Archived Story

Partnership for the Sounds pursues funding

Published 5:10pm Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Jackie Peoples Woolard, executive director of the Partnership for the Sounds, is pleased that people supporting the nonprofit’s effort to raise private funding to replace what likely will be a drastic loss of state funds.

“The latest with the budget is what we were told,” Woolard said Tuesday.

Under a state-budget proposal, the nonprofit would lose $391,000 in state 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.

“The people that are considered nonprofits that get state-aid money like us remain in the Department of Commerce. There was an effort to move everybody to (the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, but we remain under the Department of Commerce. That money will come through the Department of Commerce. There was no other appropriation made specifically for the Partnership for the Sounds.”

The nonprofit is putting extra emphasis on its annual membership drive, which begins each summer, in an effort to raise money for its facilities and programs, Woolard said.

“We just put out a specific request for generosity, in terms of membership. We’ve had a really great response. We’ve gotten more memberships quicker and more money than we’ve received in any year past. We’re very appreciative of that.”

Woolard said the Partnership for the Sounds’ board of directors will meet in late August (no date set yet) to analyze the nonprofit’s budget situation. The board is expected to approve some strategies for major fundraising efforts in the private sector, Woolard said.

“I’m working on those, but they need board approval,” Woolard said.

For now, the nonprofit has enough money to keep its facilities open through the summer at least, Woolard said.

“I’ve been very impressed with how informed people are and interested. We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from people in the community who are very supportive of the Estuarium. We’ve had people come forward and make overtures to help, to be involved in fundraising efforts or to speak with people they know. It’s been a blessing … that we’ve had a lot of positive feedback,” Woolard said.

The $58,000 the proposed budget allocates for the Estuarium would come from the N.C. Grassroots Science Museums Collaborative, according to Woolard. The collaborative includes 28 museums.

The Partnership for the Sounds has been using $177,000 annually in state funding in recent fiscal years to operate the Estuarium, along with funds from other sources, she noted.

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