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Thacher Island Association

 PO Box 73
 Rockport, MA 01966
[P] (978) 546-7214
[F] --
-- --
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-2790266

LAST UPDATED: 03/03/2015
Organization DBA Thacher Island Association
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No



Mission StatementMORE »

The mission of the Thacher Island Association is to serve as the fund raising arm of the Thacher Island Town Committee. It assists in the historic preservation of the lighthouses and other structures on both Thacher Island and Straitsmouth Island, located off the coast of Rockport, MA.The overall goal is to make both islands accessible and available to the public for recreational, historical and cultural uses.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Thacher Island Association is to serve as the fund raising arm of the Thacher Island Town Committee. It assists in the historic preservation of the lighthouses and other structures on both Thacher Island and Straitsmouth Island, located off the coast of Rockport, MA.The overall goal is to make both islands accessible and available to the public for recreational, historical and cultural uses.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2012 to Dec 31, 2012
Projected Income $107,780.00
Projected Expense $64,300.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Historic Restoration

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2011 (%)

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


Mission Statement

The mission of the Thacher Island Association is to serve as the fund raising arm of the Thacher Island Town Committee. It assists in the historic preservation of the lighthouses and other structures on both Thacher Island and Straitsmouth Island, located off the coast of Rockport, MA.The overall goal is to make both islands accessible and available to the public for recreational, historical and cultural uses.

Background Statement

Thacher Island Association was established in 1980 as a non profit group dedicated to raising funds for the restoration and ongoing maintenance of the structures on Thacher Island. We have a membership of over 700 individuals, families and businesses, most of whom reside in the Cape Ann Area.The Association has recently taken responsibility to now raise funds for the maintenance and restoration of the lighthouse on Straitsmouth island adjacent to Thacher Island.Thacher Island and about 1.8 acres of Straitsmouth Island including its lighthouse, is owned by the Town of Rockport.Thacher Island is a National Historic Landmark and Straitsmouth Island is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites.

Impact Statement

Our top accomplishments in the past year were to:
-Rebuild the oil house on Straitsmouth Island
-Purchase a new landing craft for taking volunteers and guests to Thacher Island
-Restore several buildings on Thacher island
Our goals for the current year are to:
-Raise  funds for restoring the Straitsmouth lighthouse
-Raise funds for the restoration of the Fresnel Lens formerly located on Thachers Island.
-Prepare for the installation of the lens in the Cape Ann Museum

Needs Statement

Our most pressing need involves raising sufficient funds to cover the various restoration projects on Thacher and Straitsmouth Islands. Both islands have a number of historically significant structures that are always in need of repair and restoration.The restoration of the Straitsmouth lighthouse is estimated to cost $250,000.The restoration of the first order Fresnel lens for museum display is $100,000.

CEO Statement

TIA has raised  $1.9 million dollars since 1994 all of which has gone back into the island infrastructure.The TIA is made up of only volunteers and no one is paid for their services.We have a group of 50 active volunteers who work on the island during the summer months to maintain,repair,restore and make the island a rich and interesting historical site that the public can enjoy. Thacher Island is the last fully operational twin lights in the United States.It is open to the public free of charge.It includes two 124 foot high lighthouses,two keeper houses,oil house,fog signal building,boat house and boat ramp, cistern, museum and gift shop.It is located 3 miles off the coast of Rockport,Ma and attracts hundreds of kayakers,boaters and individuals who are transported by the TIA operated island launch 4 times a week.The north end of the island is operated by the US Fish and Wildlife Service as a wildlife refuge.

Board Chair Statement

The Town of Rockport was enthusiastic to accept Thacher Island from the U.S.Coast Guard in 2000 after the NLHP act was passed giving the coast guard the rights to turn over various lighthouses to interested and responsible parties who would agree to maintain them .They were concerned as to the Town's ability to fund  the maintenance and preservation of the facilities and the impact it would have on the tax rate.The TIA responded with the offer to be the fund raising arm of the Thacher Island Town Committee which was tasked to manage the island.This took a tremendous financial burden from the Town and resulted in keeping the real estate taxes lower for its towns people. Although the Town does provide a small stipend for its operation (less than $5000 annually) the TIA has raised more than 1.9 million dollars for the island since 1994.These funds come from a variety of sources; grants,donations, memberships, fund raising events, sale of Thacher merchandise and interest income. I first became involved in 1999 10 years after the 1991 Perfect Storm which destroyed the boat ramp on the island preventing anyone from landing there.It took 9 years to encourage the U.S.Coast Guard to replace this ramp in 1999 through the urging  and support of both the TIA and TITC boards and  local, state and federal representatives. The designation of the island as a National Historic Landmark in 2000 was also significant in helping to attract grants,donations and other financial support from the public, institutions and local community groups.
The Association is proud to have been the spark that allowed this 53 acre historical and cultural resource to be saved for generations to come. The TIA also stepped up to provide the same offer of funding support when Straitsmouth Island lighthouse became available for acquisition. TIA applied for this property on behalf of the Town of Rockport and was awarded the site by the Secretary of the Interior,Ken Salazar in 2009 and took official possession in 2010. The citizens and residents of the Cape Ann area have banded together to help with volunteer labor,fund raising and support for both of these islands. They are historical and cultural icons that preserve the maritime heritage of this area that goes back to 1771 and the beginning of the formation of our nation.

