Board member said major donations needed to keep project going

Published: Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 05:06 PM.

It’s sink or swim time for the Museum of the Marine.

“If we don’t get a large influx of cash in the next year, the museum project will probably not get built,” museum board member Bob Songer said during a presentation to the Jacksonville Tourism Development Authority on Thursday.

Songer, a retired Marine colonel, asked for and received $60,000 from the tourism authority to hire a professional fundraising company to target wealthy individuals.

The museum board, which received nonprofit status in 1999, has been recently courting corporate sponsors, but members say they now realize most significant donations to nonprofit organizations come from people not corporations. The museum board also recognized that small donations were never going to get the project built.

“This is a $28-million museum. We’ve raised $8 million, which leaves us $20 million short,” Songer said. “It’s not going to get built off of $10, $20 or even $10,000 donations. That’s just a bridge too far.”

He said the museum board appreciates every penny, but what is needed are donations of $1 million and $10 million.

The museum board will take the $60,000 from city tourism — $30,000 now and $30,000 in next year’s fiscal budget, which starts in July — combine it with funds it will be seeking from Onslow County Tourism next week and hire a fundraising company. That company, Atlanta-based Alexander-Haas, which has raised more than $1 billion for more than 1,000 organizations, will target potential large donors for the museum.



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