Saturday, March 25, 2023

Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation reports decrease in paid visitation, but fundraising arm shows endowment growth

(WYDaily/Courtesy Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation)
(WYDaily/Courtesy Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation)

The most recent tax documents detailing the health of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation shows a year of increased return on investments — more than $1.7 million more than the previous year — and continued growth in the nonprofit’s endowment.

In contrast, the foundation also reported a $1.65 million — or 53.5 percent — decrease in the amount of contributions and grants.

However, the nonprofit’s overall revenue increased $35,071, up to $3.89 million by the end of fiscal year 2018.

The Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation released its Internal Revenue Service form 990 for fiscal year 2018 to WYDaily Feb. 22, less than a week before it published the document on the foundation website. The form 990 is a document that recaps the financial activities of nonprofits and other organization. The foundation releases its form 990 and audited financial statement annually on its website.

The form 990 covers the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Inc., which is the foundation’s private fundraising arm, said Tracy Perkins, foundation spokeswoman.

The most recent financial statements report and form 990 were compiled by Brown, Edwards & Company LLP, a firm of certified public accountants in Newport News.

The financial documents show a growing endowment fund, from $13.65 million in fiscal year 2017, to $14.42 million in fiscal year 2016.

While the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation saw an increase in return on investments, as well as growth in the endowment, it saw a dip in admissions.

Paid visitation for the American Revolution Museum and Jamestown Settlement for calendar year 2017 was 610,844, the year the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown opened. Admissions in 2018 were 533,730.

Perkins said she was not able to elaborate on some questions related to the decrease in contributions and gifts, increase in investment revenue and endowment fund growth because she is a spokeswoman for the state Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation agency, not for the private fundraising arm.

Perkins said an annual report for the foundation will be released online in mid-March, which covers the foundation’s activities in greater detail.

Nearby nonprofits

WYDaily recently looked at Colonial Williamsburg’s form 990s, another history-focused nonprofit in the Historic Triangle.

RELATED STORY: Colonial Williamsburg president saw $100K bonus for second year in a row, recent tax documents show

While the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is a private nonprofit organization, the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation is a nonprofit educational institution belonging to the Commonwealth of Virginia.

“The Foundation, Inc.’s basic activities consist of soliciting and collecting contributions, purchasing artifacts, sponsoring events and exhibits, and overseeing investments,” a note said in the financial statements.

The Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation lists zero employees for calendar year 2017, compared to Colonial Williamsburg’s 1,700-plus employees in 2017. The Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation annually reimburses the state for payroll and administrative costs related to accounting and management functions of the foundation, according to the financial statement.

Colonial Williamsburg also has more than 20 people listed under its form 990 section for officers, directors, trustees, key employees and highest-compensation employees. One of those is Colonial Williamsburg President and CEO Mitchell Reiss, who received a $100,000 bonus for the second year in a row in fiscal year 2018.

The Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation lists one person under the same section, Philip G. Emerson, the executive director. From fiscal year 2016 to 2017, Emerson saw a $12,343 raise, bringing his base compensation up to $267,349. He did not receive any additional income besides $24,270 in nontaxable benefits.

Perkins said the foundation’s Board of Trustees approves any changes in salary.

Emerson plans to retire, the foundation announced in November. As of Wednesday, the foundation still listed Emerson on its leadership page.

The previous year’s form 990 — fiscal year 2017 — listed a second director, J. Jeffrey Lunsford, the deputy executive director. His base compensation was $170,718.

Perkins said Lunsford retired as a state employee in 2017.

Overall, the financial statement said the foundation owed the state $706,016 and $554,502 in fiscal years 2018 and 2017, respectively, for reimbursements for payroll and administrative costs for accounting and management positions.

The foundation’s leadership page lists several directors for operations, marketing, administration and more.

Investments and assets

Much like Colonial Williamsburg, the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation saw an increase on its return on investments between FY 2017 and FY 2018.

The Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation’s Investment income increased from $748,849 in fiscal year 2017, to $2.45 million in fiscal year 2018.

The total net assets also increased from $20.55 million in 2017 to $21.24 million in 2018.

The Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation does not include collections of art and historical treasures in the financial statements because they are assets of the state. Those items are also insured through the state at no cost to the foundation, according to the form 990.

Editor’s note: The Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation treasurer Sue Gerdelman is the mother of Emily Ridjanek, a former employee of WYDaily’s parent company, Local Voice Media.

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

Related Articles