PfS pursues funding optionsPublished 5:15pm Tuesday, October 22, 2013
While it’s operating on reserves, the Partnership for the Sounds is taking a holistic approach to finding funds to replace the state money it lost this summer.
“We’re in the process of developing a major fundraising strategy. We pretty much have the strategy in place, the plan in place,” said Jackie Peoples Woolard, executive director of PfS.”Now we are going about methodically to implement it. You can lose funding in a snap of the finger, but you can’t create funding with that same snap. It’s a real process. The state is trying to develop the best plan for the Partnership and its facilities and go about securing our immediate stability and our long-range stability as well.”
The Partnership is a private nonprofit that operates the North Carolina Estuarium in Washington, the Roanoke/Cashie River Center in Windsor and the Columbia Theater Cultural Center and Tyrrell County Visitors Center in Columbia. In addition, PfS works with Hyde County groups, local governments, schools and a variety of organizations throughout the Albemarle-Pamlico peninsula to promote activities, education and tourism related to the area’s natural resources and cultural heritage.
PfS is preparing to launch fundraising initiatives in each community where it has a facility, with each initiative customized for the facility it is targeting, Woolard said.
“We will be doing fundraising specifically for the Estuarium, specifically for our facility in Windsor, specifically for the Columbia theater — that sort of thing. We are trying to position ourselves for future legislative sessions. It’s pretty much a holistic approach for having to include it all,” Woolard said.
Since its founding in 1993, the Partnership had received an appropriation from the state that helped sustain 15 full-time and over 15 part-time jobs in four counties (Beaufort, Bertie, Hyde and Tyrrell) that have struggled economically for generations.
When the state’s budget was approved earlier this year, the nonprofit lost $391,000 in state funds to help pay for its operations. The nonprofit received $58,000 in state funds for the current fiscal year to only operate the Estuarium. That amount covers only about one-fifth of annual operating costs for that facility.
“We’ve done some more trimming of staff, but we’re trying very hard to not let the facilities themselves be impacted in terms of operating hours. Specifically at the Estuarium, the hours have not changed,” Woolard noted.