To say the Museum’s past fall was interesting would be an understatement! Hurricane Hermine not only closed the Museum for 3 days but also caused significant damage to Museum fences, buildings and exhibits. All told, we are estimating final repairs and lost revenue to approach over $100,000. Fortunately, no one was hurt, no animals escaped, we have good insurance coverage and much of the damage has been or is being repaired.
The fall also brought great news with both our annual Zoobilee and Market Days events well exceeding our expectations and Halloween Howl performing along the lines of what we expected. An important element contributing to the success of these events was our wonderful and generous sponsors. Their sponsorships, along with increased ticket sales, provided the Museum with welcomed revenue to support and expand the Museum’s education, exhibition, and collections activities and services to our community and region! A list of all our fall and winter sponsors is included in this post and we hope you will support them and express your appreciation to them for their support of your museum!
This fall also saw the launch of the Museum’s new logo and refreshed brand image. Both were designed
to better reflect the full Museum experience, its enhancements and resources and to present a more
consistent, memorable and contemporary look. The response to the Museum’s refreshed brand has received very positive responses and is catching the eyes of many new visitors and supporters.
I also wish to thank all of our donors who generously gave to the Museum’s year-end annual fund drive to help us rebuild our black bear exhibit. Over 179 people made tax-deductible gifts to the campaign which, to date, has raised over $17,000! We greatly appreciate your support.
While I am speaking about our donors, I want to speak about the importance of philanthropic giving to the Museum in both the short-run and long-term. As a private 501(c)3 non-profit, the Tallahassee Museum is very fortunate and probably one of the few museums in the state and maybe the nation that is capable of generating over 72% of its annual operating costs through ticket sales, memberships, special events, retail sales and program fees. This “earned income” is crucially important in sustaining the Museum’s programs, services, repairs, maintaining accessibility as well as many other critical components which contribute to the overall Museum experience and effectiveness.
However, this percentage of transactional income does not meet all of the Museum’s many needs or wishes, especially in terms of adding new or repairing old exhibits (i.e. bears), capital improvements or additions, serving new audiences, establishing new programs, building our endowment for long-term sustainability or pursuing strategic visions for the Museum’s future. All of these needs are made possible largely through the generosity of donors, both large and small!
Hopefully, you will consider or continue to make philanthropic gifts to the Museum to help us continue to be relevant to our community, provide memorable learning experiences and contribute to our community’s needs, quality of life and economic development.
In the coming months and with your support and participation, you can expect to see the following:
- A new temporary exhibition in the Phipps Gallery entitled, Nature’s Fate: It’s In Our Hands opening the middle of this month;
- New interpretive panels for the Seaboard Airline Caboose and Concord Schoolhouse (March);
- New interpretation and aesthetic improvements to our snake and reptile exhibits at the Chapin Outdoor Classroom (June);
- New interpretive information, labels, and interactives on our Wildlife Florida Trail (starting in June and continuing into the fall);
- New interpretation about longleaf pine habitat and prescribed burns on our Nature Trail (July);
- A cameo exhibit celebrating the Museum’s 60th anniversary (July);
- An exhibition featuring local art produced during the 54th annual International SketchCrawl event (July); and,
- The annual Pioneer Breakfast (Saturday morning) and Tallahassee Jazz and Blues Festival (both days) on April 22 and 23rd and the Tallahassee Singer/Songwriter event on Sunday, May 7.
Look forward to seeing you at the Museum and thank you for your interest, participation and generous support.
Here is a list of our fall and winter sponsors:
- Tallahassee Democrat
- Tally Connection
- Dowdy Plumbing Corporation
- Culture Builds Florida
- Tallahassee State Bank
- Visit Tallahassee
- Kraft Nissan
- City of Tallahassee
- Graphic Press
- Centennial Bank
- Mainline Information Systems
- Summit Group
- Law, Redd, Crona & Munroe, P.A.
- Southern Fidelity
- The Zimmerman Agency
- Foundation Homes
- Frist Commerce Credit Union
- B&T Fencing
- Tri-Eagle Sales
- Refreshment services Pepsi
- Paul Consulting Group
- Hopping Green & Sams
- Brown Plumbing Inc.
- Paul Consulting Group
- Community Coffee
- Harper Revell Heating & Air, Inc.
- Gulf Winds Federal Credit Union
- Visit Florida
- Florida Lottery