Fair warning: this is a shameless love letter – to you, our friends and supporters.
As the saying goes, tough times will always reveal true friends. Well, last year was tough for everyone. Including RTPI. Due to Covid, our museum was closed for four months and nearly all our programming cancelled for the entire year. We lost 75% of our earned income. To cap things off, in December we experienced a fire, which has closed us down for several more months into 2021.
Rose-Breasted Grosbeak photo by Bernell MacDonald at Pixabay
Last fall, the American Alliance of Museums released a report, revealing that Covid alone placed one-third of the nation’s museums at risk of permanent closure. Would RTPI survive the double blow of Covid and fire?
That’s when we found out just how tough our friends are. How true. How generous.
Immediately following the fire, one of our board members stepped up with a challenge grant of $100,000. That’s when so many of you stepped up, too. Folks who had already given a $100 donation for the year wrote another check for $100 more. Friends we hadn’t heard from in years unexpectedly donated $500 or $1,000. Checks rolled in every day — $5, $10, $20. People dug deep, sharing what they could even though Covid had hit them hard, as well. By the end of January this year, we had met our challenge grant. In fact, we exceeded it.
From the bottom of our collective heart at RTPI, thank you. You are the reason we are going to survive. More than that, we’re going to thrive. For you. With your support, post-fire reconstruction of our beautiful sanctuary of a building is underway, with a planned reopening around May 1. With your support, we are near to finalizing a new strategic plan – a big, bold blueprint for realizing RTPI’s full potential as a living embodiment of Roger’s famed field guides – a treasured source of information, inspiration and illumination about the natural world we love.
Thank you, again. Be safe. Be well. We’ll talk soon.
Arthur Pearson, your CEO