Geographic Area Served


We are located in Rockport, MA, but serve the entire state and in fact, receive visitors from all 50 states and several foreign countries.We receive over 4000 visitors annually.

Organization Categories

  1. Arts,Culture & Humanities - History Museums
  2. -
  3. -

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

Under Development


Historic Restoration

The work done by the Thacher Island Association involves repair and restoration of the three lighthouses and related structures on Thacher and Straitsmouth Islands. TIA raises the funding to support these projects and for the continued maintenance of the Islands.
Budget  $107,000.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other History & Historical Programs
Population Served Adults Adolescents Only (13-19 years) Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Program Short-Term Success 
Our goals in the short term mirror our long term goals. Namely, to insure that visitors now and in the future can understand and appreciate the lighthouses and the roles they played in Rockport's maritime history.
Program Long-Term Success 
In the long term, we hope to preserve the three lighthouses and other structures so that our visitors can understand and appreciate Rockport's maritime heritage
Program Success Monitored By 
We track success by the number of visitors who visit the islands each year as well as by the condition of the lighthouses and buildings that have been entrusted to us.
Examples of Program Success 
The number of visitors and members of the Thacher Island Association has grown each year. In addition, we have received a number of awards that attest to our success in preserving the lighthouses and structures.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

The TIA has been successful over the past few years in fundraising and in attracting volunteers. As the number of personnel and projects has increased, TIA has evolved its organization to include standing committees to function in performing the many tasks facing the organization.


CEO/Executive Director Mr. Paul St.Germain
CEO Term Start Jan 1999
CEO Email
CEO Experience As President my 40 year background has been in marketing and advertising with a national sporting good manufacturer as well as a national soft drink maker. In retirement I have been able to satisfy my interest in maritime history, carpentry as a hobby as well as use my experience to publicize and develop marketing programs to raise awareness and funding for a myriad of restoration and event projects.I am also on the board of the Sandy Bay Historical Society and give many talks about the history of the islands.I have written and published a book about Thacher Island entitled "Twin Lights of Thacher Island ,Cape Ann". All proceeds of this book are donated back to the TIA.
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Mr. George Fisher Jan 1989 Dec 1999
Mr. Ned Cameron Jan 1979 Dec 1988

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --


Award Awarding Organization Year
Historic Preservation Reocognition Award D.A.R. 2011
Preserve America Stewardship Award Preserve America 2010
National Historic Landmark Designation National Park Service 2001


Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --



CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Below we have listed the many accomplishments attained by the TIA since 1980.


  • TIA was formed in 1980 to raise funds for the island and not burden the Town tax rate.
  • Thacher Island added to National Historic Register 1981.
  • Designed and built the Thacher Island launch and donated it to the Town 1985.
  • Donated funds to restore the North Tower in 1989.
  • Since 1994 TIA has raised over $1,900,000 for restoration and maintenance of  the island and it’s historic structures.
  • Since 2001 TIA has raised over $14,000 from rental and camping fees all turned over to the Town’s General Fund.
  • Donated $140,000 toward the restoration of the island boat ramp in 2000.
  • Initiated the application nomination for National Historic Landmark status which has enabled us to win many more historical restoration grants. One of fewer than 3000 such sites in America.2001
  • Restored the Assistant Keeper House in 2001.
  • Established weekly work crews every Wednesday providing over 4000 man/hours each summer 2002.
  • Established a 30 place camp site for visitors 2003.
  • Restored the Principal Keeper house in 2003-2007 and gave it to the Town.
  • Donation of a Gem Car electric cart for transportation around the island 2004.
  • Purchased a new hydraulic boat winch for the boat house in 2005.
  • Installed solar electric power system including 18 solar panels and two inverters, controllers and grid for power to replace the submarine electric cable in 2006.
  • Added solar power and new courtesy light for the North Tower in 2006.


