Mission:

The Fairfield Museum and History Center believes in the power of history, art and humanities to inspire the imagination, stimulate thought and transform society. We connect pe ... (More)

Fairfield Museum and History Center is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 1950, and donations are tax-deductible.  Cause: Museums


Contact Information

  http://www.fairfieldhistory.org/

 370 Beach Road
Fairfield CT 06824 

  203-259-1598


You are viewing this organization's new Charity Navigator profile page. To view the legacy version, click here.

Star Rating System


Charity Navigator evaluates a nonprofit organization’s financial health including measures of stability, efficiency and sustainability. We also track accountability and transparency policies to ensure the good governance and integrity of the organization.




Exceptional

This charity's score is 94.04, earning it a 4-Star rating. Donors can "Give with Confidence" to this charity. 

This score is calculated from two sub-scores:

This score represents Form 990 data from 2019, the latest year published by the IRS.

View this organization's historical ratings on our legacy website.


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Star Rated Report

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Program Expense

Program Expense Ratio

75.4%


The Program Expense Ratio is determined by Program Expenses divided by Total Expense (average of most recent three 990s).


This measure reflects the percent of its total expenses a charity spends on the programs and services it exists to deliver. Dividing a charity's average program expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Administrative Expenses

10.5%


As reported by charities on their IRS Form 990, this measure reflects what percent of its total budget a charity spends on overhead, administrative staff and associated costs, and organizational meetings. Dividing a charity's average administrative expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Fundraising Expenses

13.9%


This measure reflects what a charity spends to raise money. Fundraising expenses can include campaign printing, publicity, mailing, and staffing and costs incurred in soliciting donations, memberships, and grants. Dividing a charity's average fundraising expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Liabilities to Assets Ratio

1.4%


The Liabilities to Assets Ratio is determined by Total Liabilities divided by Total Assets (most recent 990).


Part of our goal in rating the financial performance of charities is to help donors assess the financial capacity and sustainability of a charity. As do organizations in other sectors, charities must be mindful of their management of total liabilites in relation to their total assets. This ratio is an indicator of an organization’s solvency and or long term sustainability. Dividing a charity's total liabilities by its total assets yields this percentage.


Source: IRS Form 990

Fundraising Efficiency

$0.14


The amount spent to raise $1 in charitable contributions. To calculate a charity's fundraising efficiency, we divide its average fundraising expenses by the average total contributions it receives. We calculate the charity's average expenses and average contributions over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Working Capital Ratio

7.47 years


Determines how long a charity could sustain its level of spending using its net available assets, or working capital, as reported on its most recently filed Form 990. We include in a charity's working capital unrestricted and temporarily restricted net assets, and exclude permanently restricted net assets. Dividing these net available assets in the most recent year by a charity's average total expenses, yields the working capital ratio. We calculate the charity's average total expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Program Expense Growth

6.89%


We compute the average annual growth of program expenses using the following formula: [(Yn/Y0)(1/n)]-1, where Y0 is a charity's program expenses in the first year of the interval analyzed, Yn is the charity's program expenses in the most recent year, and n is the interval of years passed between Y0 and Yn.


Source: IRS Form 990

Governance


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990 that the organization has these governance practices in place.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990

Governance:
Independent Voting Board Members
No Material Diversion of Assets
Audited Financials Prepared by Independent Accountant
Does Not Provide Loan(s) to or Receive Loan(s) From Related Parties
Documents Board Meeting Minutes
Distributes 990 to Board Before Filing
Compensates Board

Policies


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization has these policies in place.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

Policies:
Conflict of Interest
Whistleblower
Records Retention and Destruction
CEO Compensation Process
Donor Privacy

Transparency


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization makes this information easily accessible.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

Transparency:
CEO Salary Listed on 990
Board of Directors Listed on Website
Key Staff Listed on Website
Audited Financial Statements on Website
Form 990 Available on Website

Additional Information

Unscored

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Total Revenue and Expenses

Total Revenue and Expenses

This chart displays the trend of revenue and expenses over the past several years for this organization, as reported on their IRS Form 990.

