S.D. Discovery Center continues building $100,000 SDCF endowment

Some South Dakota Discovery Center staff are, from left, Jan Martin, emeritus; Kristine Heinen (hidden in dinosaur costume behind Kendra), museum educator; Kendra Baucom , exhibit hall manager; Rhea Waldman, Executive Director; Troy Wiebe, Board Vice President; Zach Parsons, Board President; Shuree Mortensen, Board member; Anne Lewis, special programs director and Bree Oatman, education director (dinosaur costume)

The South Dakota Discovery Center in Pierre recently raised $80,000 from supporters during a two-year period.

“Although the Discovery Center has been around for over 30 years, we have had some scary times, thinking we would have to close for good,” said Dr. Rhea Waldman, executive director, S.D. Discovery Center. “We are not sustained by permanent funding; but are constantly applying for grants and finding ways to support our work.”

A release from the South Dakota Community Foundation (SDCF) stated the Discovery Center was rewarded with an additional $20,000 challenge grant from the SDCF. The combined funds resulted in the establishment of a $100,000 endowment fund at the SDCF for the Discovery Center. Funds will be invested over time, and earnings will create a long-term revenue source to help support the Discovery Center.

“The SDCF is committed to strengthening nonprofits in our state through the power of endowment,” said Stephanie Judson, SDCF president. “The Nonprofit Savings Account program allows the SDCF to bolster fundraising efforts that build endowment funds, which help nonprofits thrive today and long into the future.”

Donations to this existing South Dakota Discovery Center endowment fund are invested along with other SDCF endowed funds. A percentage of the fund’s value is made available annually to support the Discovery Center. As the fund grows, so will the amount available to give back to the Center.

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