Share |

Discovery Museums, Inc.

 177 Main Street
 Acton, MA 01720
[P] (978) 264-4200 x 124
[F] --
[email protected]
Marie Beam
Facebook Twitter
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-2741645

LAST UPDATED: 02/15/2018
Organization DBA The Discovery Museums
The Children's Discovery Museum
The Science Discovery Museum
Discovery Woods
Former Names Children's Discovery Museum (1986)
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No


Mission StatementMORE »

The Discovery Museums' mission is to inspire enduring curiosity and love of learning through interactive discovery, hands-on inquiry, and scientific investigation.

Mission Statement

The Discovery Museums' mission is to inspire enduring curiosity and love of learning through interactive discovery, hands-on inquiry, and scientific investigation.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2017 to Dec 31, 2017
Projected Income $1,596,550.00
Projected Expense $1,722,446.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • 1. Open Door Connections
  • 2. Inclusivity and Accessibility, Especially for Me
  • 3. Discovery Science School Programs
  • 4. Backyard and Beyond
  • 5. Brain Building Together

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

The Discovery Museums' mission is to inspire enduring curiosity and love of learning through interactive discovery, hands-on inquiry, and scientific investigation.

Background Statement

Founded in 1982, The Discovery Museums (TDM) has comprised two buildings since 1987. The Children’s Discovery Museum, opened at founding, provides a themed play space to stimulate exploration, development, and learning for preschool and early elementary children and their caregivers. In the Science Discovery Museum, opened 5 years later, hands-on, playful exhibits developed by educators around specific science topics inspire curiosity, experimentation, and imagination. Discovery Woods, our inclusive and fully-accessible outdoor nature playscape and treehouse opened in 2016. In addition to serving families on-site, the Museums also deliver hands-on science programs to the region’s schools, serving 30,000 children with our Traveling Science Workshops program, and another 13,000 in field trips to the Museums each year.

Located in a residential community about 25 miles northwest of Boston, TDM is viewed as a local treasure. Yet, our reach is anything but local: we served 195,200 people in 2016, and 75% of our visitors come from 90 towns throughout Massachusetts – as much as an hour’s drive from our door.

We also hold as a core value the need to recognize and break down potential barriers to museum attendance through our Open Door Connections program. (A recent study indicated that 40% of American children will never see the inside of a museum in their lifetimes.) As a result, more than 50,000 of the people we served in 2016—26% of the total—visited the museum for free or at deeply reduced cost. We have sought out communities in which socioeconomic or cultural factors, or learning, developmental, or physical differences, may be keeping families from what we have to offer, and we have made targeted efforts to programmatically eliminate those obstacles. Our goal for Open Door visitation—both as a percentage of total visitation and as an absolute number—increase each year.

Thanks to the generosity of our community, and with a commitment to sustaining a learning environment described at our founding as “crafted from simple surroundings by our own hands,” we have for 35 years invested in ingenious staff, simple but powerfully demonstrative exhibits, and a wide range of programs that give as many children as possible access to STEM experiences. That we’re meeting an important need in the community is evidenced by double-digit growth in attendance, expanded donor and grant support, and both local and national awards and recognition.

Impact Statement

Accomplishments: In 2016 we served more than 195,200 people both onsite and in school classrooms, a 16% increase over 2015. We served over 50,000 people, 26% of our total, for free or deeply reduced cost through our Open Door Connections program (which has nearly doubled in impact since 2009). Also in 2016, the Museums’ 24-year-old Traveling Science Workshops school outreach program presented our special brand of hands-on science education to 30,000 pre-K through 8th graders in classrooms throughout New England.

Awards and Recognition: We were awarded a Boston Parents Paper “Best of the Best” award and earned Gold, Best Museum, in the Wicked Local Readers Choice Awards. We received the Massachusetts Commonwealth Award in the Access Category and were chosen to participate in the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s UP Innovation and Learning Network, recognizing our commitment to maximizing the accessibility of our campus and programs. 

