South Florida Museum & Bishop Planetarium Inc
PO Box 9265
Bradenton FL 34206
Mission

To engage and inspire learners of all ages; we protect, interpret and communicate scientific and cultural knowledge of Florida, the world and our universe.

 

Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Brynne Anne Besio
Board Chair Mrs. Jeanie Kirkpatrick
Board Chair Affiliation Volunteer
General Info
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 1954
Awarded competitive grant from Community Foundation in the last 5 years? Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Nov 2016
State Registration Yes Nov 2019
IRS Letter of Determination
View
Financial Summary
 
 
Projected Revenue $2,301,684.00
Projected Expenses $2,301,684.00
Other Documents
Impact Statement

Accomplishments:

Museum attendance reached 70,000 in 2015. Public program attendance is strong with most operating at capacity. Science cafes, live star talks, lectures, special admission days and discounted family nights provide accessible opportunities for diverse constituents.

More than 12,000 students visit annually for standards-based field trips, and during the 2014 and 2015 school years, all Manatee County 4th graders had a field trip to the Museum with admission covered by a Museum donor.

An exhibition we created with nationally-renowned artist Clyde Butcher featuring environmental conservation themes continues to travel throughout Florida. We continue to be a Smithsonian Affiliate and meet their high standards.

New Planetarium shows are introduced regularly to showcase the state-of-the-art Planetarium projection system and consistently get rave reviews.

Proud home to the oldest known manatee in the world, Snooty, who celebrates his 68th birthday in 2016. The annual birthday celebration attracts more than 5,000 people. He has inspired more than one million visitors since 1949. Since joining the rehabilitation program in 1998, we have cared for 30 sick, injured or orphaned manatees.

Our donor base continues to grow, enhancing our sustainability. Our summer fundraising campaign to fund the Manatee Care Program exceeded the goal in 2015 for the fifth year in a row and has strong repeat support in 2016.

Goals

  • Continuously enhance visitor experiences and expand service to underserved communities, young children and families.
  • Begin construction of new wing housing an early learning area for ages 2-8 in 2017.
  • Strengthen institutional capacity by diversifying revenue streams and increasing donations, memberships and attendance.
  • Contribute to manatee rehabilitation and inspire environmental stewardship.
  • Develop regional awareness of the Museum and participation in our vibrant complex for scientific, cultural and natural history education and preservation.
Needs Statement
  1. $100 per day is needed to feed Snooty. Hundreds of pounds of fresh romaine lettuce is needed weekly. Snooty alone eats 70 lbs. daily and the food bill can reach $75,000 annually for three manatees.
  2. $4,800 is needed for a perimeter fence for the Title 1 VPK class now housed at the South Florida Museum (city code has specific requirements that affect cost).

  3. Our daily school programs are a key enrichment activity for students in science and natural history. Support a class field trip the Museum for $500.

  4. The Museum provides free access to under-served communities as much as possible. Underwrite a day of impactful learning for $700.
  5.  Funds are also needed to continue our conversion to LED light bulbs ($10,000) throughout the Museum.
  6.  Help us care for our collections by supporting the rehousing of our older collections into archival boxes. An average cost for an intact collection would run $300.
  7. Our Connect Capital Campaign funds new, unique resources that include the Mosaic Backyard Universe, a new wing focused on children 2-8 and their families. It will offer opportunities to explore and understand the world around us in a familiar setting, a 5,000 square-foot backyard that will invite and encourage investigation and interaction with the simple wonders of nature.
Background Statement

The South Florida Museum, which includes the Bishop Planetarium and Parker Manatee Aquarium, is the largest natural and cultural history museum on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Stunning life-size dioramas and dramatic exhibits tell Florida’s story from the prehistoric to the present. The state-of-the-art Bishop Planetarium Theater accommodates diverse programs, from lectures to live performances and films, but the main attraction is its remarkable space exploration and astronomy resources. The Aquarium is home to Manatee County’s most famous resident, “Snooty™” the manatee. Born in 1948, he holds the Guinness world record as the oldest known manatee and has greeted more than one million visitors since arriving in Bradenton in 1949. Additionally, sick, orphaned and injured manatees are cared for as part of a collaborative rehabilitation network. The Museum is not eligible for funding from the state or federal government directly for the manatees' daily care, we must rely on help from caring donors to aide the recovery of this endangered species.

Founded by residents who wanted to preserve local history, the Museum was incorporated as a Florida non-profit in 1946 and opened its doors in 1947. The original collection was purchased from local amateur archaeologist Motague Tallant by the area Chamber of Commerce. The Tallant Collection of Florida’s First Peoples Artifacts remains a centerpiece of the Museum. The Museum’s current Board includes 2nd and 3rd generation members of some of the founding families.

More than 70,000 people visited the Museum in 2015, including youth organizations and thousands of school children. Our emphasis on educating people of all ages drives programming. In addition to teacher training and formal educational programs, a wide variety of public programs is offered including “think + drink” science cafés, Family Nights, lectures, live star talks and summer camps. Permanent exhibits focus on Florida’s ecology and natural history, early 20th-century medical practices and showcasing the Museum's collections. Temporary exhibits are mounted in several galleries and changed regularly to provide new experiences for visitors and to highlight diverse aspects of science, history and culture. The Museum, the county's most popular cultural attraction, helps power the area’s economy as a tourist destination and by helping to build a more vital downtown through arts and culture programs and creative community collaborations.

