Canceling traditional overnight programs for summer 2020 caused a significant financial gap for Sea Gull and Seafarer, even though we believe it was the right decision. In March, we immediately went into action reducing expenses by freezing large fixed costs (capital projects and boating), shrinking variable spending except direct costs for our modified summer programs, and making adjustments to our full-time workforce through furloughs and pay cuts. We also developed programming that matched the needs of our communities and provided some revenue. Even with those ongoing efforts, we are projecting a gap of $8.5 million due to the proximity of the pandemic to the summer and preparations that had already been made.
Our focus is on today’s gap and next summer’s needs. We have set a goal of $3 million in philanthropic support this year to help bridge this gap and sustain Camp. We have other internal strategies across multiple years to get after the remainder of the gap to ensure that Camp emerges in a place of strength. We continue to be devoted to our traditional areas of impact supported through our Annual Campaign and will continue to fund those at the rate we are able.
If you are able, please consider giving to the Annual Campaign, which will fund the greatest needs for Sea Gull and Seafarer to persevere through this year. Your philanthropic support is critical to help sustain Camp.
It is our larger Camp community that can help ensure the continued legacy of Sea Gull and Seafarer providing extraordinary camping experiences into the future. Your gift and every gift will make a difference.
Didn’t you qualify for a PPP loan?
Unfortunately, along with other large non-profits, the YMCA of the Triangle (our parent organization), did not qualify for the PPP loan because we have over 500 employees. We worked hard to lobby and stay close to government officials to share our case, but unfortunately we have not qualified for any government assistance at this time.
Why is the gap so large when you didn’t run full programs this summer?
The timing of the pandemic in our fiscal year and its proximity to the summer meant that we had already accrued many expenses in preparation for the summer that we might have been able to preserve with more notice. We made quick decisions in March to halt non-essential expenses and are being extremely diligent moving forward to not spend and duplicate what we can in preparation for summer 2021.
Why is your philanthropic goal only $3 million with a much larger overall gap?
We are committed to doing our part as an organization (both Camp and the YMCA of the Triangle) to fill the gap, and partnering with our community, instead of exclusively relying on donors to fill the entire need. We are simultaneously implementing other strategies for the remaining $5.5 million, both this year and for the next few years.
We landed specifically on $3M as a goal for philanthropic support because it is bold, but realistic by December 2020.
If you have more questions or would like to talk to someone in greater detail, please let us know! We would love to schedule time to do so.
Camp staff, volunteers and Board members went through a visioning process to prepare us for the future with the Camp Annual Campaign. Annual needs were identified from 2013 until 2022. Our goal is to increase annual giving steadily each year to reach $1.6 million by 2022 to help address these needs. We invite you to invest in the lives of youth today by supporting Camp’s Annual Campaign.
The number one barrier preventing families from sending their children to Sea Gull and Seafarer is cost. Offering financial assistance allows us to attract children from all financial backgrounds and life experiences, making the experience more diverse and richer for every camper.
We view our programs not as an end unto themselves, but as tools our staff use to foster self-confidence, independence, teamwork, responsibility, and perseverance. Our team delivers an exceptional Camp experience. Therefore, it is vitally important to recruit, train and retain the best staff possible. Donated funds cover costs for U.S. Sailing and U.S. Powerboating certifications for campers. They also cover costs for outside professional activity training, U.S. Sailing and U.S. Powerboating Instructor certifications, Coast Guard licenses, lifeguarding and all other staff activity certifications as well as incentive pay for returning staff members who hold certifications.
As an organization based in Pamlico County, we want to help local youth thrive by enhancing year-round programs for elementary, middle and high school children. We also want to support those facing unique life circumstances when possible. Donated funds support Youth and Government, Middle School UN, Spring and Summer Day Camp, as well as our “Anchoring the Family” weekend for families with a cancer survivor.