In 2016, we opened Discovery Woods, our inclusive and fully-accessible outdoor nature playscape and treehouse. We also launched the Backyard and Beyond program to encourage children toward the outdoors and teach families about its role in a healthy lifestyle. Together, Discovery Woods and our outdoor programs are inspiring children and families through meaningful, unstructured outdoor play. We continue to grow and diversify our audience, in part by expanding our Open Door Connections programs to increase access to all of our offerings. We provide dedicated free services for families with children or adults on the autism spectrum or with hearing or vision loss. We continued our fifth Speaker Series year with 4 presenters attracting nearly 800 registrants.

Construction is well underway on our expanded, unified, and fully-accessible museum building, set to open in early 2018.

Needs Statement

1. Capital expansion and site improvement with emphasis on accessibility: $8.4 million
2. Operating reserve to allow for nimble response to new ideas: $300,000
3. New program and exhibit development and implementation: $700,000
4. Rebuild existing exhibits to make them inclusively accessible: $300,000
5. Data management and evaluation services to improve data quality and ability to promote our needs both broadly and strategically: $50,000 

CEO Statement

The Discovery Museums—celebrating its 35th year—inspires children to be curious and creative learners, with a focus on the sciences. In a time when most of the learning experiences that kids have are on their own or with teachers, we are proud to be focused on family learning that is fun and engages both children and adults. We believe that we have a responsibility to nurture the inherent creativity and curiosity with which all children are born, and cultivate an excitement about exploration, experimentation, and imagination. These are at the core of the “21st century skills” -- innovation, collaboration, communication, and discretion -- that will be most required of today’s young people as they grow.  

In short, The Discovery Museums does important work.  By providing stimulating and enticing programs and exhibits, serving audiences across Massachusetts, and focusing on increasing the number of children who will have a museum experience with their families, through a field trip, or with an in-school program, we are improving the lives and potential of tens of thousands of kids each year.

Board Chair Statement

It has been a real pleasure to serve on the Board of The Discovery Museums since 2010, and as its Board Chair since January of 2014. As a longtime teacher, administrator, and the retired Superintendent of Schools for our Acton-Boxborough Regional School District, I have seen the impact of the Museums’ work on generations of local students. As a Board Member, I have come, with great pride, to appreciate the depth of this organization in its commitment to serving the underserved, no matter the cost. And as a parent and grandparent I have made The Discovery Museums an active part of the education of the children in my family.

This very special organization faces a number of distinct challenges, most of which center around its currently limited capacity to grow in the accommodation of visitors, the scale of its exhibits, the breadth of its programs, the potential of its business plan, the inclusivity of its buildings and campus, and donor awareness. That we have maximized all possible potential in these areas—and grown revenue over many years while still increasing our free-of-charge services to those in need—is admirable, but this model is not sustainable. While we are small in size, our reach is great, and we must be able to attract and provide an excellent, inclusive experience to all of the families within our market. Our Campaign for The Discovery Museums and the accompanying plan to expand and modernize our facilities and add robust outdoor programs to support more consistent, year-round visitorship—all while maintaining the vibrancy, quality, and “heart” that has made us unique and cherished—will be transformational, the critically important tipping point to our future.

Our Board of Directors is comprised of eighteen individuals who are uniquely committed to engaging in meaningful conversations about the Museums’ strategy and direction. We support the Annual Fund each year, and have similarly participated in the Campaign for The Discovery Museums. We could not be more supportive of CEO Neil Gordon, and feel confident both in his guidance of the Museums’ day-to-day operations and in his creative approaches to moving this organization forward. He and his senior management team have made excellent, substantive improvements on all levels of the Museums’ business.

All of us on the Board of Directors are proud to be affiliated with The Discovery Museums at this important time in its history.

Geographic Area Served


Half of our visitors live within 30 minutes of the museums, half travel from throughout Eastern Massachusetts. 75% of visitors come from 90 towns throughout the Commonwealth. 

