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The Terry Lee Wells Foundation has been a tremendous and crucial supporter of the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum (The Discovery) from its early beginning. The Terry Lee Wells Foundation has contributed more than $6.9 million in cumulative gifts since their first in 2006, which makes the foundation the museum’s largest donor to date. And, The Discovery is the single largest recipient of support from the Terry Lee Wells Foundation. In addition to the incredible financial support provided to The Discovery, the Terry Lee Wells Foundation has also impacted the lives of women and children throughout our community through financial support of the Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows, Evelyn Mount’s Community Outreach, Food Bank of Northern Nevada, High Sierra Industries/WARC, Nevada Diabetes Association, and Nevada Women’s Fund.
With a deep understanding of the motivation that a challenge grant can inspire in potential and existing donors, the Terry Lee Wells Foundation has delivered five challenge grants to The Discovery since its opening in 2011. Three of the grants, totaling $1 Million, were awarded in support of The Discovery’s operating needs after successfully raising the matching funds. Another challenge grant of $250,000 was issued in the latter part of 2014 to support the creation of the museum’s newest permanent gallery, Inside Out: an Anatomy Experience (opened in July 2015). This challenge grant allowed the museum to raise the final funds needed to begin fabrication and installation of the new gallery. Inside Out serves as The Discovery’s first, large-scale demonstration of our transition from a children’s museum to a science center, serving visitors of all ages. The Terry Lee Wells Foundation’s most recent challenge grant was launched on July 1, 2016 to match any gift received through December 31, 2016 with up to $250,000 in unrestricted funds. Thanks to community support, The Discovery achieved the full $250,000 in matching funds for this challenge on October 17. Each of these challenge grants has helped The Discovery leverage additional gifts, excite new donors and supporters, and strengthen the museum’s financial sustainability.
The Terry Lee Wells Foundation’s leading support during The Discovery’s capital campaign was essential for the museum to open its doors after seven years of development, a record pace in the museum world. The Discovery opened as an ideal resource for children and families in Northern Nevada in September 2011, and has since engaged more than 750,000 visitors through informal, hands-on science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) related exhibits and programs. In partnership with the Terry Lee Wells Foundation, The Discovery’s Executive Director, Mat Sinclair, has led the museum on a more sustainable path, which includes a 25% increase in the museum’s earned revenue and a strengthened mission through expanded educational opportunities. None of this would be possible without the generous support of the Terry Lee Wells Foundation and its consistent encouragement.
As The Discovery celebrated its fifth anniversary this past September, we also celebrated the Terry Lee Wells Foundation’s role in setting The Discovery up for success. The incredible generosity of the Terry Lee Wells Foundation, from the early inception of the museum, to support for recent projects, has enabled The Discovery to expand and grow the visitor experience.
Join a growing group of supporters committed to exploration, innovation, and education. The deeper your engagement, the more central you are to The Discovery’s core values and strengths—and the greater the educational and cultural impact you create in our community. If you haven’t already made your year-end gift to The Discovery, please consider making a donation.
Thank you for powering The Discovery’s mission and increasing scientific literacy in our region!