Areas Served
Areas Served
Area
FL- Manatee
FL-Pinellas
FL- Sarasota
FL- Charlotte
FL- DeSoto
FL- Hardee
FL- Hillsborough
Areas Served Comments

Guests come from all U. S. states, US territories and many countries. 70% of our visitors are from Florida.

We serve more than 12,000 area youth through school field trips, outreach, home school programs, science and history camps and programs in: archaeology, paleontology, astronomy, marine biology, and environmental studies.
 
School programs serve students from the following counties: Manatee, Sarasota, Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Hardee, Polk, Hernando, DeSoto, Charlotte, Highlands, Hendry.
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
Secondary Org Type Animal Related
Tertiary Org Type Education
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President

There is so much going on at the South Florida Museum that it’s difficult to decide where to begin. I am honored to lead this Board when there is so much happening. I have the opportunity to see people from around the world enjoy the Museum and benefit from it regularly. I also know what’s coming, and it’s incredible.

We’ve been helping people explore the world around them for generations (since 1947) – engaging audiences, encouraging understanding and inspiring all ages to connect to the past, present and future of the planet we all share. We are now creating the museum of the future – a home to exciting new exhibitions, programs built on innovative technological advances and new spaces that connect us more deeply to our community. The new Museum will be a model for the museum community to follow – an exciting and innovative hub for learning and exploration and an extraordinary educational resource for the community. We are on track to complete our $12 million Connect Capital Campaign by the end of 2016.

SFM is an anchor attraction in downtown Bradenton and a vital part of the region’s educational, tourism and business landscapes. The only natural history museum on the Gulf Coast, we feature a state-of-the-art digital Planetarium and a manatee rehabilitation Aquarium. As we approach the age of 70, we are creating a new unique STEAM (science-technology-engineering-arts-math) focused early learning center, exhibition renovations, and a new gathering space with a café, thus adding value for visitors and residents.

The Museum continues to be an important educational partner and resource for primary, secondary and higher education in the region. Our formal education programs — which are all standards-based for science and social studies — are created with the input and support of educators and administrators in public and private schools. The Manatee County School District includes a field trip to the Museum in its formal curriculum for all fourth grade students. We partner with Ringling College of Art and Design, USF and New College, to provide undergraduate and graduate student opportunities as well as professional development for teachers. We also have popular home school programs and summer camps.

Several exhibitions are presented during the year to ensure a different experience each time someone visits. Dinosaurs are coming at the end of this year! Popular evening programs include “think+drink” science cafes, live star talks, Family Nights and lectures.

There are some 60,000 objects in our permanent collections, each with stories to tell that enhance people’s lives with knowledge of history, culture, science and the natural world. For now, the Museum can’t share all the stories the objects and animals have to tell – there’s simply not enough space or time. What if we could? What if you could choose what stories to investigate, based on your own interests? And what if you and your kids could explore and develop new stories of your own? In the new future you will be able to!

If you haven’t visited the Museum recently, I invite you to connect with us. Learn more about our programs and Campaign online at www.SouthFloridaMuseum.org and please, stop in for a visit. You’ll be glad you did.

— Jeanie Kirkpatrick, President Board of Trustees

Statement from the CEO/Executive Director

For nearly 70 years, the South Florida Museum has been a vital educational resource and major attraction for the visitors and residents of southwest Florida and an anchor institution for the downtown Bradenton area arts and cultural community. As a private nonprofit, it is the only natural and cultural history museum on the west coast of Florida providing the opportunity for visitors to also experience a state-of-the-art planetarium as well as a rehabilitation aquarium for manatees and the oldest known manatee. With our unique resources, visitors can explore the far reaches of the universe, the natural history of our planet and its life, and the sweeping historical and cultural stories of humankind – building universal, global and local connections from our own distinctive Florida perspective.

The South Florida Museum focuses on bolstering lifelong learning through a variety of high-quality, innovative educational programs utilizing the themes of our exhibits and current scientific events and discoveries. We provide learning opportunities for all ages as well as teacher training.

As one of the key cultural and arts organizations in the area, we participate in the collaborative efforts of Realize Bradenton, Inc., the cultural development movement to build and promote a vibrant downtown, both area convention bureaus and a variety of other partnerships.

We are bringing new resources online over the next 2 years unlike any in the region. The Mosaic Backyard Universe will be a new wing that provides children ages 2-8 and their families with opportunities to explore and understand the world around them in a familiar setting: a 5,000 square-foot backyard that will invite and encourage investigation and interaction with the simple wonders of nature. We anticipate finishing our Connect Capital Campaign to fund this expansion and renovation by the end of 2016 and will then move into the next set of priorities in our Master Campus Plan.

