Touchstones Nelson remains a cultural gathering place for the entire region.

Touchstones Nelson grapples with budget challenges

A drop in earned revenue for Touchstones Nelson doesn’t put the organization in jeopardy, says executive director Leah Best.

A drop in earned revenue for Touchstones Nelson doesn’t put the organization in jeopardy, says executive director Leah Best.

“Whenever we slide back a little on one thing, something else comes forward,” said Best. “We’ve done exceptionally well on grant writing.”

The return of provincial gaming grants have also provided a boost to Touchstones’ bottom line.

The cause of the drop in earned revenue is unknown, but Best said it could be linked to a variety of things.

“Those have to do with admission fees, we have fewer people coming in, which is most likely due to the economic downturn,” she said.

“We also reduced by 20 per cent the cost of our admission rates in 2011.”

Best said because of the reduced rates, if the same amount of people are coming through the door, Touchstones will be earning less revenue.

The museum and gallery has seen a drop in earned revenue since 2008 but is projecting an increase in 2012.

“In 2008 I think we were still in what I call our honeymoon period. We were still very new to the community and there was a lot of curiosity around the museum and art gallery,” said Best.

Memberships have remained consistent, but Best said members that were purchasing at a higher level are now renewing at the entry level supporter level.

“I think people are being conscious of their purse strings and want to stay involved with the organization but aren’t as financially committed perhaps,” she said.

To help increase earned revenue, Best said Touchstones is looking at devoting resources to some of their other programs where they saw a 36 per cent increase in revenue.

“Rentals of the facility are another area of opportunity for us as well as more digitized content and archives online so that more people are ordering photograph reproductions online,” she said.


The museum and gallery store has also continued to be successful.



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