Organization Categories

  1. Arts,Culture & Humanities - Children's Museums
  2. Arts,Culture & Humanities - Science & Technology Museums
  3. -

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)



1. Open Door Connections

The Discovery Museums’ Open Door Connections program works with community partners to expand opportunities for children, families, and schools facing barriers that prevent them from experiencing the Museums’ stimulating, hands-on, discovery-based learning. Since the program began in 2009, we have doubled its reach, serving more than 50,000 in 2016 with outreach, subsidies, and free programs.
Open Door Connections includes:
  • $1 Anytime Admission for EBT card-holders and families
  • Subsidized and/or free Discovery Memberships for qualified families
  • Subsidized Discovery Science School Programs for qualified schools
  • Free Friday Nights the first Friday of every month during the school year and every Friday during Summer
  • Library Pass Program: more than 70 public libraries participate
  • Military Appreciation Program: free admission for active-duty personnel and families
  • Educator Discount: free admission to all educators
  • Playing Together: works with child care providers to enrich curricula and bring children to TDM

Budget  $485,425.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Museums
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Families Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program Short-Term Success  --
Program Long-Term Success  --
Program Success Monitored By 

Program Success Monitored By:

  • Monitoring results of goals for levels of individual program usage;
  • Tracking Library Pass, individual, group, and school attendance by zip code and discounts used;
  • Tracking number and usage of subsidized Discovery Memberships;
  • Administering visitor surveys during special events to determine participants’ satisfaction with their experience and what offerings they would like to see in the future;
  • Monitoring the many quotes, evaluations, and anecdotal information we receive.
Examples of Program Success  --

2. Inclusivity and Accessibility, Especially for Me

The Discovery Museums is dedicated to making the Museums welcoming for all families, regardless of the challenges they face. We have developed award-winning Especially for Me programming for families with special needs, making museum visits easier and more rewarding. Since 2010, we have offered free events for families with children on the autism spectrum, who are deaf or hard of hearing, or who are visually impaired, providing private access to the museums, trained facilitators, music therapy, and ASL interpreters. We served more than 1,700 people through Especially for Me in 2016. The Discovery Museums is committed to creating environments that follow universal design principles. Discovery Woods, our new outdoor playspace and treehouse, is fully-accessible, allowing children and adults of all abilities to explore the outdoors. We are working to create a fully-accessible indoor space with the upcoming renovation and expansion our our Science Discovery Museum.

Budget  $49,420.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Museums
Population Served People/Families with of People with Disabilities Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) People/Families with of People with Physical Disabilities
Program Short-Term Success  --
Program Long-Term Success  --
Program Success Monitored By 

· Monitoring results of goals for levels of individual program usage;

· Administering visitor surveys during special events to determine participants’ satisfaction with their experience and what offerings they would like to see in the future;

· Monitoring the many quotes, evaluations, and anecdotal information we receive. For example: “These events mean a chance to explore for so many kids who are usually confined to cubbies and structure and routines. It means being able to investigate in a way that can’t be found in a classroom, and for kids on the spectrum, the value cannot be underestimated. My son loves coming here and playing and learning and I love knowing I don’t have to hear tongue clicks and impatient signs from people who don’t get it. Thanks.”


Examples of Program Success  --

3. Discovery Science School Programs

Discovery Science School Programs provide educational enrichment to area schoolchildren through both in-class workshops and on-site field trips. Through Traveling Science Workshops, Discovery Museums’ educators travel directly to schools, eliminating the financial hardship of busing. TSW brings inquiry-based discovery and science experiences directly to classrooms via programs adhering to state-mandated science curriculum standards. They also serve as training models, showing classroom teachers how to develop hands-on activities that engage and inform students. Leave-behind teacher guides further extend the enrichment possibilities. Discovery Field Trips offer engaging interactions with our exhibits, reinforcing key scientific concepts and generating enthusiasm for continued learning. As some families are unable to visit museums, due to financial, time, or other constraints, school field trips are many children’s only exposure to museums.

Budget  $43,415.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Museums
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years) Infants to Preschool (under age 5) Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program Short-Term Success  --
Program Long-Term Success  --
Program Success Monitored By 

We use quantitative and qualitative measures to evaluate the Discovery Science program’s effectiveness, tracking students receiving subsidized programs by zip code, informally assessing student reactions during programs, and surveying students and classroom teachers. In 2014, we conducted an independent 3rd-party evaluation that detailed a consistent, measurable improvement in positive attitude toward science, as shown by changes from pre- to post-workshop surveys. We also monitor anecdotal information: teachers indicate our programs are invaluable to their students, and many further specify that they could never have provided this enrichment without financial assistance. Our curricula are reviewed regularly and adjusted to conform to state and national standards.