The Museum’s resident manatee, Snooty, is the oldest manatee in the world, and an exceptional ambassador for endangered species and environmental protection. We are the only Stage 2 rehabilitation facility for manatees on Florida’s west coast. Visitors learn about manatees, threats to them and how people can help, yet there is very little state or federal funding for this work.

Our state-of-the-art Planetarium Theater is the region's premier astronomy education facility. It is also a beautiful venue for not only Planetarium shows about the universe beyond earth, but also for live star talks, films, theater and lectures.

Programs
Description

The Museum’s education programs support the teaching and learning goals of the pre-K to adult formal education community including public, private, parochial and homeschooling educators and students. All programs are standards-based for the major science and social studies content areas (including science, technology, engineering and math - STEM), and are created with the input and support of educators and administrators in public and private schools. More than 12,000 students visit on formal field trips annually. In 2015 and 2016, all Manatee County 4th graders took a field trip to SFM with admission covered by a private donor. Our homeschool program follows a three year cycle. We co-created and co-teach, with the USF Sarasota-Manatee, a class for undergraduates training to be teachers. Summer Camps are also standards-based and provide fun enrichment to the formal curricula for students entering K through 6th grades. We also offer teacher training for science teachers.

Budget $142,275
Category Education, General/Other Partnerships in Education
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years) Families At-Risk Populations
Short Term Success We are partners in the classroom for K-12 teachers in providing content to meet Florida Standards in STEM and History to help support teaching and learning objectives and performance. Our goal is to serve as many students as possible with educational resources and experiences that are not traditionally available in the classroom. Program success in the broadest sense is in exposing learners to an expanded view of their world and their place in it. In a more formal sense, success may be measured as improved mastery of standards-based learning objectives.

With the goal of focused, standards-based education, teachers are provided with an evaluation tool, but most feedback is given at the time of contact. For on-site sessions, teachers are interviewed regarding needs and goals upon arrival and again at exit. Continued process improvement allows for feedback to be applied immediately. Additionally, we provide hands-on learning for college interns in areas including ethnographic studies, education, marine mammal care, astronomy and marketing. We compare student participation year-to-year and address factors under our control (e.g. when transportation funding was found to be an issue, we sought scholarship support).
Long Term Success If we are successful, the society of the future will embrace and understand science and history and the workforce will flourish in STEM-related studies and careers. We will continue to serve the community’s needs and remain relevant as a provider of unique, engaging educational experiences. Our formal education programs will continue to have standards-based impact on students and educators. We will maintain or enhance our ability to address 100% of science standards and 75% of social studies standards for elementary school students through the Museum’s programs as the standards change. Partnerships with school systems and youth agencies will remain strong and engage and inspire the study of STEM topics, and art and history will be more closely linked to science. Educators will have access to current science and history content to fit their curricula and engage students. Inquiry-based learning will be prevalent in the formal education system.
Program Success Monitoring For all school related programs, teachers are given pre-program information and asked to complete post-program evaluations. Teachers are interviewed about goals for their visit upon arrival and about satisfaction upon exit. We work with the county school systems to assess program needs and satisfaction. The rate of repeat participation by individual educators is indicative of success, as is the rate of student participation in spite of shrinking school budgets for enrichment activities. We regularly receive “thank-you” cards and letters made by students describing their visit to the Museum in superlatives.
Program Success Examples
Examples of success come from teachers and students. Approximately 50% of elementary age students in Manatee County visit the Museum each year, having significant impact on science and history curricula as well as specific knowledge about the history of the students’ community. The thank-you cards and letters received from students clearly show they enjoyed visiting the Museum and illustrate a specific lesson learned.  The fact that the Manatee County School District chose the Museum as the site for its mandatory 4th grade field trip, and that our summer professional development programs for teachers are consistently filled to capacity and describe as "once-in-a-lifetime" opportunities speak to our success in working with students and educators.
 
Our new partnership with USF Sarasota-Manatee's School of Education to develop an undergraduate curriculum validates both our approach and results. 
Description

The Museum focuses on bolstering lifelong learning through a variety of high-quality, affordable, innovative programs. The overall goal is to interpret Museum exhibitions for learners of all ages providing pathways for understanding universal historical, scientific and cultural concepts. Regularly-scheduled live weekend star talks and daily space-related shows are featured on the state-of-the-art Planetarium dome. Friday night Film series highlight relevant historical, scientific and cultural themes; “think + drink (science)” science cafes invite conversations with the community on diverse topics, monthly evening Stelliferous star talks and lectures are also held. Monthly Family Nights provide a variety of themed activities, and the elder community, a significant audience in our area, is served through partnerships with established lifelong learning organizations. Public programs attract new visitors and add value to memberships.

Budget $97,000
Category Science & Technology, General/Other Astronomy & Astrophysics
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adults Families Elderly and/or Disabled
Short Term Success

Public programs highlight current issues and concepts, making sometimes complex and intimidating scientific concepts interesting and accessible to the general population. They also provide forums for exploring multiple facets of issues and cultural phenomena. They are relevant in the everyday life of community members, and provide enjoyable, active learning opportunities about topics of current interest. Family Nights showcase Museum exhibits and collections, are targeted to working families and frequently involve partner organizations. These themed programs, often produced in partnership with local visual and performing arts groups like ArtCenter Manatee, provide access to diverse audiences. The monthly “think + drink” science cafes have a loyal following and attract new attendees with diverse topics. The interactive format provides the opportunity for on-the-spot program evaluation and adjustment. Continued growth in attendance is an indicator of success.

