On behalf of all of us at the BoatUS Foundation, I am very pleased to share with you the accomplishments we achieved in 2016. This year saw a great deal of preparation for things to come, including the use of new tools and technology—while continuing to work on the programs that made the Foundation what it is. The Foundation embarked on a course that uses a new system to manage our programs that utilize Customer Relations Management (CRM) software. We also laid the groundwork for starting an on-water education program, which we look to take nationally in the coming years. These are just two of the many things that you’ll read about in the coming pages—I hope you are as excited about them as we are!
The Foundation touches hundreds of thousands of boaters every year with positive ways to keep our waters clean and to enjoy boating safely. Our programs are funded primarily through small donations from boaters like you. I hope that as you read this Annual Report, you can see the value in our programs and make the choice to help support our safe and clean boating mission. As you read about our programs, I think you’ll see that we are careful stewards of our resources, and provide a tremendous value to our donors and the boating public.
BoatUS Foundation President
The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is an innovative leader promoting safe, clean and responsible boating. The Foundation provides educational outreach directly to boaters and supports partner organizations nationwide.With millions of boaters on the water, our aim is to reduce accidents and fatalities, increase stewardship of our waterways and keep boating a safe and enjoyable pastime. The BoatUS Foundation is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Our work is primarily funded by grants and individual donations.
Orders shipped in 2016
Total activations since 1995
Lives saved since 1995
The all-women’s crew of a 21’ center console was the smallest to compete in a three-day catch and release billfish tournament off Ocean City, MD.
A 40’ racing catamaran participating in a long-distance race in the Pacific Northwest rented 1 EPIRB and 7 PLBs, one for each crew member.
Each year we rent a handful of PLBs to people going offshore on chartered fishing trips and on ocean-going cruise ships for their added peace-of-mind.
New Life Jacket Loaner Sites Nationwide
Total Life Jacket Loaner Sites
Life Jackets Loaned Through The Program
Has been awarded over the past 25 years
The BoatUS Foundation received two grants in 2016 to work on marine debris:
The first grant looks at the interactions of recreational boats with fixed commercial fishing gear, like crab and lobster pots. Recreational boats are thought to be one of the primary causes of lost pots. To better understand this challenge we conducted focus groups in Portland, ME; Virginia Beach, VA; Miami and the Keys in Florida and Seattle, WA to get a national perspective. The findings will be used to develop messaging to reduce gear entanglement, lost gear and damaged boats.
The second grant, from NOAA, is to remove derelict nets offshore of Ocean City, MD and a vessel in Lake Erie in partnership with TowBoatUS. In 2016, in collaboration with TowBoatUS Ocean City we helped document the removal of 2 abandoned commercial fishing nets that had become caught on an artificial offshore reef.
Additionally, reinforcing our leadership in the area of marine debris, we were contacted by officials from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) for a report they were researching on the topic of abandoned and derelict vessels.
Our work on invasive species continued with Susan chairing ABYC’s Product Technical Committee working to develop a Technical Information Report for the boating industry on design considerations to prevent the spread of invasive species by boat. This effort brings state natural resource professionals together with boat, motor and component manufacturers to look at how decontamination practices are impacting boats and how boat design impacts the ease of decontamination. The first meeting of the group was held in the Baltimore area and the second was held in conjunction with IBEX in Tampa in the fall.
Major Lesson - Have a plan!
Boats burned with shocking video
Volunteer firefighters and investigators
In 2016, the requested donation amount at the time of renewal was increased from a standard $5 ask to a requested $6. This small adjustment has resulted in nearly a 20% increase in funds coming from this time-honored and all important revenue source. Our fundraising efforts have further been enhanced when we implemented a brand new, customized Contact Relation Management (CRM) system in October. Simply put, the CRM allows us to track donations, thank donors in a timely manner, and place them on a personalized supporter journey so they know how vital their donations are and how their contributions have helped. Our first big campaign was Giving Tuesday in November followed by our end-of-year campaign in December. This is an important time of year when approximately 60% of our online donations are received. Another program the Foundation stepped up in 2016 was the boat donation program. This income source has much potential and has grown in popularity. It’s particularly gratifying to know that boat owners trust the BoatUS Foundation with their prized asset and allow the Foundation to put it to use where the funds can be used best.
Brand new specialized courses were developed, partnering with the United States Power Squadron.
Students completed our improved free online boating safety course.
2016 was another NASBLA reapproval year for the Foundation’s Free Online Boating Safety Course. In preparation for the reapproval, Foundation staff spent countless hours revising and improving the content of the course. In addition to improvements in the text, Foundation staff also added new videos, graphics and interactive features resulting in a cleaner look and more engaging experience for students. We also began a focused look at how to improve our student engagement. Many of the students who take our free online boating course have little to no other interaction with us. We are looking to increase donations that come from students, as well as the sale of cards/certificates and specialized courses with this audience.
|Learn to Sail Course||$4,999|
|Free Online Boating Safety Course||$281,943|
|Conferences & Seminars||$107,462|
|Life Jacket Loaner||$126,827|
|General Education & Research||$169,202|
|Online Course Development & Support||$28,754|
|U.S. Power Squadron||$142,537|
|Total Program Expenses||$1,371,336|
|Other Income (Royalties and Program)||$216,391|
|Realized Gain on Investments||($376)|
|Unrealized Gain on Investments||($74,757)|
|Management & General||$236,127|
|Change in Net Assets||($357,348)|
|Net Assets at Beginning of Year||$1,650,632|
|Net Assets at End of Year||$1,293,284|
*Expenses related to refurbishing donated vessels
COO of Boat America Corporation
Past Technical Director, BoatUS
Past Editor of Cruising World Magazine
Past President of BoatUS
Retired VP, RIS Paper Co.
Vice Chair, Audit & Finance Commitee
CEO, Putnam-Ross Consulting
Past President, BoatUS Foundation
President, BoatUS Foundation
Vice President & Secretary, BoatUS Foundation
Treasurer, BoatUS Foundation
880 South Picket Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22304
147 Old Solomons Island Rd, Ste. 513
Annapolis, MD 21401
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