Archived Story

Nonprofit seeks funds to replace loss of state money

Published 1:32pm Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Partnership for the Sounds will use its annual membership campaign and the money it raises to help offset a likely significant loss of state funds for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins Monday.

Jackie Peoples Woolard, executive director of Partnership for the Sounds, said in interviews earlier this week the nonprofit organization — with environmental-education facilities in eastern North Carolina — will get aggressive with its membership campaign this summer. She also said the nonprofit will pursue grants and other funding sources to augment what money it currently has on hand.

Under a state-budget proposal, the nonprofit would lose $391,000 in stand funds to help pay for its operations. As it stands now, the nonprofit would receive $58,000 in state funds in the next fiscal year to only operate the N.C. Estuarium in Washington, one of its facilities.

“Because of the General Assembly (budget) process has been so different this year, with the makeup being different, I’ve had much stuff to prepare for them as soon as the budget process started,” Woolard said. “So, now that’s subsided a little, in terms of what we have to produce and keep sending up there. As soon as we get a (final) budget, we’ll know for sure (exactly where we stand). We’ve prepared out budget based on what we know we have and how we’re going to proceed the next five to six months. As soon as all that’s firmly in place, I’ll be on the road. That’ll be my main job — fundraising.”

Woolard said she’s encouraged by what Washington City Councilman Bobby Roberson said about funding for the Partnership for the Sounds.

Earlier this week, Roberson said the impending loss of funding for the Partnership for the Sounds and the reduction in funding for the Estuarium needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

“It definitely is going to be a negative impact for us because eco-tourism is one of the things has been one of the positive things for us. As you know, Beaufort County is a Tier 2 county, and anything we can do to promote tourism and development would be a plus,” Roberson said Tuesday. “Now that we’ve actually lost the funding on it, it’s going to limit those kind of activities over there. I think it would be in our best interest — the city, the county and the Mid-East Commission — to take a look at it and see if we can’t come up with funding to actually help leverage (other) funding because of the lack of funding from the state.”

Woolard said some of the nonprofit’s volunteers who live in Cypress Landing have asked what can they do to help raise money for the nonprofit.

“We’ve had quite a few of them come forward and say they’d like to do this (event) as a fundraiser … which is very appreciated. All of our volunteers, not just the Cypress Landing people, do so much for us already. You’re just taken aback when people are willing to do even more.”

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