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Discovery Museums, Inc.

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

LAST UPDATED: 01/07/2019
Organization DBA Discovery Museum
Discovery Woods
Former Names The Discovery Museums (1987)
Children's Discovery Museum (1986)
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No


Mission StatementMORE »

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

Mission Statement

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

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2018 to Dec 31, 2018
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

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

Background Statement

At the Discovery Museum, we are passionate advocates for play, both indoors and out, as the best foundation for creating curious, confident, lifelong learners. Our hands-on exhibits, programs, and outdoor spaces encourage children to follow their own curiosity, explore, and experiment. In the process they learn to think like scientists: to solve problems, be creative, think critically, work together, and be persistent—skills that are important in and of themselves and ones that set the stage for more complex learning later on.

Since our founding in 1982, we have grown from an all-volunteer organization with 40,000 annual visitors to one that served 175,000 people in 2017. We offer more than 400 science, technology, engineering, art, math, nature, and music programs onsite each year. In March 2018, we opened a new museum building to replace facilities that became too small and too out–of–date to effectively serve our diverse organization. This brings our entire 4.5-acre campus, including our outdoor spaces, up to full ADA compliance. The museum’s exhibits include: Brain Building Together—an innovative play space that highlights the importance of adult/child relationships in early brain development; Yes, It’s Math!, which examines the unexpected mathematical principles behind everyday experiences; da Vinci Workshop, a tinkering, inventing, and creating space inspired by Leonardo da Vinci; and galleries dedicated to water, color, light, air, sound, and pretend play. Our award-winning Discovery Woods outdoor education area and accessible treehouse, opened in 2016, provides a space for nature-based play and exploration.

We reach school children from across Massachusetts with field trips and hands-on Traveling Science Workshops offered to Pre–K through 8th-grade students in their classrooms. Delivered by our trained educators, these interactive programs, all aligned with the state’s curriculum standards, expose young children to the exciting processes of scientific discovery and have been shown to measurably improve their attitudes towards science, a critical factor in encouraging ongoing scientific study. Workshops also serve as professional development for teachers, demonstrating ways to incorporate hands-on science into the classroom. In 2017, we delivered workshops to more than 33,000 students in 1,600 classrooms and welcomed 11,000 students to our campus (in a year when our main building was closed for renovation for six months).

We are committed to providing accessible learning opportunities to all children. More than 45,000 people—26% of the total served last year—received their museum experience for free or at a deeply reduced cost through programs designed to remove barriers to access for children with learning differences, physical challenges, and financial constraints.


Impact Statement


  • On March 1, 2018, Discovery Museum reopened the doors of its expanded, completely renovated, accessible and ADA-compliant museum building, which has twice the exhibit space of the original museum and includes significant new galleries for STEAM experiences including water; air; tinkering, design, and engineering; early brain development; math; light and color; and sound. It also includes reimagined visitor favorites from the original buildings including a Diner, Train Room, and Ship Room, along with other beloved exhibit components such as a giant amethyst and radar magnet. The museum is for all ages and all abilities; the interactive exhibits are accessible and created to be both aesthetically pleasing and useable by the widest possible range of people, without regards to age or ability. All exhibits are hands-on, low-tech, open-ended, and interactive, to encourage play, exploration, and experimentation by all.

  • Discovery Woods, opened in July 2016, is an inclusive, fully-accessible outdoor nature playscape and 550-square foot treehouse; it abuts 183 acres of conservation land that is used for visitor programs. For a quick tour of Discovery Woods with WCVB-TV’s Chronicle, visit our website at

  • We served more than 185,000 people in 2017, our second-largest year ever despite one building being closed for six months. We ended 2017 with more than 2,400 member families, a 9% increase over the prior year end.
  • Our Open Door Connections program provides opportunities for those who face a variety of barriers---financial, developmental, or cultural---to experience the museum. We served more than 48,000 people in 2017 for free or deeply reduced cost, or 26% of the total served. We provide dedicated free services for families with children on the autism spectrum and with vision or hearing loss. We offer free admission to all on Friday nights, any time to military families, and $1 admission to EBT card holders and their guests.


  • Through our highly successful Traveling Science Workshops (TSW) program, now in its 26th year, we brought 1,600 hands-on STEM workshops that meet state education frameworks to nearly 34,000 pre-K through 8th graders in classrooms throughout New England in 2017. The program enjoys a 91% loyalty rate. A brief video of TSW in action can be found here:

  • We have an active school field trip program with pre-school to high-school age children coming to visit us. In 2017, more than 11,000 school children and their teachers came from throughout New England.

Needs Statement

Discovery Museum believes what we do is great for kids, and we are committed to making it a reality for all kids. Last year, we served more than a quarter of our audience for free or at low cost through programs tailored to the unique needs of children with disabilities or limited financial means. That’s 45,000 people who, thanks to the generous support of our donors, experienced our hands-on, playful approach to learning without the barrier of cost.

Our audience is growing by leaps and bounds, and we want make sure that every kid has access to the critical, early experiences in science, nature, and play that make a real difference.

CEO Statement

Discovery Museum—celebrating its 36th 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, Discovery Museum 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 Discovery Museum 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 Museum's 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 Discovery Museum 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 relatively 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 Discovery Museum allowed us 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.

Our Board of Directors is comprised of seventeen individuals who are uniquely committed to engaging in meaningful conversations about the Museum's 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 Museum's 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 Museum's business.

All of us on the Board of Directors are proud to be affiliated with Discovery Museum at this important next chapter in the Museum's 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

Discovery Museum's 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 48,000 in 2017 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

Discovery Museum is dedicated to making the Museum 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 1,200 people through Especially for Me in 2017. Discovery Museum is committed to creating environments that follow universal design principles. Our new museum building and Discovery Woods, our new outdoor playspace and treehouse, are both fully-accessible, allowing children and adults of all abilities to explore and have fun together.

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 Museum's 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 is an early learning space within our expanded museum 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 is unique among children’s museums in that the primary audience for the exhibit is not the children themselves, but their parents.

We are helping parents learn how to observe their children in a way that makes learning visible and tangible. In particular, through this space, we 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. 

A distinguished group of advisors was involved with the exhibit development and provided 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 

Discovery Museum is using a Community of Practice collaborative model with colleagues, staff, and visitors. Partners advise and participate in our development and evaluation process, sharing the benefits of team thinking, planning, collaboration, and understanding of family audiences. 

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.
  • Discovery Museum 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 Museum 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 sixth 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 Museum's 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.  There will be a total of 5 events in 2018.


CEO/Executive Director Mr. Neil H. Gordon
CEO Term Start Sept 2009
CEO Email
CEO Experience

Neil is the CEO of  Discovery Museum 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.
Mark Cooper Facilities Director

Mark joined the Discovery Museum staff in March 2018. 

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.

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: 9
Male: 8
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
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Executive
  • Finance
  • Nominating
  • Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

In addition to our Board of Directors, Discovery Museum benefits from the guidance and support of several advisory boards including 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. 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? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates Nov 2013 - Dec 2017
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount $8,800,000.00
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

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?