Long Term Success

These programs foster awareness and understanding of scientific concepts and current scientific thinking, expand awareness of specific cultures, link art and science, and serve people of all ages. They also connect people to the Museum’s core mission and role in the community, which is to serve as a resource for learning and preservation. Fees are kept to a minimum to make programs and the Museum as accessible as possible to our many audiences. Program collaborations feature local artists and organizations, providing innovative and diverse experiences and expanding audiences for all participants. The “think + drink” science cafes are free of charge and engage participants in discussion with experts and among themselves, fostering comfort with complex scientific and cultural concepts.

Continued growth in attendance and sold-out programs indicate success. 
Program Success Monitoring

Program success is evaluated in several ways including attendance. These programs cover the “hard” costs of staging them (exclusive of staff time), and attract audiences not familiar with the Museum in addition to serving regular attenders. Interaction with participants is a hallmark of the Museum’s programs, providing regular opportunities for in-person satisfaction surveys and evaluation. Relevance to current societal issues is also monitored (for example, a film series highlighting the military is being presented in conjunction with the Legacy of Valor initiative in 2013). During 2013 we had sold-out crowds for multiple programs.

Program Success Examples

Audiences for the Museum’s public programs grow over time, with a cadre of regular participants for all and a consistent influx of new attendees. “Film Fridays” is an excellent example of successful program development. The series was “born” after a trial on weeknights in 2009, it was reworked for Friday nights with a lower admission fee in 2011, and as a result attendance more than doubled, providing a unique and affordable ‘date night’ in downtown Bradenton. The “think + drink (science)” series has a dedicated following, many of whom bring friends, expanding the audience in the most credible and sustainable way, word-of-mouth. Participants’ input is also solicited for topics and guest speakers. Lectures by local scientists and experts in fields related to exhibitions have been very popular. Sold-out crowds and consistently positive input from attendees are signs of the success of our programs. 

Description

Outreach programs bring the Museum’s resources directly into the classroom, either to complement a field trip or in lieu of one if budgets or scheduling preclude it. Established programs serve Pre-K through 12th graders, but what is exceptional is that the Museum’s Education Department creates custom programs on demand to serve an individual classroom or teacher’s needs. The Museum’s outreach programs are available to all schools with some support available for Title 1 schools.

Budget $15,000
Category Education, General/Other Elementary & Secondary Education
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years) At-Risk Populations General/Unspecified
Short Term Success The Museum’s outreach programs connect kids with the formal curriculum through hands-on programs and locally available resources. The Museum has support to serve Title 1 schools, so barriers to service have been removed. Teachers are directly involved in the development of most outreach programs and are asked to complete a post-program evaluation. The programs are designed to increase students’ understanding of topics specifically in their curriculum as well as enhance their overall understanding of natural history of the area and the specific history of their community.
Long Term Success

Outreach programs will become an established part of the education landscape with the Museum as a critical resource to the formal education system. We expect financial and time budgets to continue to decline, limiting school groups to infrequent field trips. Outreach is an important programmatic tool to integrate Museum resources into the classroom in a mutually beneficial relationship. Students and teachers receive customized programs that fit seamlessly into their curricula and the Museum increases access to its resources and fulfills its mission.

Program Success Monitoring  The Museum tracks the number of programs delivered and number of students reached each year. The recent trend has been toward increased demand for outreach programs, and with financial budgets shrinking and the demand for students to spend time in the classroom increasing, we expect the need for outreach programs to continue to grow. Providing teachers with the ability to request customized programs allows the Museum to track specific systemic needs and adjust programs accordingly. Additionally, each program can be tailored to the individual class, increasing the opportunity for enhanced educational outcomes.
Program Success Examples

A recent example of the success and potential for the Museum’s Outreach Programs can be seen at Nolan Middle School. Teachers from Nolan participated in the Museum’s Institute for Science Teaching and worked with the Museum’s education director to customize a participatory lecture series for all students at the school. Nolan Middle School practices the integrated science approach, incorporating physics, chemistry, geology, biology and astronomy into the curriculum. The program is in its third year and reaches all of the school’s students. Teachers recognize that the Museum is available to provide and integrate resources and work with Museum staff to do so most beneficially for each class.

Description

The Museum’s exhibitions and collections form the soul and skeleton of our mission and allow visitors to follow Florida’s story from 4.5 billion years ago to the present, learning from the geological, fossil, archaeological, historical and environmental records. These resources form the basis of our programming. Permanent exhibitions provide a core context while several changing galleries host temporary exhibitions throughout the year so visitors can always experience something new. The East Gallery is designed to showcase multiple different exhibitions each year. Recent topics include “Mystery of the Mayan Medallion,” underwater photography by National Geographic photographer Brian Skerry and Clyde Butcher’s “Cuba.” Other exhibitions are also offered in smaller galleries throughout the year and frequently are connected to community organizations.

