Web Bonus: More Than In the Swim
The space itself has two wonderful viewing windows, and we expected the first year to have about 200 events. We’ve had about 800 events, and so it’s been very good for us financially. Having that in place will allow us to not need to be reliant on fundraising for special projects.
We have a partnership with the University of Georgia. It’s a first-ever partnership where students in the vet program at UGA, which is recognized as one of the best — if not the best — vet schools in the country, can come here and do their residency on site. We have a perfect laboratory atmosphere. We have over 500 species in the aquarium, so having this partnership will allow us to really focus on our mission-driven activities. And we are fundraising for that.
FS: How do you keep in touch with members/constituents?
KC: Because we’re a new organization, we have the luxury of having started our communications electronically. We believe very strongly in conservation, and one way that we promote that is that everything we do is electronic. We don’t mail any newsletters out. We communicate solely through e-mail, and it’s been very successful for us.
We did a fundraising campaign before we opened called Fish Scales. It’s similar to a brick program. And nearly 90 percent of the people who gave to that program and bought scales bought online.
It saves us money, and we can communicate very quickly with our members on any issue — anything that’s changing, anything that’s new, any new benefits. Just this week, one of our animals was euthanized. He came from Mexico City, and we worked for months and months to try and rehabilitate him and he was suffering from osteomyelitis, which is a bone infection. And we were able to communicate with our members just as quickly as we were able to communicate with the media. So it really allows us to have people feel like they’re part of the family. They know immediately what’s going on.
- Bernie Marcus
- Kristie Cobb