Salary of Key Persons

Presented here are up to five of this organization's highest compensated employees. This compensation data includes salary, cash bonuses, and expense accounts and is displayed exactly how it is reported to the IRS. The amounts include salary, cash bonuses, and expense accounts. The amounts do not include nontaxable benefits, deferred compensation, or other amounts not reported on Form W-2. Read the IRS policies for compensation reporting



MICHAEL JEHLE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

$223,903


SUSAN BONNER, BOARD MEMBER

$0


SALLY CUMMINGS, BOARD MEMBER

$0


JOHN DONOVAN, BOARD MEMBER

$0


ELIZABETH FATH, BOARD MEMBER

$0


Source: IRS Form 990 (page 7), filing year 2020

Business Master File Data

Below are some key data points from the Exempt Organization IRS Business Master File (BMF) for this organization. Learn more about the BMF on the IRS website


Activities:

Fair (BMF activity code: 065)

Industry trade shows (BMF activity code: 207)

Other school related activities (BMF activity code: 059)


Foundation Status:

Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public   170(b)(1)(A)(vi) (BMF foundation code: 15)


Affiliation:

Independent - the organization is an independent organization or an independent auxiliary (i.e., not affiliated with a National, Regional, or Geographic grouping of organizations). (BMF affiliation code: 3)

Data Sources: IRS Forms 990

The Form 990 is a document that nonprofit organizations file with the IRS annually. We leverage finance and accountability data from it to form Encompass ratings. Click here to view this organization's Forms 990 on the IRS website (if any are available).

Pandemic Response

This organization was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in a way that affected their financial health. Due to the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, we give charities such as this one the opportunity to share the story of COVID's impact on them. Charities may submit their own pandemic responses through their nonprofit portal.


Fairfield Museum and History Center reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery

  • Fundraising Capacity

  • Revenue

  • Staffing

  • Administrative Capacity


How COVID-19 impacted the organization's operations financially:

Fairfield Museum (FMHC) was closed by state order on March 16 and remained closed until June 22, 2020. During that time, 39 school trips were cancelled, as well as 28 public programs, and all summer camp sessions. Also cancelled were 37 rentals of the museum facility and FMHC’s spring fundraising gala. Combined with the loss of admission income, shop sales, corporate sponsorship and a decline in membership renewals, FMHC lost $143,785 in income during the 14 week closure. Since reopening, museum admissions have remained low and all in-person public programs and rentals remained cancelled through June, 2021, for an estimated total loss of income of $215,000 through 12/31/20. Fairfield Museum was fortunate to receive two PPP loans which helped offset that loss of income and allowed the museum to retain its staff.


How COVID-19 impacted the organization's delivery of programs:

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of 39 school trips, 28 public programs, and all 2020 summer camp sessions.


How this organization adapted to changing conditions caused by COVID-19:

Although FMHC was severely impacted by the pandemic, forcing the Museum to lay off some staff, remaining staff continued to present dynamic virtual humanities content online. FMHC also obtained grant funding to build a robust and accessible online learning platform for schools featuring content in history, social studies, civics, and the arts. When possible, museum activities have been moved outside. While not significantly helping to close our earned income deficit, our outdoor exhibitions, walking tours, jazz concerts, and Halloween cemetery tours were well received and succeeded in keeping FMHC visible, relevant and engaged with its community.


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

With the support of state and corporate granting agencies, Fairfield Museum created an innovative online learning platform for students and adults that supported learning during the pandemic. That platform will continue to grow and will server to supplement and enrich on-site programs when they resume in fall, 2021.


...   Impact & Results


This score estimates the actual impact a nonprofit has on the lives of those it serves, and determines whether it is making good use of donor resources to achieve that impact.


