By Sheryl Low, President
July is the start of a new Board year for the Longbranch Foundation and at our July meeting, we welcomed new board members Bette McCord (Director Student Programs) Nancy Carr (Director-LIC) Bob Perry (Director -LIC president, Marsha Kremen (Director) and our continuing Board Members, Beth Porter (Director – Higher Ed), Jim Hettinger (Director-LIC/TLF Treasurer), and Xoe Frederick (Director -LIC/TLF Secretary.
It was a great meeting with a vital discussion of our mission, a review of our six Charitable purposes, the 2021 Strategic plan and development of a sustainable plan to continue to meet those Purposes.
Our six Charitable Purposes are:
- Scholarship and Student Programs;
- Preservation and Maintenance of the LIC Historic Clubhouse;
- Maintenance and Improvement to local area Recreational Grounds and Trails, and Centennial Garden;
- Environmental Protection and Safety at the Longbranch Marina;
- Support of other Community Service organizations and activities and
- Support the Community where the need is greatest.
To accomplish these purposes we rely on a collaborative and intertwined relationship with the Longbranch Improvement Club (LIC). All of our fundraising activities are done by volunteers within the LIC membership and from the community. We recently had many volunteers who helped make our Auction for Education 2023 a fabulous success with a net income of $70,850. This puts our current assets at $224.749, which is remarkable for such a young organization. This “Collaborative Success on the Key” is a model set-up by the founding President Clark Van Bogart and original Board members. We need both organizations, the LIC and TLF to accomplish good work on the Key Peninsula.
There are several struggles right now that made the Board discuss our plans to achieve those purposes in a sustainable way.
- Need for a few more Board Members. We are seeking a Vice-President for our Board and another Board member to help with Community Outreach. As President, I am doing these roles myself, as well as the major fundraisers which is not sustainable for me personally or the organization.
- Overlap of Fundraising Activities with other non-profits. This past 12 months, there were three fundraising auctions on the south Key Peninsula. The Civic center does Flavors of Fall, we held our auction in April, and the Mustard Seed held theirs in June. This is quite a strain on the volunteer and economic resources for our small community.
- Need for volunteers to help achieve those goals. Both the LIC and TLF are struggling to get enough volunteers.
- This led the TLF Board to make some changes to how we accomplish our goals in the next three years. We decided to move our Auction for Education to alternate years of when the Civic Center holds their fundraising event. So our next Biennial Auction will skip a year and move from 2025 to 2026 and be held in the Fall. This agreement will be more sustainable as a fundraising event for the community at large, so that we are not asking the same group of people to donate, volunteer and give funds to three organizations all in the same year.
- We have a sustainable plan to continue to support our scholarships/student programs for the next three years from our current assets.
- We also decided that the SuperSale which only nets about $3,000 may not be the best way to raise money for the building fund. This event requires seeking donations of items from the community, storage, set-up, pricing all items, soliciting vendors, coordination of all vendors and then disposal of all items not sold. I have proposed that there are other fundraising methods we could pursue to raise those funds, such as grants, corporate donors. We feel the event should continue, much as the Fiber Arts Faire does as a service to the community. So we have let the LIC know that we would not use that event as one of our fundraisers, but hope the LIC can take it on as a community Flea-Market event.
These resolutions will allow the TLF board time to regroup, find enthusiastic board members, and truly continue the good work that was started in 2016 through our collaboration with the LIC.