Examples of Program Success 

Each year, Discovery Science serves more than 42,000 students (5,000 of those at subsidized rates). Independent 3rd party evaluation shows our programs lead to improved attitudes toward science. 90% of teachers re-book our programs at least every other year, an indicator of their quality and effectiveness, given teachers’ limited time and resources.

4. Backyard and Beyond

Studies show that active outdoor play has a positive impact on children’s activity level, concentration, and creativity. Our goal is to support kids being successful, active, healthy learners. There are many facets to the physical and mental health issues facing children today, but one of the most effective solutions is also one of the simplest: send them outside to play!

Building on the museums’ reputation as a safe place for indoor exploration, we have brought our engaging educational programming outside to provide the ‘bridge’ that some families need to embark on outdoor explorations.

Our Backyard and Beyond programs draw families beyond the museum to Discovery Woods, by way of an accessible walkway to a large, whimsical treehouse, and a winding nature path. Program offerings include participating in nature playgroups, investigating changing weather patterns, learning about local flora and fauna, and guided and independent exploration of the adjacent conservation land. 


Budget  $24,854.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Museums
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Families People/Families with of People with Disabilities
Program Short-Term Success  --
Program Long-Term Success  --
Program Success Monitored By 

The Museums will assess the number and quality of resources available, number of programs delivered, and attendance at each program. The Museums will solicit feedback from participants, both children and caregivers, considering survey feedback, interviews, anecdotes, and repeat visitation. Our goal is that 50% of our visitors spend at least one-hour outside during the course of their Discovery Museums’ visit. Early tracking since the opening of Discovery Woods in July 2016 shows that our goal has been met for summer; we will continue to actively program our outdoor areas year-round and hope for continued strong impact in this area. 

Examples of Program Success  --

5. Brain Building Together

Brain Building Together will be an early learning space opening in early 2018 in our expanded main building, designed in collaboration with a group of expert partners, and driven by current research on the connection between healthy brain development between the ages of 0 and 3 and playful yet purposeful learning experiences. The space will be unique among children’s museums in that the primary audience for the exhibit will be not the children themselves, but their parents.

We will help parents learn how to observe their children in a way that makes learning visible and tangible. In particular, through this space, we want to engage parents in the development of skills that will help their children be successful in school—for example, social and emotional intelligence, the ability to sustain effort, and the demonstration of persistence. Special outreach will be made to parents who may be living in more stressful situations.

A distinguished group of advisors will oversee the exhibit development and provide ongoing advice and support.

Budget  $321,808.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Museums
Population Served Adults Infants to Preschool (under age 5) Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program Short-Term Success  --
Program Long-Term Success  --
Program Success Monitored By 

TDM will use a Community of Practice collaborative model with colleagues, staff, and visitors. Partners will advise and participate in our development and evaluation process, sharing the benefits of team thinking, planning, collaboration, and understanding of family audiences. Regularly scheduled check-ins with team members will promote the timeliness and success of the project.

Examples of Program Success 


  • Parents and caregivers of infants and toddlers will recognize that verbal and nonverbal turn-taking with children before age three can profoundly impact a child’s early brain growth, leading to a cumulative impact on literacy, school performance, and even IQ.
  • Families with young children will develop the turn-taking skills so essential to children’s language development and emotional regulation.
  • TDM will build its capacity to attract a larger number of families with children under the age of three.
  • Small to mid-sized children’s museums will have access to affordable design strategies to integrate current research on early childhood learning and brain development and will build their capacity to conduct effective evaluation of their early childhood exhibits


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Though it is not a revenue-generating program, it is worth mentioning our Discovery Museums Speaker Series, as it relates to our core function of serving children by fostering dialogue on key issues among parents and other community members.
The Series, now in its fifth year, brings together expert and nationally-recognized voices on matters of importance to children and families for engaging dialogues with the community. Topics relate broadly to The Museums’ aim to inspire creativity and curiosity in children, expose kids to inspirational and memorable STEM experiences, and serve as a resource to parents on the developmental needs of young learners.

Speaker Series presentations are free of charge to guests in venues within and outside Acton, and typically exceed capacity with 250 or more registrants for each event.  Four of these events have taken place in 2017.


