our Community

Pathfinder Labs helps nonprofits, community programs, and services to recruit more participants, retain those they support, and raise more funds for constant program improvement. We do this through a system of feedback loops and AI-analysis, allowing them to standardize and visualize their impact on those they serve.

If you are offering free support services, programs, and/or benefits to Military, Veterans, and Milvet Spouses - or emergency services personnel - we want you on the platform.

This includes:

  • Nonprofit organizations. Pathfinder Labs is all about engagement. Any nonprofit or foundation that operates programs to engage with the MilVet Community can request a page on Pathfinder Labs. You will get a page for each chapter/region.
  • Student Veteran clubs. Military and Veteran clubs and support are offered at over 1,000 higher education schools, plus some vocational programs. Working with Student Veterans of America, we list each club so prospective students know where they will feel welcome.
  • Government service programs and benefits. VA Facilities. Military installations and the resources located on them. City and County Departments of Veteran Services. Through our partners we are listing every benefits provider we can find. These larger-scale, area-wide programs can also obtain local trend analysis (economy, schools for dependents, needs of the nearby community, etc.) and more through the DEW Line platform integration. For more information on this, email us at hello@pathfinderlabs.com.
  • Corporate/for-profit Milvet internal support networks and programs. Similar to nonprofits, we want to highlight how large companies engage with MilVet employees.
A page gets you in front of more of our users: recent reviews get you bumped to our homepage, and we are integrating a way for a user to easily recommend a service or program to a friend. Once you Claim your Page(s), you will also have access to the Pathfinder Labs Back Office (more on this below), access to list your events and programs on our app, and - our specialty - evidence-based, empirical data analysis.

Another benefit to listing, getting feedback, and claiming your programs on Pathfinder? It's totally free.

Quick Note: For Corporate Employee Support programs and Small Businesses, you can get more information on how we can work best for you on the respective pages.

What We Offer Our Providers

Our mission is all about improving community well-being and the impact of services through data analysis, and we are grateful to each of the providers and programs for all they contribute every day to the lives of Military, Veterans, their Families, and emergency services personnel (generally referred to on our site as MilVets or the MilVet community). We offer a few different services, each of which builds on the others.

Image of Pathfinder Backend

Claim Your Pages, Get Connected

Best For: Creating ongoing dialogue with past and present clients or participants; Demonstrating change and improvement efforts to donors; Recruiting and referrals to services.

What We Do: Every program or provider having one or more interactions or engagements within the MilVet community over the course of them receiving services can have up to two representatives managing engagement at the local level create Pathfinder accounts, then visit their page to initiate a claim.

Once approved, the representative gains access to the Pathfinder Labs Back Office from which they can:

  • Update page details and information
  • Read and respond to user feedback
  • Receive direct requests for more program info or registration
  • View basic analysis, like demographics of who is leaving you feedback, including some Natural Language Processing (NLP) outputs
  • Contact Pathfinder Labs support teams to get upcoming events listed on our app
  • Get templates for social media, emails, newsletters, and more on asking for and responding to feedback
What We Would Need: The usefulness of Pathfinder Labs to you and to the community is based in creating engagement through closed feedback loops. To do this, we ask minimal assistance at the local levels of the organization to engage and request participant feedback. Feedback is anonymous, even if written while still at the event or meeting; the time between submission of feedback and it posting on the web/Back Office is delayed - generally between 2 and 12 houors - to prevent linking the writer to their contribution.

To faciliate closed feedback loops, your event leaders or direct providers would:
  1. Assign one or two program managers at each location create a Pathfinder.vet account
  2. One of the program managers claims the page; they can add the other individual from the Back Office
  3. Allocate a maximum of 5 minutes at the end of an event or interaction - in person, still at the event is hands-down the best way to get participation - to ask for feedback, including the time it takes for participant(s) to independently create an account and submit feedback
  4. Spend an average of 20 minutes a month in the Back Office to respond to inquiries, reply to feedback, and view any analysis results or changes

Historical Impact - Rapid Analysis

Best For: Visualizing current programs' impact; Determining differences in approaches (eg., virtual vs in-person events) or chapters (ie., what small variations at one office are having an impact the others could then implement); Planning new programs or new locations

What We Do: Over the course of 45-60 days, we work with your team to provide a comprehensive look at your current and - as possible - past programming. This assessment provides a snapshot of program status and effectiveness, and a guideline for creating or growing new initiatives.

