Flint RiverQuarium Environmental Education Center


The Flint RiverQuarium opened in 2004, with high expectations for the positive impact it would have on the redevelopment of the downtown Albany, Georgia business and entertainment district. Yet for over a decade, the FRQ has struggled to achieve financial self-sufficiency. Over time, it has become obvious that sustainable private philanthropy must be secured in order for the organization to survive.
Careful and strategic stewardship of donors is the only way to build a reliable income source from private philanthropy.
Our work with the FRQ focused on one fundamental principle: careful and strategic stewardship of donors is the only way to build a reliable income source from private philanthropy.  To that end, we did a thorough audit of current practices, including interviews with staff and the volunteer board. We found morale and expectations low but critical changes were already underway, including a redefinition of the mission and structural changes to provide improved operational leadership. Heurista provided specific consultation about how to better steward donors and improve relationships with members and donors.

Our work concentrated on improving messaging. With greater awareness of what was going well, staff and volunteers became advocates for the organization and its new mission. With reports of recent success, donors were inspired to re-engage. And with things looking up, the local government stepped forward with much needed financial support. A board member exclaimed, “It is so good to be looking to the future with a positive feeling.”

 “From the moment Anne sat down to talk with us we knew she had the insight and skills that would help us to begin to think differently about ourselves and our potential.”

– Emily Jean McAfee
Chairman, Board of Directors
Flint RiverQuarium
Albany, GA

It was a privilege to play a small part in the accomplishments of an organization dedicated to looking at things from a new point of view. Thanks to the vision of leaders within the organization, the FRQ invested in improving the relationships they had built rather than assuming they had to build new ones, and it has paid off!