CEO/Executive Director Mr. Neil H. Gordon
CEO Term Start Sept 2009
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience

Neil is the CEO of The Discovery Museums where he has been since September of 2009. Prior to assuming his current position, Neil served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the Boston Children’s Museum, where he worked for 14 years. Prior to that, Neil was the City Budget Director and the Associate Director for the Mayor’s Office of Jobs and Community Services for the City of Boston. Neil holds a Masters degree from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a BS in Geology from Dickinson College. Neil lives in Wayland, MA, with his wife, Ann, four kids, and two dogs.

Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Mr. Michael W. Judd Aug 2004 July 2009
Ms. Deborah Gilpin Jan 1993 Feb 2004

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Marie Brais Beam Chief Development Officer Marie joined the staff at The Discovery Museums in 2013 and is responsible for all of the museum’s fundraising activities, including its first capital campaign in more than two decades. A twenty-year veteran of non-profit development, Marie has most recently served as Director of Advancement at the Fay School and Director of Major Gifts and Campaigns at Simmons College.
Jill Foster Director of School and Group Programs

Jill Foster, Director of School and Group Programs, holds a B.A. in zoology from the University of New Hampshire and has undertaken further study at the Exploratorium Institute for Inquiry and Sea Education Association in Woods Hole, MA. She has 20 years’ experience managing and coordinating TDM’s successful Field Trip and Traveling Science Workshops program and has developed and presented STEM programs for teachers, school children, scouts, and summer program participants.

Alli Leake Early Childhood Education Director

Alli joined the staff of The Discovery Museums as Early Childhood Education Director in 2015. A museum educator with more than 6 years of museum and teaching experience, Alli is highly skilled at managing educational projects, planning creative learning experiences, and developing experiential and interdisciplinary programs with the collaboration of community partners. Alli holds a BA in Educational Studies from Skidmore College and an MA in Museum Education from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

Denise LeBlanc Director of Learning Experiences

Denise LeBlanc, Director of Learning Experiences, has been with The Discovery Museums for over 25 years. She develops interactive science programs and exhibits, directs grant projects, and coordinates university and national network collaborations. Denise also worked as a research biochemist in labs at Dartmouth College and Brandeis University for 14 years. She has a BA in Zoology from the University of New Hampshire. Denise and her husband Denis live in Acton, MA and have 3 children and one grandchild.

Cheryl Lombardo Director of Finance and Business Administration

Cheryl joined The Discovery Museums in 2013 as the Director of Finance and Administration. She served as the Director of Business and Operations at the Christa McAuliffe Public Charter School for many years. Cheryl earned her Master’s degree in Public Administration from Framingham University and graduated from the Metrowest Leadership Academy in 2012.

Cara Lonardo-Roy Director of Visitor Experiences

Cara Lonardo-Roy is the Director of Visitor Experiences. She is a proud alum of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She has worked at The Discovery Museums for over 7 years and prides herself on positive visitor experiences.

Nick Malo Facilities Manager

Nick has worked at The Discovery Museums for the past 10 years.

Ann Sgarzi Director of Marketing

Ann joined the Museums in June 2010 after a 20-year marketing career in the high tech and financial services industries, including Thomson Financial Services, the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund, Bidding for Good, and several startups.  At the Museums, she is focused on creating visibility for the Museums and their mission, and for building and managing corporate sponsor relationships.  Ann holds an undergraduate degree in Journalism from Rutgers College and an MBA in Marketing from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University.  She was on the board of the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest for six years, served as vice president and co-chair of allocations, and is now an overseer of that organization.


Award Awarding Organization Year
Access Category Massachusetts Commonwealth Award (Access Category) 2017
Best of the Best Boston Parents' Paper 2016
Readers Choice Awards "Gold" Wicked Local 2015
NanoDays Award NISE Network 2014
Partner of the Year Boston Business Journal 2014
Promising Practice Award Reimagined Association of Children's Museums 2014
William L. Ryan Community Service Award Acton/Boxborough School District 2014


Affiliation Year
Association of Children’s Museums 2016
Association of Science and Technology Centers 2016
Chamber of Commerce 2016
Metrowest Nonprofit Network 2016
New England Museums Association (NEMA) 2016
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association Massachusetts Nonprofit Network

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --



CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 12
Number of Part Time Staff 65
Number of Volunteers 246
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 0%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 0
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 323
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 0
Male: 0
Not Specified 323

