The Museum of the Oregon Territory opened its doors to the public on September 8, 1990. Upon reaching its 30th anniversary, MOOT and the Clackamas County Historical Society faced a dire situation.
CCHS receives 40% of its revenue from rentals of the Tumwater Ballroom, the museum's 3rd floor event space. We rely heavily on these events to provide the means to meet our mission. Unfortunately, in 2020, the third floor's aging HVAC system completely failed, leaving the Museum of the Oregon Territory building unable to provide a comfortable rental space for groups. The COVID-19 pandemic had already deeply affected Tumwater's operations, however the crippled HVAC system ensured that even if the ballroom was able to host events at full capacity, it would be unable to feasibly do so due to this critical system failure.
The complete overhaul of the HVAC system will cost approximately $148,000. To put things in perspective, CCHS’s annual expenses hover around $183,000.
Without the Tumwater Ballroom, it would only a matter of time until we ran through our reserves and ceased operations. In May 2021, after successfully securing a loan, we were able to have a new HVAC system installed.
Thank you so much to those who donated funds to help MOOT replace its HVAC system. To date, we raised approximately 27% of our $143,000 goal. While the HVAC units are now installed, we're not out of the woods yet. Our loan is due by the end of the calendar year. Every little bit helps! The less money we have to pull from our reserves the more exhibit updates and relevant programming we can provide the community in the coming years.
Updated May 2021.
For more information visit our website at clackamashistory.org
Photo courtesy of Daryl Robbins.
Why are you still asking for donations if the HVAC system has already been installed?
Although we were able to secure a loan to pay for the installation, paying off the loan will take a significant portion out of our reserves. We are continuing to ask for donations so as to restore our reserves and ensure financial stability for our institution.
Why is your GoFundMe Campaign more expensive than the cost to replace the HVAC?
GoFundMe has processing fees, and even at a non-profit guaranteed rate of 97.5% that still adds up to about $3700. While we know this is already a big ask, we have to account for this discrepency when asking for donations.
Have you considered replacing your staff with volunteers to help mitigate costs?
We have an amazing team of 75 volunteers and 3 part-time staff, but unfortunately even with staff running on "Work only as necessary" hours there are still other costs we have to contend with. Most of these additional costs are from building maintenance, such as the climate controlled rooms we use to preserve our artifacts.
I donated via Paypal/Check/Cash, is my donation displayed here?
Yes, if you donated to our cause through other means then your contribution will eventually be displayed here, though it will take some time before it does. For privacy reasons we will not disclose the name of the donors and will add donations in total lump sums. Thank you to everyone who has answered our call for aid. As a nonprofit that relies on donations to keep in operations, we quite literally wouldn't be here without you.