Budget $299,765
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Archaeology
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Families K-12 (5-19 years) Adults
Short Term Success

The Museum’s exhibitions set the stage for the experiences visitors have. They are conducive to educational and enjoyable programs, and also invite visitors to explore and discover on their own. Temporary exhibitions broaden the scope of content, complement the permanent exhibitions and feature topics of interest that spark curiosity. Recent temporary exhibits have included “Clyde Butcher's

Cuba - The Natural Beauty,” “Changing Waters, Photography by Lynne Buchanan,” “Mystery of the Mayan Medallion,” and “Ocean Soul” featuring the underwater photography of National Geographic photographer Brian Skerry. We try to showcase the work of local artists and provide access to diverse subjects. Attendance at opening receptions helps us evaluate interest and satisfaction levels of both new and regular visitors.

Long Term Success

The Museum is the keeper of the community’s history, artifacts and stories. Exhibitions must be engaging and relevant to the community at all times. As technology evolves and new communication, teaching and learning tools are created, the Museum must incorporate them into its exhibitions and programs to provide enjoyable, enriching experiences. Permanent exhibits relate to the core of the Museum’s mission, and temporary exhibits allow visitors to explore related concepts on a timely basis. Temporary exhibits can attract new audiences, prompting them to discover the Museum’s treasures and role as a resource in the community. As new exhibitions are created, the Museum’s challenge is to increase interaction and engagement and make sure Museum guests can have a new experience each time they visit. Exhibitions also serve as a “draw,” helping to generate revenue for the Museum through repeat visitation and connections to the community.

Program Success Monitoring

The success of temporary exhibitions showcased in the East Gallery can be gauged by attendance at exhibition opening events. In recent times, approximately 100 guests have attended these receptions which provide an exclusive first look at the new featured experience. In conjunction with temporary exhibitions, our gift shop special orders themed items such as books, DVDs, art pieces and educational toys which are relevant to the content of the exhibition. Interest and successful sales of these items provides another indicator of exhibition success while at the same time extending the visitor’s learning and enrichment opportunities beyond the on-site visit. Another indicator of the quality of our exhibitions is what other organizations want to partner with us, such as Audubon Florida offering a lecture in conjunction with one of our exhibitions. Educational effectiveness of the permanent exhibits is assessed through our formal education programs and general visitor comments.

Program Success Examples

The permanent exhibitions and overall visitor experience are evaluated by exit comments directed toward our visitor services staff and volunteers. Regular remarks include “I needed more time,” “I can’t believe how much is here,” and “I was here years ago and can’t believe how much has changed and been added. The exhibits are very well done. The professionalism of the exhibits and experience exceeded by expectations.” The greatest testimony is the common remark that a guest “will be back” and plans to invite others to join them to enjoy the Museum. The annual “secret shopper” report provided through the Florida Attractions Assoc. is reviewed by the management team and adjustments made as needed and feasible. These reports consistently offer very high scores, commonly 99/100. To track overall response, social media comments are monitored to review unsolicited—as well as prompted—feedback from our audiences. We consistently receive strong positive comments on TripAdvisor.

Description

Snooty, who holds the Guinness World record as the oldest known manatee, has called the Museum home since 1949, and since 1998 the Museum has participated in the Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation Partnership (MRP), caring for sick, orphaned and injured manatees and helping people get “up close” to manatees. As a 2nd stage rehabilitation facility, manatees are transferred to the Museum from a critical care hospital once their condition is stable. Although the program contributes to the recovery of an endangered species, the Museum is not eligible for funding from the state or federal government directly for manatee care, so this program requires significant private support. Since joining the MRP, the Museum has cared for 30 injured or sick manatees. Presentations by the animal care team, exhibits, educational tours and outreach programs educate the public and school children about environmental issues and manatees and to help this endangered species.

Budget $332,645
Category Animal-Related, General/Other Marine Animals Preservation & Protection
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served General/Unspecified Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Adults
Short Term Success

In the short-term, the Museum provides a caring home for manatees until they are ready to be returned to the wild. Goals are set for each individual based on need and can include weight/size increase, specific eating habits, swimming ability, or the start or end of a behavior. Our participation in the program makes space available for newly injured animals at the three acute care hospitals in the state. Many, but not all, manatees are monitored and/or tracked after release so that lessons from each case help improve the overall rehabilitation process. Several manatees released from the Museum in recent years were monitored for a year and are considered successfully returned to the wild.

Long Term Success

The goals of the program are to aide the recovery of the endangered species and to educate Museum visitors about environmental issues, threats to manatees and how humans can help this endangered species. The ultimate changes will be increasing manatee populations in the state and decreasing human-related threats to Florida manatees. Success is evaluated in cooperation with other members of the consortium including state and federal wildlife officials, scientists and educators. The partnership has created a plan for determining the successful reacclimation of manatees to the wild following rehabilitation and it is adjusted each year depending on success rates and the needs of the current population undergoing rehabilitation.