  • Volunteers re-roofed the boat house, utility house and whistle house 2006.
  • Volunteers built a shed dormer for the oil house for equipment storage 2007.
  • Volunteers rebuilt 5 porches on the keeper houses 2002-2007.
  • Donated new Zodiac boat to Town for keeper use 2008.
  • South Tower major restoration in 2008.
  • Volunteers built a generator shed next to the South tower 2008.
  • Volunteer keeper internship program instituted to live and work on the island and welcome over 3000 visitors annually 2008.
  • Whistle House (Fog Signal building) restoration 2006-2012.
  • New 16kw generator donated to island and utility shed prepared by volunteers 2009.
  • The cistern was rescreened and new water pump and pipe system installed 2009.
  • New Museum and Visitor Center established in the Principal Keeper Dwelling 2009.
  • Volunteers have tripled the number of weekly boat trips to the island in the summer free of charge to the public.
  • TIA has over 750 members 450 of whom live in the Rockport/Gloucester area.
  • Installed 12 volt solar stairway lighting system in North tower.2012
  • Auto start for 16 KW generator when solar batteries shut down.2012
  • Internet service established with island router connected to landside antenna.2010
  • Preserve America award given to TIA by Michelle Obama and the White House for one of the 13 best volunteer organizations in America.2010
  • Marine Radio installed using solar panels in Boat House 2008.
  • Fire Pond dug and fire pump system established for fire safety 2011.
  • Solar powered composting toilet installed for campground 2012.
  • Live web cam installed in PKD for public use and security in the winter months.2011.
  • New Thacher Island II aluminum landing craft designed, built and purchased for use as visitor craft and work boat.2011.
  • Straitsmouth Island lighthouse and 1.8 acres of land acquired from coast guard and National Park Service with TIA agreeing to raise funds for its maintenance and preservation.2010.

Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 0
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 50
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 100%

Staff Demographics

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

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 15
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy --
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Exempt
State Registration Exempt

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? No
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency No N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency No N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency No N/A


Board Chair Mr. Paul St.Germain
Board Chair Company Affiliation Retired
Board Chair Term Jan 1999 - Dec 2015
Board Co-Chair Mr. Peter Bergholtz
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation Consultant
Board Co-Chair Term Jan 2004 - Dec 2015

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Dr. Charles Allen Hallmark Health Systems Voting
Mr. David Arnold Retired Voting
Mr. Peter Bergholtz Retired Voting
Mr. William Braunlich Retired Voting
Ms. Cyndi Carroll Community Volunteer Voting
Ms. Judy Leach Retired Voting
Mr. Lee Marr Retired Voting
Mr. Dick McPherson Community Volunteer Voting
Mr. David Murphy Community Volunteer Voting
Mr. Roger Perkins Retired Voting
Mr. Paul St. Germain Volunteer Voting
Mr. Jeff Taylor Retired Voting
Ms. Linda Walker Volunteer Voting
Mr. William Whiting Retired 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: 13
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 4
Male: 9
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 80%
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy No
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees

  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Finance
  • Membership

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

The Thacher Island Association (TIA) meets monthly in conjunction with the Thacher Island Town Committee (TITC) to discuss plans, new projects and manpower assignments. Various sub committees include,grant writing, membership,finance, events planning.Combining our meetings helps the communication and coordination  efforts of each group as the TITC manages the island activities and the worker volunteers while TIA raises the funds to operate the island.

Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2011 (%)

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2012 to Dec 31, 2012
Projected Income $107,780.00
Projected Expense $64,300.00
Form 990s

2013 990

2012 990

2011 990

2010 990

2009 990

2008 990

Audit Documents

2015 Per Nonprofit - Thacher Island Association Operating Budget 2012- 2015

2012 Additional Internal Financial Documentation per Nonprofit

2012 Review

2011 Review

2010 Review

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Total Revenue $103,593 $227,717 $165,595
Total Expenses $267,188 $70,609 $158,047

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- $99,042
Government Contributions $0 $105,000 $29,859
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- $105,000 $29,859
Individual Contributions $36,191 $83,535 $3,749
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $4,529 $-384 $5,971
Investment Income, Net of Losses $37,838 $12,235 $5,831
Membership Dues $17,551 $15,315 $11,654
Special Events $7,484 $12,016 $9,489
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Program Expense $235,577 $58,851 $148,569
Administration Expense $24,127 $11,758 $9,478
Fundraising Expense $7,484 -- --
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.39 3.23 1.05
Program Expense/Total Expenses 88% 83% 94%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 17% 0% 0%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Total Assets $452,215 $591,807 $423,674
Current Assets $31,468 $229,952 $423,674
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Total Net Assets $452,215 $591,807 $423,674

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value $0.00
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 24.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Capital Campaign Purpose To acquire, restore and exhibit a Fresnel Lens which was part of the original light in the South Tower.
Campaign Goal $100,000.00
Capital Campaign Dates July 2012 - Dec 2012
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount $25,000.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities inf inf inf

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

TIA has raised over 1.9 million dollars since 1994 thru 2011 towards the restoration, preservation and maintenance of the structures and resources of both Thacher and Straitsmouth Islands.  The recap for those years is attached under the audit section.

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above is 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?