Impact & Results Score

Not Currently Scored

Fairfield Museum and History Center cannot currently be evaluated by our Encompass Rating Impact & Results methodology because either (A) it is eligible, but we have not yet received data; (B) we have not yet developed an algorithm to estimate its programmatic impact; (C) its programs are not direct services; or (D) it is not heavily reliant on contributions from individual donors.

Note: The absence of a score does not indicate a positive or negative assessment, it only indicates that we have not yet evaluated the organization.

Learn more about Impact & Results.

Do you work at Fairfield Museum and History Center? Join the waitlist for an updated Impact & Results score.


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Additional Information

Unscored

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Largest Programs

Largest Programs



Fairfield Museum and History Center reported its largest program on its FY 2020 Form 990 as:


$984,725

Spent in most recent FY

100%

Percent of program expenses


THE FAIRFIELD HISTORICAL SOCIETY PRESERVES AND INTERPRETS THE HISTORY OF FAIRFIELD, CT AND SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES. THROUGH CHANGING EXHIBITIONS, SCHOOL AND PUBLIC PROGRAMS, THE ORGANIZATION SPARKS DI ... (More)


...   Leadership & Adaptability


This score provides an assessment of the organization's leadership capacity, strategic thinking and planning, and ability to innovate or respond to changes in constituent demand/need or other relevant social and economic conditions to achieve the organization's mission.


Leadership & Adaptability Score

100

out of 100

The score earned by Fairfield Museum and History Center is a passing score.

Encompass Rating V4 provides an evaluation of the organization's Leadership & Adaptability through the nonprofit organization submitting a survey response directly to Charity Navigator.


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Leadership & Adaptability Report

100

of 100 points

Mission

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s mission


TThe Fairfield Museum and History Center inspires civic engagement by celebrating the diverse history of our region and its people. As a dynamic public forum, we believe in the power of art and humanities to inspire the imagination, stimulate ideas, and build a better society.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s vision.


Fairfield Museum and History Center brings together people from across our regional community for a wide range of activities, from the serious to the fun. As a museum with rich historical resources and expertise, we use the past as a starting point for exploring and understanding current issues and questions. By bridging diverse experiences and perspectives, we work to cultivate a deeper sense of community identity and civic engagement. History and the arts reflect the compelling stories of people and their experiences, which is relevant to our daily lives and to the future. We believe that cultivating a deeper appreciation of history is essential to building civic engagement, community pride and a powerful sense of place. We also believe that by bringing people together and creating opportunities for them to share their experiences and perspectives, we can create a more empathetic and equitable community


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Strategic Goals

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking and goal setting through sharing their most important strategic goals.


Goal One: Goal One: Fairfield Museum will be a leading center for intellectual discovery and a place for civil discourse that inspires people to make a positive impact on their community.

Goal Type: This goal reflects our commitment to further our advocacy work for our organization and or cause area.


Goal Two: Goal Two: Fairfield Museum and Museum Commons will be a welcoming, valued community resource and an enjoyable destination.

Goal Type: New program(s) based on observed changes in needs among our constituencies/communities served.


Goal Three: Goal Three: Fairfield Museum will be a trustworthy center for research on regional history.

Goal Type: Focus on core programs to achieve mission and scale back on programs not seen as core.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Leadership Development

The nonprofit provides evidence of investment in leadership development


Describe an investment in leadership

Fairfield Museum supports and funds staff participation in skills and leadership development programs, participation in conferences, and time to participate in professional associations.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Mobilizing for Mission

The nonprofit provides evidence of leadership through focusing externally and mobilizing resources for the mission.


This organization mobilizes for mission in the following ways:
  • Strategic Partnerships

  • Thought Leadership

  • Raising Awareness

  • Community Building

  • Policy Advocacy

What are this organization’s external mobilizaton efforts?

