Donor Support for the Foundation Was Strong in 2013
The shared commitment of Colonial Wil-liamsburg’s friends to our mission as a center for history and citizenship is both humbling and inspiring. In 2013, individuals, corporations, and foundations committed a total of $75.2 million to the Foundation, representing an 18 percent increase over 2012.
2013 was not a year without economic uncertainty—from a 16-day federal government shutdown to unemployment rates that were disappointingly slow to improve. Yet the rate of philanthropic giving to Colonial Williamsburg last year reflected a phenomenal rebound—102 percent—since the economic downturn that began with the recession in December 2007. We were pleased in 2013 to count supporters in all 50 states and beyond, who affirmed their sustained appreciation for our educational, civic, and preservation initiative.
The Colonial Williamsburg Fund
The Colonial Williamsburg Fund, a vital source of unrestricted support for daily operations, received a record $15 million in 2013, up 3.4 percent over 2012. Of the more than 113,000 donors who gave to the fund last year, nearly 20,000 did so for first time, compared with the previous year’s 18,400 new donors.
Membership in the Colonial Williamsburg Raleigh Tavern Society, Colonial Williamsburg Associates, and Colonial Williamsburg Burgesses grew in 2013 to a record total of 2,466 households. The benefits and opportunities enjoyed by these donor groups draw them ever closer to Colonial Williamsburg and its story—through cultural excursions; on-site annual meetings; and behind-the-scenes tours, talks, and demonstrations led by the Foundation’s curators, conservators, tradespeople, and interpretive staff.
A Tradition of Philanthropy
Donors provided significant gifts in 2013 for virtually every facet of the Colonial Williamsburg experience, from the preservation of historic buildings to virtual field trips for middle-school students across the country.
Historic Area preservation and programming, museum collections and conservation, and educational outreach all benefited from generous philanthropic support. In addition, we received $1.3 million from the City of Williamsburg to support destination advertising.
Senior trustee and longtime benefactor Abby O’Neill of Oyster Bay, New York, pledged $1 million to create a wealth of professional development opportunities for history and civics teachers in her home state. The six-year Abby M. O’Neill Teacher Enrichment Project will enable Colonial Williamsburg to partner with New York school districts, museums, and higher education institutions to provide a variety of both hands-on training and distance learning for New York educators, with special emphasis on those in Long Island and the five boroughs of New York City.
In June 2013, the Foundation announced that trustee and major benefactor Forrest E. Mars Jr. of Big Horn, Wyoming, had pledged $1 million to reconstruct the Market House on Market Square. It was Mars’s third major gift to enrich and expand the portrait of community life and commercial enterprise in 18th-century Williamsburg. Mars, who previously underwrote the reconstruction of both Charlton’s Coffeehouse and the James Anderson Blacksmith Shop and Public Armoury complex, received Colonial Williamsburg’s highest award, the Churchill Bell, in November 2013 for his service, leadership, and support of the Foundation.
Additional support for the Historic Area came from the Kern Family Foundation in Waukesha, Wisconsin, which granted $150,000 for religious interpretation programming. President’s Council members and longtime friends Douglas N. Morton and Marilyn L. Brown of Englewood, Colorado, provided $400,000 to continue and expand Native American programming throughout the Revolutionary City. Foundation trustee Mark J. Kington and his wife, Ann, of Alexandria, Virginia, committed to a $500,000 endowment for planned preservation, which will provide key funds to maintain historic buildings for years to come.
Senior trustee Bob Wilson and his wife, Marion, major benefactors in Rancho Santa Fe, California, remained unwavering in their support for the Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute, providing $250,000 for the flagship educational outreach program they helped create 25 years ago. Through a $300,000 grant from the Batten Educational Achievement Fund of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation, benefactor Jane Batten of Virginia Beach, Virginia, continued her support for the Jane P. Batten Teacher Project for Virginia. Drs. John and Beclee Wilson, President’s Council members in Saint Helena, California, contributed $100,000 in support of the next generation of “The Idea of America,” Colonial Williamsburg’s groundbreaking digital history curriculum that will re-launch in 2015.
