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Resiliency and Restart Fund

The onset of the pandemic in mid-March resulted in closing our campus and rescheduling/canceling programs through early June. The pandemic continues to cause KSS immense financial disturbances and challenges. In 2020, we are projecting more than a 50% loss in overall revenue.

We launched our Resiliency and Restart Fund in late-March with a small group of our donors to support our resilience during this crisis and our ability to restart our efforts in the phases that the pandemic will allow.

Donations to the fund support our daily operations and our ability to nimbly respond to the evolving issues of the pandemic. The Resiliency and Restart Fund is part of an overall strategic effort to ensure the long-term viability of KSS. Read on to learn about the steps we’re taking to ensure our long-term viability.

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"Your recent email was a timely reminder of how important organizations like KSS are to the future of our country and the world. Students who are inspired by their experience at KSS today may very well end up being the scientists, medical professionals, technologists, inventors, and others who create a vaccine to prevent a future pandemic or a cure that stops it…The mission of KSS is more important than ever."

- Brian and Linda Hall, Catalyst Members

Ensuring our Long-Term Viability

The guidance of our Board of Directors, our Committees, our staff and so many long-term supporters of KSS is setting the foundation for our ability to continue serving youth in the ways we’re able to while ensuring our mission continues well into the future. In addition to the Resiliency and Restart Fund we are taking the following steps to remain resilient and ensure our long-term viability to restart our work as soon as the pandemic allows:

  • Financial Reserves. Our efforts to build financial reserves over the past seven years since becoming an independent nonprofit has built a layer of resiliency that is offering initial financial protection during the crisis.
  • Loans. We received a Payment Protection Program SBA loan, made possible through the government’s COVID-19 Stimulus Package. A conventional business loan was secured to support cash flow only if necessary, to carry KSS through a planned stage of the crisis.
  • Re-direction of Funding. We worked with our generous foundation, corporation, and business partners to determine the best use of their pledged funding to KSS. In situations where funding was restricted to specific programming, and we were unable to implement a program due to the coronavirus restrictions, our supporters chose to redirect the support to our Resiliency and Restart Fund. We are incredibly grateful to these funders for giving us the flexibility to use their support where it was needed most.
  • Expense Reductions. Our initial step to reduce expenses was taken in March when we froze all hiring and non-essential spending. It became clear that we would be unable to retain our operations at summertime levels through the fall given the dramatic loss of revenue experienced and the projections for reduced programming in the fall. KSS is currently operating with a core team of staff that includes 10 full-time members, down from 24 full-time staff at the start of the year.
  • A Re-imagined Summer 2020. We served 318 individual youth through Day Camp and Summer CATCH Camp. A total of 141 individual youth attended Summer CATCH Camp—a 34% expansion. Over $150K in direct support was provided to families in need through a sliding fee scale.

How the Fund is Supporting our Work

The challenges of the pandemic are certain to evolve into 2021. Recent examples of how the Resiliency and Restart Fund is supporting our work are:

  • Building our foundation with careful planning. We aim to maintain reserves and the core staff necessary to carry our work through this trying time. Low-cost projects such as a COVID-19 fundraising campaign, recruiting Board Members, and actively planning for likely programming and resulting financial scenarios are critical.
  • Contributing to our community. We intend to offer programs to our local families throughout the school year and to plan for programs that continue to meet local needs into the future. We remain invested in collaborating with other nonprofits and the greater community to address the widening needs together. This school year, we are offer programs to our local community that support students’ academics and their parents in returning to or maintaining their work lives.
  • Preparing for Summer 2021. We hope to offer programming similar to what we offered in 2020 with a goal to increase options depending on COVID-19 guidelines. We know summer programs serve a critical need in the community while providing much-needed fee-for-service and fundraised revenue for KSS.

These efforts are critical for our ability to offer youth a reprieve from missing school and their friends so that we can teach them science, inspire curiosity, and support their growth now and into the future.

“I was thrilled when I heard about Keystone Science School's fall programming for middle school students. As local working parents we were concerned about leaving my 8th grade daughter at home during her off days at school. Keystone Science School has been the perfect opportunity to help keep my science-loving daughter engaged and on task with her remote learning.”

- School Year Support Parent

Contribute to our Long-Term Viability

The support of our KSS Family has been evermore vital during this time. We know that with the support of donors and funders like you, our mission will survive—our purpose will thrive—and we will all come out of this pandemic stronger and better prepared for the future. Each donation to our Resiliency and Restart Fund helps secure our future.

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