Program Success Monitoring

Success of the manatee rehabilitation program is measured in several ways. The primary goal for young manatees is to gain weight and remain healthy while at the Museum and 30 have benefited to date. Their physical health and behavior are closely monitored and the status of each manatee is reviewed by the experts within the Partnership on a regular basis. Manatees undergoing rehabilitation do not form a relationship with the animal care staff so they are not attracted to people after release back to the wild. The primary environmental education goal is to reach as many of the Museum’s more than 70,000 annual visitors with information about the conservation status and needs of manatees.

Program Success Examples

The Manatee Rehabilitation Program affects both manatees and people. We have successfully cared for 30 manatees undergoing rehabilitation. By housing manatees in preparation for release at the Museum and other secondary care facilities, space is opened at the critical care hospitals, maximizing the number of endangered manatees that can be helped. Tens of thousands of people, including school groups, see the manatees at the Museum each year, and most hear an educational presentation about manatee biology and human-related threats. The annual Wildlife Festival held in honor of Snooty’s birthday is an example of the wide reach of this program. Thousands of people visit that day to see the manatees and learn about local wildlife. Snooty receives birthday cards from children around the country in addition to Sarasota and Manatee Counties. Visitors frequently say it’s the first time they’ve seen a manatee up close, a hallmark of experiential learning.

Comments
Program Comments by Organization

We provide varied educational activities from lectures and discussions to diverse exhibitions to meet different interests and needs within the community. We collaborate with many organizations from arts to history to science groups in addition to formal education structures.  We are limited only by staff time and resources available.

The Museum can be a “one-stop shopping” venue for school field trips about science, history and environmental studies. All programs, both on-site and in the community, are standards-based, address the Florida Standards for the major science and social studies content areas (including science, technology, engineering and math - STEM), and are created with the input and support of educators and administrators in public and private schools. Students can visit the Museum and see a cross section of Florida’s ecosystems and learn key points in the state’s history. We also provide outreach programs to area schools (including in other counties). During the 2014 and 2015 school years, all Manatee County 4th graders took a field trip to SFM (SFM provided admission scholarships thanks to a private donor).

Our collaborations are both important to and reflective of our program successes. One example is a partnership with USF Sarasota-Manatee: we co-developed the undergraduate course “Teaching Elementary Science,” which is taught at the Museum and integrates teaching strategies with science content using the Museum’s collections and exhibitions as a primary resource.

We participate in many regional efforts including the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and try to work with arts organizations whenever possible. The immersive dome art course at Ringling College another example.

Public programs double as marketing tools and our audiences continue to grow steadily. We partner with several media outlets to expand awareness of the Museum and program participation. Staff continuously create innovative ways for guests to experience the Museum.

CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Brynne Anne Besio
CEO Term Start Oct 2007
CEO/Executive Director Email BBesio@SouthFloridaMuseum.org
Experience

Brynne Anne Besio holds a M.S. in Geology from the University of Colorado, Boulder and a B.S. in Geology from the University of California at Davis. She has 25 years of nonprofit management experience including four Girl Scout councils (Denver, Philadelphia area and Sarasota) and the Puget Sound Blood Center, nine years as a geologist first for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California and for Amoco Production Company in Denver, Colorado. Ms. Besio currently sits on the board of the Florida Association of Museums, Science and Environmental Council of  Southwest Florida and was integrally involved in the founding of Realize Bradenton, Inc.

Former CEOs/Executive Directors
NameTerm
Dr. Peter Bennett 1998 - 2003
Mr. John Howard 2003 - 2006
Senior Staff
NameTitle
Mr. Jack Balkan Facilities Director
Ms. Marilyn Margold Director of Living Collections and Aquarium
Mr. Jeff Rodgers Director of Education and Planetarium
Ms. Martha Wells Development Director
Mr. Matthew Woodside Director of Exhibitions and Collections
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 20
Part Time Staff 10
Staff Retention Rate % 87
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 2
Volunteers 150
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Collaborations

Collaborations are a priority for the Museum for many reasons. They help extend our reach both geographically and to different types of audiences as well as strengthen our community service and ties. Also, the integration of art and science is key to our educational philosophy.

We regularly partner with colleges, schools, arts organizations and other informal learning institutions and participate in community projects. Each of the Museum’s main centers of operations (the Planetarium, Aquarium, exhibitions and education departments) is actively involved in multiple collaborations. Current collaborations include participation in Realize Bradenton, the Science and Environmental Council of Southwest Florida, Bradenton Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Visit Sarasota County, Cosmix with the Ringling College of Art and Design and a course developed for USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Education School. Current and recent collaborators include Village of the Arts, Manatee Players, ArtCenter Manatee, Manatee County School District, Manatee County, Sarasota County School District, State College of Florida, New College, Lifelong Learning Academy, Pierian Springs Academy, Longboat Key Education Center, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre and Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.

