Recognizing that Cumberland County is the poorest county in NJ, BCB works hard to diversify its funding stream. The MEERWALD’s visibility and mobility have facilitated growth. Each year BCB’s staff and Board target new areas, contacts and activities to increase the breadth of revenue streams. The Fundraising and External Affairs Committee, FEAC, the Executive Director and Director of Development and Marketing work together to help implement the long list of fund raising opportunities ‘on the table’ and support the Board, staff and volunteers engaged in BCB’s diverse fund raising efforts.
BCB’s largest source of income is Program Service revenue. Fees collected from schools, groups and passengers on the MEERWALD, and people who participate in events, have steadily grown to cover nearly 60% of the costs to perform those services. While this is a figure to be proud of, BCB is committed to increasing its other income sources for a more stable base of support.
Merchandise is a small but growing element of BCB’s funding stream, recently boosted by Gallery sales and our new museum store.
Contributed income including memberships, contributions, sponsorships and the annual appeal are incredibly important to BCB. Not only do they subsidize all of our educational programs, they also ensure ownership and involvement from the community – an important BCB tenant.
Some staff and even volunteers are being supported in developing proposals to expand BCB’s foundation support. Each year significant non-cash contributions of goods and services add to BCB’s organizational strength and quality of programming.
BCB’s Future is Dependent on Growing the Base
BCB has a solid support base and is steadily growing its fiscal stability though its programming continues to develop at a slower pace than opportunity and need would dictate. Expenditures are sometimes cut back from budgeted figures in order not to outpace income generation. A capacity building campaign feasibility study has been conducted and the Expanding horizons Campaign will complete the campus including additional land for parking, the preservation of the historic Post Office, rehabilitation of the Annex (archives and library)and a ‘rainy day fund’ for the MEERWALD’s ongoing preservation. BCB relies on an operating line of credit, which typically covers the winter when the MEERWALD is not generating income. Future plans include endowment building to lessen the need for this seasonal cash-flow bridge. There is organization-wide consensus that growing the organizational capacity – diversifying and strengthening its financial house is critical for the organization’s future success.