To achieve our mission, the Fairfield Museum employs a range of strategies: both the traditional museum tools of exhibitions and public programs but also the visual and performing arts. We engage with our community both on-site and through virtual spaces, and our work embraces opportunities to have fun and to share creative experiences of music, drama and art that spark our imaginations and delight our senses.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Story of Adaptability

The nonprofit has an opportunity to tell the story of how the organization adapted to tremendous external changes in the last year.


FMHC was closed by state order in March, 2020 and remained closed through June, 2020. Since the beginning of the pandemic until the present, FMHC has been forced to cancel 98 school field trips effecting 5,690 students, as well as 57 family and adult programs and 40 summer camp sessions impacting more than 4,000 program attendees. Also cancelled were 86 rentals of the Museum’s facility and three fundraising galas that support museum programs, resulting in a cumulative lost income to date of $193,540. While visitation and program participation have begun to increase, they remain at approximately 30% of 2019 levels. Prior to the Covid-19 shutdown, FMHC employed 6 full-time and 10 part-time employees. During its closure, FMHC was forced to terminate 2 full-time employees, temporarily furlough one full-time and 6 part-time employees, and significantly reduce the hours for the remaining 3 full-time and 4 part-time employees. Since reopening to the public, FMHC has restored most furloughed staff to their pre-pandemic hours. While FMHC has reduced its staffing and operations, we remain committed to serving our community's educational and engagement needs, and have successfully offered many of our adult and student programs online for free. To offset our earned income losses, FMHC is cultivating new grant sources and working closely with our Board to conduct an expanded annual appeal for contributed income. To offset the loss of on-site school programming, Fairfield Museum raised funds to create a state-of-the-art online learning platform that supported social studies education for more than 1,800 students in its first month of activation.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

...   Culture & Community


This score provides an assessment of the organization's engagement with the constituents it serves, a practice we term Constituent Feedback. When organizations listen to constituents, they are able to better deliver on programs and meet the needs of stakeholders. A future version of this Beacon will also assess an organization's people operations and its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) metrics.


Culture & Community Score

Not Currently Scored

Fairfield Museum and History Center is currently not eligible for a Culture & Community score because we have not received its Constituent Feedback data. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the How We Listen section of their Candid profile. This data will provide the basis for the initial evaluation of Culture & Community.

Note: The absence of a score does not indicate a positive or negative assessment, it only indicates that we have not yet evaluated the organization.


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Culture & Community Report

Not Scored

This beta feature is currently viewable only on desktop or tablet screens. Check back later for updates.

Constituent Feedback

Constituent Feedback


Constituent Feedback and Listening Practice data are not available for this organization. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the How We Listen section of their Candid profile. This data will provide the basis for the initial evaluation of Culture & Community.


Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations that engage in inclusive practices, such as collecting feedback from the people and communities they serve, may be more effective. We award every nonprofit that completes the Candid survey full credit for this Beacon, in recognition of their willingness to publicly share this information with the nonprofit and philanthropic communities. Although the data is not evaluated for quality at this time, future iterations of this Beacon will include third party or other data that will serve to validate the information provided by the nonprofit.

Analysis and Research


Like the overall Encompass Rating System, the Culture & Community Beacon is designed to evolve as metrics are developed and ready for integration. Our partnership with Feedback Labs and Guidestar by Candid, and other partners including Fund for Shared Insight, GlobalGiving, and Keystone Accountability, enables us to launch the first version of this beacon with Constituent Feedback information collected on Candid's site.


Feedback practices have been shown to support better Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion outcomes, an essential area of assessment that we intend to further expand and develop in the future. Feedback Labs has documented several studies which indicate that beyond achieving organizational goals, nonprofits that are attentive and responsive to concerns and ideas raised by beneficiaries establish stronger relationships with the people they serve, promote greater equity, and empower constituents in ways that can help to ensure better long-term outcomes. You can find resources to help nonprofits improve their feedback practices here.