Over the course of 45-60 days, our analysts and Community Partner Specialists will:

  • Gather your goals for the program, any demographics, and assorted background information including differences in services implementation at local facilities
  • Create a rapid (5-8 minutes to complete) survey for previous service recipients
  • Implement anonymized feedback collection for 30-45 days (depending on size and scope)
  • Using proprietary algorithms and statistical methods, break down feedback and surveys into standardized metrics, based on impact goals
  • Produce a comprehensive report of historical impact and potential assessment for efficient program developments, such as:
    • What motivates participants to return to events or for services
    • Aggregated metrics of personality corresponding to increased probability of services having lasting effects on well-being
    • Attribute metrics of overall well-being, like connectedness and stress
    • How programs can be built or modified to optimize these metrics
What We Would Need: This process builds upon the claiming of pages to fully engage with the participants, with only limited additions.

We will ask for the following coordination:
  1. Initial goals meeting (30 minutes, 1 time, phone/video); program director, data team (if any), development or fundraising leadership, other interested leaders
  2. Optional: Advisable to have follow on meeting with all local personnel who will be distributing surveys
  3. Survey review and approval (30 minutes spread over 1 week, email/shared docs); program director
  4. Feedback and survey distribution, collection, engagement (5-10 minutes/week, email); engagement leads
  5. Report review and questions (flexible)

Full Series Impact Analysis

Best For: Tracking and optimizing impact of program changes over time; Measuring participation over time; Grant application and updating; Donor relations.

What We Do: Conducted over the course of a year, this detailed analysis tracks changes, progress, and continued development and improvement in participants while protecting their identity and information. The reports provide focus on optimizing programs that offer longer-term (eg., service animals, multi-week training or courses, online communities) or recurring (eg., monthly events) engagements.

In addition to the previous products and with no further time requests of your team, our platform and staff will offer:

  1. Ongoing support, suggestions, and templates for gathering feedback over the year-long analysis period
  2. A secure dashboard of relevant metrics, including time-series analysis to see how program changes are affecting well-being
  3. Periodic summary reports (1-2 pages) 2-3 times during the year, focused on your goals and suggestions for minor program changes

501c3 Corporate Assistance and Partnerships Program (CAPP) Initiative

Available For: 501c3 Nonprofits looking for a year of impact analysis, in need of partial or full funding through a restricted donation.

What We Do: Our goal is to provide validated, unbiased data analysis for every MilVet 501c3 charitable program at little or no cost to the organization.

To accomplish this goal, Pathfinder Labs is creating financial partnerships with multiple sources to supplement or fund the analysis cycle for 501c3 nonprofits working in the MilVet community. Through a restricted gift agreement, organizations will receive the funding to:

  • Obtain a full year of Pathfinder Labs' feedback-based impact analytics, including all reports and systems
  • Offer incentives to members of the MilVet community who provide feedback
  • Compensate engagement managers for time spent collecting and responding to feedback
  • Initiate small, suggested changes to programs to improve efficiency during the year
Pathfinder will add each organization to our list - from which donors will select the program they would like to fund - on a first-come basis. Your organization is added to the list to receive analysis and feedback funding if it:
  • Is a charitable nonprofit, approved as eligible for tax deductible donations (certified 501c3) for at least one year
  • Has at least one program dedicated to supporting the MilVet community
  • Has the ability to process and maintain restricted donations
What We Need: In addition to your patience while being on the list (though organizations can start the analysis cycle with an up-front payment of the analysis portion, which also would release the restriction on the bulk of the eventual donation), we ask that each organization being added to the list:
  1. Has claimed each chapter or regional page on www.pathfinder.vet
  2. Returns a signed analytics proposal to Pathfinder Labs, understanding there is no obligation unless and until funding is received
  3. Commits to respond to donor inquiries within three business days, and to deposit funds and process invoices within 14 days

More Information on The Process, The Tech, Validation, and Security


How and Why Feedback Works for Nonprofits and Services

We know a lot of charitable programs are apprehensive of feedback, largely because they worry about the community - or donors - seeing something that reflects a less-than-stellar experience that could potentially deter support. What we (and scores of researchrs) found, however, is the opposite.

Here's just a sample of common concerns, and what we continue to discover:

  • Concern: How could this platform help me recruit and stand out, when you list allorganizations?
    Truth: Feedback is perfect for the MilVet community. Reviews are popular: research shows a significant majority of Americans won't make a purchase without reading reviews first. Furthermore, they want to be sure they are reading honest feedback, so testimonials and marketing on a product website are more likely to be discarded than on a third-party website. Then you add in the MilVets: this group is tight, and tends to ask for and trust the referrals of our peers so we know what we are walking into. The best way to attract a MilVet is to get other MilVets talking about you.

