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Revenues to pay for this expenditure base were to come from four sources: fundraising, investment income, earned income, and public support. Because the Society's unrestricted endowment was small, investment income would cover a small part of the total ($900,000, or 14 percent, in 1990). With attendance averaging just 45,000 between 1986 and 1989, earned income could not play a dominant role either ($1 million, or 15 percent). Public funding, which would in­clude government grants as well as direct operating support from the city and state, was budgeted at $800,000 in 1990, $900,000 in 1991, and $1,250,000 in 1992. Of course, this income was not at all assured and represented a key element of the plan. Regular public appropriations, even if they were relatively small, would send an important signal to private contributors about the Society's future. The rest of the operating budget was to be covered by fundraising of various kinds, all of which was subject to significant risk. The bridge funding, to be raised from a consortium of private foundations, was projected to amount to a total of $10 mil­lion, or $3.3 million per year (51 percent of all private fundraising in 1990). Trustee giving was budgeted at $1.1 million, $1.2 million, and $1.5 million for the three years. Individual, other foundation, and corporate giving was budgeted at a total of $1.7 million, $1.9 million, and $2.25 million.

TABLE 6.1. BRIDGE PLAN PROJECTIONS, 1989-1992 (THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS, FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30).

Bridge Phase
1989 7990 1991 7992
Operating Expenditures
Operating expenditures 6,500 6,500 6,825 7,166
One-time capital expenditures 800
Inflation (compounded at 5%) 325 341 358
Operating expenditures 6,500 6,825 7,166 7,525
Operating Revenues
Fundraising 4,700 6,133 6,433 7,083
Bridge support (foundations) 3,333 3,333 3,333
Trustee giving 1,100 1,200 1,500
Individual giving 700 700 700
Foundations 600 700 800
Corporations 400 500 750
Public funds: grants and appropriations 800 900 1,250
Earned income 900 1,000 1,400 1,400
Investment income 900 900 1,100 1,250
Projected operating revenues 5,600 8,033 8,933 9,733
Surplus to unrestricted endowment (900) 1,208 1,767 2,208
Capital campaign to endowment 5,000 5,000 5,000
Deaccessioning to restricted endowment 3,333 3,333 3,333
6/30/89 6/30/92
Unrestricted endowment (approximate) 9,500 28,000
Restricted endowment (approximate) 4,000 14,000

Source: New-York Historical Society records.

On top of this operating support, the Society also intended to launch a cap­ital campaign to raise $5 million per year during the bridge period. If all of the pieces were to fall into place, by June 1992, the Society would have an unrestricted endowment of approximately $28 million and a restricted endowment of $14 mil­lion, a sound base from which to begin a second phase of its long-term plan.

See Chapter Ten for a detailed discussion regarding the distinctions between restricted and unrestricted funds and their uses.

The Society and its staff continued to take major steps forward, even before the advisory committee had issued its report. During early 1989, Debs and her staff successfully negotiated two contracts with unions representing Society work­ers, reorganized the administration into four departments (museum, library, external affairs, and finance and administration), restructured the public pro­gramming and installation planning to ensure that the programs and galleries re­flected the new mission in a unified way, and secured the support of Community Board 7 of the Upper West Side, the community group that had been most vocal in opposing the Society in its effort to develop its real estate in the mid 1980s.

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Source:  OpenStax, The new-york historical society: lessons from one nonprofit's long struggle for survival. OpenStax CNX. Mar 28, 2008 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10518/1.1
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