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Management Succession Plan --
Business Continuity of Operations Plan --
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy --
State Charitable Solicitations Permit --
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually


Board Chair Mr. William Ryan
Board Chair Company Affiliation Retired Superintendant Acton Boxborough Public Schools
Board Chair Term Jan 2015 - Jan 2019
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Cheryl Beaudoin Acton Boxborough Regional Schools Voting
Paula Bentinck-Smith Retired Brookline, MA Educator and Primary School Counselor Voting
Jarod Bloom Managing Principal, Sechrest & Bloom, LCC Voting
Patricia Chisholm Vice President & Regional Manager, Middlesex Savings Bank Voting
Helen Crary Retired early education administrator and advocate Voting
Robert Ferrara Senior Director for Strategic Planning and Alumni Relations Division of Student Life MIT Voting
Pamela Gannon Education Consultant and Molecular Biologist; Board Member, MIT Association of Independent Living Groups; Former Chair, Concord School Committee Voting
Kerry Hawitt Vice President of Quality Systems & Product Quality, Shire Voting
Harry Hollenberg Founding Partner, Carlisle Company Voting
Andrew Howard Assistant Vice President - Commercial Lending, Middlesex Savings Bank Voting
Justin Kliger Associate, Ropes & Gray Voting
Bruce Osterling Retired COO and CFO of several small, high-tech companies Voting
Carolyn Platt Carlisle Public Schools (retired) Voting
Margaret Ramsey Managing Trustee, The Ramsey McCluskey Family Foundation Voting
Anthony Rao Founder, Behavioral Solutions Voting
William Ryan Superintendent (retired) Acton-Boxborough Regional Schools Voting
Lees Stuntz Executive Director, Creative Learning Exchange Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 0
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 20
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 8
Male: 12
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % --
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 75%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

  • Board Governance
  • Building
  • Capital Campaign
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Executive
  • Finance

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

In addition to our Board of Directors, The Discovery Museums benefits from the guidance and support of several advisory boards.  They are: the Science and Technology Advisory Council, the Science Education Advisory Board, the Children's Advisory Board, Brain Building Together Advisors, Math Advisors, and Accessibility Advisors (related specifically to our efforts to improve accessibility within the constraints of our current physical campus, as well as design an inclusively accessible building expansion and campus renovation for 2017). All these advisory groups are part of our new Council of Advocates group, which also includes other community members, supporters, and friends of the museums. 

Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Revenue $3,014,270 $5,001,887 $3,322,402
Total Expenses $1,662,836 $1,508,444 $1,542,851

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $319,591 $466,681 $165,116
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified $319,591 $466,681 $165,116
Individual Contributions $1,357,910 $3,474,483 $2,080,426
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $1,063,698 $874,245 $875,816
Investment Income, Net of Losses $29,051 $18,285 $30,557
Membership Dues $242,020 $168,043 $169,623
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other $2,000 $150 $864

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Program Expense $1,307,953 $1,168,707 $1,206,678
Administration Expense $135,469 $138,517 $146,159
Fundraising Expense $219,414 $201,220 $190,014
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.81 3.32 2.15
Program Expense/Total Expenses 79% 77% 78%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 13% 5% 8%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Assets $8,292,265 $7,250,517 $3,931,852
Current Assets $5,228,794 $5,474,538 $2,782,470
Long-Term Liabilities $345,323 $361,644 $372,574
Current Liabilities $89,669 $131,239 $109,312
Total Net Assets $7,857,273 $6,757,634 $3,449,966

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value $254,396.00
Spending Policy Percentage
Percentage(If selected) 5.0%
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 0.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Capital Campaign Purpose Expansion of exhibits; addition of modern amenities; renovation of our campus introducing outdoor learning opportunities
Campaign Goal $8,400,000.00
Capital Campaign Dates Nov 2013 - Dec 2017
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount $7,860,000.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 58.31 41.71 25.45

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 4% 5% 9%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

The FY17 Budget anticipates a deficit in anticipation of unusual one-time costs and revenue reductions associated with opening a new building. This deficit will be offset by use of museum reserve funds.

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in charts and graphs are per the organization's IRS Form 990s. Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.


The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.

1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

2. What are your strategies for making this happen?


3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?


4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?


5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?