Center drops $46K in 2 months, future fundraising uncertain

thumb image
Youth league soccer players practice Sept. 30 at the Center of Anna Maria Island, 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria. Islander Courtesy Photo: Center of Anna Maria Island

The Center of Anna Maria Island is underperforming two months into its 2020-21 fiscal year.

But the situation still looks better than last year.

The nonprofit has lost $46,856 over the first two months of the fiscal year, which began July 1, including $34,370 in July and $12,486 in August, according to financial documents discussed at the Sept. 28 board of director’s meeting.

Despite the negative start, the nonprofit has raised more than twice this year than it did over the same stretch last year, when it lost $97,567.

The difference between this year and last can be partially attributed to an $8,217 increase in revenues, but the biggest deficit is $42,494 in operating expenses.

The cuts — a $25,136 decrease in program costs — are due to suspended programs during limitations to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Another major difference from last year is the center’s increased fundraising revenue. Last year, the nonprofit fundraised $31,661 over its first two months, but this year the coffers increased to $58,145 over the same period, boosted this year by $18,000 from the Zerby Trust; $13,000 from the Kessler Distribution, and a $9,800 grant from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County’s Green Initiative.

Meanwhile, the fate of the center’s postponed Bradenton Gulf Island Concert Series — as well as several other annual fundraising events — remains uncertain.

The Grass Roots concert scheduled for March 19 was postponed until Dec. 3 due to the pandemic. However, the plans to restart the series this year may be foregone.

“We have currently not budgeted to have any events to take place at this time,” executive director Chris Culhane wrote in an Oct. 1 email to The Islander. “The Sandbar’s Gulf Island Concert Series, murder mystery, tour of homes, Lester Family Fun Day and all events will only occur when we feel that we can safely adhere to CDC guidelines and event participants and staff can participate in a controlled and safe environment.”

Culhane said the center would lose about $100,000 without the fundraising events, so “we will need to implement alternative fundraising methods to make up the shortfall.”

He did not offer alternative fundraisers.

He added that the center will continue to practice safety measures established earlier this year to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, such as taking the temperatures of staff and guests, wearing masks when unable to social distance and wiping down equipment.

“We will continue to monitor the current COVID situation and make decisions about our upcoming events based on the most recent COVID data,” Culhane wrote.