The Foundation’s ambitious $60 million initiative to expand the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg continued to draw strong support. Longtime Foundation friends Marilyn and Robert (Bob) Asplundh of Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, provided $500,000 for the expansion—their fourth such commitment. President’s Council member L. Kay Wilkinson of Southlake, Texas, committed $1 million to the project.
Other support for collections and conservation included a National Leadership Grant for Museums of more than $213,000 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The funds are enabling important research on the effect of various fire extinguisher agents on cultural resource materials.
Colonial Williamsburg will benefit for years to come thanks to realized bequests and life income gifts received in 2013 totaling $4.7 million.
“We are particularly grateful for the distribution from the charitable remainder trust of the late Kathryn (Kitte) and Royce Baker, who were Raleigh Tavern Society and President’s Council members and remarkably engaged friends during their lifetimes,” said Kenneth M. Wolfe, director of Planned Giving Programs.
In 2013, membership in the W. A. R. Goodwin Society for donors of planned gifts increased by 6 percent to 1,930 members. Colonial Williamsburg’s pooled income fund celebrated its 25th anniversary and received a record number of contributions.
To quote one of our benefactors, “In almost 50 years of visiting, it has been fascinating to see Colonial Williamsburg change and evolve. . . . We love history and appreciate all that Colonial Williamsburg does to bring America’s story to life.”
A Summary of the Foundation's 2013 Financial Results
The Foundation’s net assets increased by $97 million in 2013, ending the year at $907 million, largely as a result of a net increase in endowment value that was partially offset by lower operating results.
The market value of Colonial Williamsburg’s endowment was $784 million as of December 31, 2013, an increase of $49 million over the 2012 year-end value. The endowment investment return was 16.3 percent for the 12 months ended December 31, 2013, which compares favorably with the performance of other endowed institutions.
All principal sources of revenue were modestly higher in 2013 than in 2012. Gifts to the Colonial Williamsburg Fund increased to $15 million, reflecting strong donor support of Colonial Williamsburg’s mission. Total revenues for the calendar year, including budgeted endowment support, were $181 million, an increase of $4 million compared with 2012.
Expenses for 2013 were $215 million, an increase of $1 million compared with 2012. Operating expenses exceeded operating revenues by $34 million.
The Foundation continues to focus on the highest priority revenue-generating initiatives including continued enhancements to and integration of Revolutionary City programming with hotel and retail offerings and the use of technology to enhance guest interactions.
Colonial Williamsburg monitors and reports internally on the regularly recurring, or operating, revenues and expenses resulting from routine activities in order to assess the financial performance of educational and for-profit activities. It reports in the audited financial statements all revenues and expenses in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles to reflect the consolidated financial impact of all activities of the Foundation and its subsidiaries. A third reporting format is required by the Internal Revenue Service on Form 990, an annual information return for The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the 501(c)(3) entity that is exempt from federal income taxes on most of its activities. The financial results on Form 990 represent the unconsolidated financial results of only this 501(c)(3) organization; the foundation’s taxable subsidiaries—for example, Colonial Williamsburg Company—report their financial results separately on corporate income tax returns.
The operating results reported in the top half of the Consolidated Income Statement and Statement of Changes in Net Assets table shown in this President’s Report refer to: ticket sales; all revenues generated by hospitality and products; unrestricted operating gifts and restricted gifts for operations spent for their intended purpose during the year; the budgeted amount of endowment support provided by our endowment spending policy; and all operating expenses of the Foundation and its subsidiaries.
Below the operating deficit line in the report we include non-operating items, such as the difference between the total return produced by the endowment and the budgeted endowment support; all other gifts and grants, that is to say, pledges; restricted gifts received but not spent; gifts for endowment and capital projects, and gifts of objects; gains on sales of real estate; and the financial statement impact of changes in generally accepted accounting principles. The combination of the operating and non-operating items is reflected as the change in net assets, which is consistent with the audited financial statements.