Affiliations
AffiliationYear
American Association of Museums - Member
American Association of Science and Technology Centers
American Association of State and Local History
Florida Association of Museums
Florida Attraction Association
Manatee Rehabilitation Network
Science and Environmental Council of Sarasota County
Smithsonian Museum - Affiliate
External Assessments and Accreditations
Assessment/AccreditationYear
Awards & Recognition
Award/RecognitionOrganizationYear
Nonprofit of the Year Award Winner, Humanities & CultureTampa Bay Business Journal2014
Finalist, Nonprofit of the Year in Arts, Humanities & CultureTampa Bay Business Journal2015
Risk Management Provisions
Accident and Injury Coverage
Boiler and Machinery
Business Income
Commercial General Liability
Crime Coverage
Workers Compensation and Employers' Liability
Umbrella or Excess Insurance
Directors and Officers Policy
Medical Health Insurance
Liquor Liability
Fine Arts and Collectibles
Flood
General Property Coverage
Automobile Insurance
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government Yes
Plans
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan Yes
Strategic Plan Years 5
Strategic Plan Adopted Apr 2016
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Policies
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures Yes
Comments
Management Comments by Organization

We are honored to have been recognized as the "2014 Arts, Culture and Humanities Nonprofit of the Year" by the Tampa Bay Business Journal and be a finalist in 2015. The Museum is an important part of the economic, educational and cultural landscapes of the region.

We enjoy a good situation: sound financial health and an exciting plan for the next 10-20 years – we are evolving with our community. A clear priority is a new early childhood learning area, which we will approach in a truly unique way. Staff are creating new ways for our audiences to experience the Museum as well as ways to serve new audiences.

Our greatest challenge is to grow and improve while maintaining our current high quality of visitor and program experience, all with a small full-time staff. We look forward to beginning construction in 2017 on the Mosaic Backyard Universe, a new wing that will be an innovative new resource to families and the educational landscape of the region.

The state-of-the art Planetarium projection system now in use was the first of the new experiences for our guests and it allows us to create a whole new suite of engaging education programs. About 25% of visitors come for an experience in the Planetarium, and this system provides myriad multi-media opportunities and ways to visualize science.

Snooty continues to make history every day as the oldest known manatee (he holds the Guinness Record). He has hosted 30 manatees undergoing rehabilitation, and food, medical care and pool maintenance are significant ongoing costs.

The Museum presents several different special exhibitions each year, providing the opportunity for something new each time a person visits. Our attendance has grown in recent years and in order to continue to grow, we need to invest more in promoting the Museum. When people visit for the first time, we frequently hear something like “I wish I’d known about you sooner – this place is wonderful.” We have many successful media partnerships, but we need to invest more to get more exposure.

We are planning a major “refresh” for the natural and cultural history exhibits. Studies show that visitors are looking for experiential opportunities when they visit museums and this provides us with the opportunity to integrate technology and hands-on components. We have already begun to test one new experience and will introduce it in 2017.

Multi-Media Comments by Organization The Snooty Cam on our website is always very popular http://www.southfloridamuseum.org/TheAquarium/SnootyCam.aspx.
Board Chair
Board Chair Mrs. Jeanie Kirkpatrick
Company Affiliation Volunteer
Board Term Apr 2015 to Mar 2017
Board Chair Email jeanie912@yahoo.com
Board Members
Board Members
NameAffiliation
Ms. Elizabeth Baran Kates Kesler Organization Development
Ms. Jackie Barron Mosaic
Mr. William M. Blalock Wyman, Green and Blalock Real Estate
Mr. Gary Bogart Jake's Automotive
Mr. Brian Carter Mauldin & Jenkins
Mr. Charles F. Elzer IIIMerrill Lynch
Col. James A. Fraley Jr.Retired
Mrs. Jennifer Turner Gans Community Volunteer
Mrs. Debbie Gigliotti Community Volunteer
Mr. Greg Hall Hall Architects
Ms. Jeanie Kirkpatrick Community Volunteer
Mr. Bruce Langsen Community Volunteer
Mr. Lynn Lineman Community Bank
Dr. Michael Mackie Eye Center, Inc.
Mr. Christopher Peacock Fifth Third Bank
Mr. Chris Pennewill Hancock Bank
Mr. Stephen Perry Blalock Walters
Mrs. Carol Rice Rice Appliance
Mr. James P. Roque SunTrust Private Wealth
Mr. Jay Taylor Community Volunteer
Ms. Alisa Westberry BMO Harris Bank
Student serving on the board through Community Youth Development? No
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 20
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 1
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 14
Female 7
Unspecified 0
Governance
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 8
Board Meeting Attendance % 66
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 0
Standing Committees
Board Governance
Executive
Finance
Comments
Governance Comments by Organization

The South Florida Museum Board continues to evolve. The Board made a paradigm shift in 2010 to move from a monthly working executive committee and large ratifying board of directors of more than 55 members to a full working Board of 21 members working in committees with the Executive Committee meeting as-needed. Term limits for both Board members and officers are in place and the Board operates with a consent agenda at full Board meetings. The Governance Committee is assessing the needs of the Museum and Board and working to identify candidates who match our needs and build Board selection criteria to take the Museum into the future.