  • Concern: Feedback leaves too much to chance! What if my scores aren't perfect?
    Truth: Asking for and responding to feedback helps raise participant confidence. Your participants want to be heard, and want to know you are listening. Claiming a page, asking for feedback, and giving a response to both positive and "needs improvement" feedback increases the likelihood you'll be viewed as engaged and even - if needed - willing to adapt. That means more engagement, more repeat clients, and more referrals towards your programs.

  • Concern: What if a donor, grant, or other funder reads something negative?
    Truth: Feedback engagement is what is appealing to funders, much more so than the occasional "bad" review.
    Participants aren't the only ones who want to see you are listening. Studies and surveys of repeating and large-amount funders show the decision to give or not to give is more based on the proportion of participants willing to contribute an honest review of the services(showing a strong relationship) and the program's response (showing continued engagement and - if needed - willingness to listen and improve).


Why Pathfinder Labs' AI System Works for Finding Services' Impact

We don't just use AI in the form of making better recommendations for users to find services, we use it to help you make better programs. Programs and services need to track and report their impact year-round, but most can only afford the expense - in both money and time - to conduct an impact survey once a year. Furthermore, those surveys are usually lengthy, decreasing response rates, and subject to bias.

By the way: for more on bias, probability, and other misc nerdy topics, check out our CEO's Nerd Desk blog. #hashtagVetNerds!

So to get unbiased, year-round data for use in donor engagement, grant-writing, program optimization, and participation assessments, we came up with a cool system using verified, validated technologies and peer-reviewed research and scales. From this, we built algorithms and methods to get visualize detailed information about participant trends, standardized measurements of program impact, and recommendations for efficient operations planning.

For example, some things we've uncovered for past clients include:

  • Demographic Trends. We helped an organization in an urban setting see if their participation was reflective of the genders, ages, and ethnicities in the local Military and Veteran populations, and offered ways to potentially reach a larger and more diverse group which expanded their grant and donor funding.
  • Motivational Differences. We looked at an outdoor program when some participants were stating they weren't participating in activities very often, but could not identify why when asked on standard surveys. Our analysis found their male Veterans were seeking tangible rewards, like skill-building or certificates, while the women Veterans were looking for closesr connections with other #ladyvets during these events. We made some suggestions for program adjustments, and soon more Veterans started coming back for more programming. Mission accomplished.
  • Changes in Personality Reflecting Lasting Impact. We looked at a student Veteran counseling program to see if there were differences in personalities and behaviors between student Veterans receiving and those opting out of counseling. Using standardized, verified artificial intelligence methods we discovered the counseled students were statistically more likely to be diligent, more conscientious, and less stressed than their counterparts.
  • Reduced Bias. When you go to the doctor and they ask you to rate your pain on a scale of 1 to 10, your answer depends on your personal pain threshholds and how you want to be perceived or treated. Using our machine learning system - trained using widely-accepted clinical scales - we helped one organization determine if their participants were regularly feeling lonely (something MilVets are hesitant to admit). With the results, the organization could better address the issue and help their participants connect.
Pretty cool, right? And that's just a sample.

For the short, tech-talk rundown: We use a system of user-provided feedback about programs and services they use to create both a reference database for other MilVets seeking services, as well as a text inventory for anonymized, combined statistical analysis. We integrate Natural Language Processing techniques, including a refined version of the Linguistic Inventory and Word Count system developed and studied at University of Texas-Austin, Stanford University, and clinical research institutions. With machine learning, we create a platform that helps us compare, contrast, and understand this specific population to provide evidence-based improvements to programs.

For additional information on topics like Natural Language Processing and how we use it, psychometrics, Veterans in nonprofits and feedback, and the science of why we know this works, you can check out our How it Works page, and visit our ever-growing list of references.


Notes on Privacy, Security, and Data Ownership

We take the privacy of users and the security of data very seriously. Please review our Privacy Policy and Terems of Service, linked at the bottom of each page.

To create the most thorough analysis possible while protecting our users, we offer additional assurances on data storage and security:

  • No personal information is ever shared, sold, or otherwise transferred
  • All feedback is anonymized, aggregated, and further dissociated from individuals before and during data processing
  • Databases are nonrelational, with additional AWS security and encryption
  • Names and other identifying information are segregated within our database network, to prevent inadvertantly associating feedback and metrics with individuals
  • Organizational and program analysis, as well as raw data with the exception of names and identifying information, are given to the organization only. Pathfinder Labs only retains aggregated data needed for samples, and for training and refining our artificial intelligence systems. These processes do not identify an organization or contributors.

Got questions about this or anything else? Life, the universe, anything*? Click below, send us an email, and we are happy to help.


*Answer: 42. We said we were nerds...