Fiscal stability is a major priority for our Board and the Museum has no debt, has an operating reserve of 6 months’ income and a capital fund for maintenance. We have one endowment of nearly $14,500,000 with the income supporting general operations. Our second endowment supports school group admissions and it is just over $400,000. With the disbursement from the endowment plus admissions covering about half of the operating revenue, the rest of the funds are raised. We are working to build contributions to the endowments as a safety net for sustainability in addition to enhancing our fundraising abilities for ongoing operations.

The Board adopted a comprehensive Development Plan in 2010 and continues to follow its tenets. Priorities and processes in the plan remain sound, so while it was adopted for a specific time period, it remains sound today. The Development Officer hired in 2011 through a grant has been moved into the operating budget so the position (now Director of Community Engagement) is now part of our culture. Since 2010, we have increased the number of donors by more than 80% and more than doubled our major gift donors. Donor retention is an important part of our strategy.

A new 5-year Strategic Plan was adopted in April of 2016 guiding the institution through significant growth and expansion both physically and programmatically.

The Board has identified key areas to achieve to build capacity as an institution:

  • Generate more revenue in all areas (admissions, programs, donations, potential public/private partnerships).
  • Meet community need now and evolve to be able to do so in the future.
  • Provide relevant, cutting-edge and experiential educational programs and exhibitions to engage visitors of all ages.

The Governance Committee is building at a succession plan.

Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Begins 2016
Fiscal Year Ends 2016
Projected Revenue $2,301,684.00
Projected Expenses $2,301,684.00
Organization has Endowment Yes
Endowment Value $14,274,968.00
Endowment Spending Policy Income Only
Capital Campaign
In a Capital Campaign Yes
Campaign Purpose The Campaign funds our Master Campus and Programming Plan to be a leader in the museum field. The first priorities include two new spaces, renovating exhibitions, upgrades to the Aquarium and Planetarium, and piloting the innovative Pathways program.
Campaign Goal $12,000,000.00
Campaign Dates Jan 2015 to Dec 2016
Amount Raised To Date 11300000 as of June 2016
Anticipate Campaign within 5 years? Yes
Audit/Financial Documents
Historical Financial Review
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201520142013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$385,987$409,149$411,681
Government Contributions$140,824$130,741$57,726
Federal$0$0$0
State$0$0$0
Local$0$0$0
Unspecified$140,824$130,741$57,726
Individual Contributions$1,172,405$5,656,983$3,034,956
$0$0$0
$938,319$874,872$556,324
Investment Income, Net of Losses$31,542$15,849$11,654
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$75,046$123,038$136,295
Revenue In-Kind$109,117$104,914$73,677
Other$1,428$17,088$563
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$2,536,352$2,348,203$2,117,461
Administration Expense$198,107$193,653$224,709
Fundraising Expense$264,481$255,433$165,169
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.922.581.68
Program Expense/Total Expenses85%84%84%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue15%4%5%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$31,721,337$32,404,499$27,804,661
Current Assets$21,666,926$20,621,866$18,276,183
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$134,400$152,026$212,585
Total Net Assets$31,586,937$32,252,473$27,592,076
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $1,172,405Contributions, gifts, grants $5,656,983Contributions, gifts, grants $3,034,956
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountAdmissions $585,767Admissions $555,762Admissions $430,920
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountRelated Organization Support $385,987Foundation & Corporate Support $409,149Related Organizations $411,681
CEO/Executive Director Compensation $100,001 - $125,000
Tax Credits No
Solvency
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities161.21135.6585.97
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization

Building and maintaining multiple revenue streams is our challenge and we work diligently to build sustainability in our operations. We continue to grow earned income, donations and grant support, building on membership and fundraising programs and ways to connect people to the Museum. We cultivate supporters though customized Museum immersion programs having shifted to more donor-focused fundraising instead of events. The Development Plan under which we are operating makes donor retention a high priority.

We have a continued upward trend in nearly all revenues over 2014: Membership up by 6% (Households up by 13%-our basic membership level), Admission up 5% and Education up 6.5%. Contributed remains strong during our Capital Campaign and we are pleased to have good donor retention.

The Museum carries no debt, has an operating reserve of 6 months’ income and a capital fund for maintenance. We have one endowment of nearly $14,500,000 with the income supporting general operations. Our second endowment supports school group admissions and it is just over $400,000.

The County and City continue to support our manatee rehabilitation work through funds and water credits. Local service organizations, banks and foundations support specific projects, scholarships and programs.

Our capital improvement plans support long-term sustainability. The Campaign is integrated with annual fund, endowment, and planned giving programs. We have invested in experienced fundraising counsel to ensure success.

Our expansion includes program spaces to serve new audiences and provide potential for revenue generation with increased programming, increased gate from a new audience (young families) and rentals which are expected to cover increased costs.

We build an engaging environment with our exhibits and create programs that appeal to diverse audiences. With a small marketing budget, we partner with varied organizations to extend our reach.

Financial Comments by Foundation
Financial figures provided based on IRS Form 990 and audit documents. 990s and audits reconcile. Individual contributions and foundation/ corporate support provided by agency.
Nonprofit South Florida Museum & Bishop Planetarium Inc
Address PO Box 9265
Bradenton, FL 34205
Phone 941 746-4131

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