PLATINUM2024

Discovery World LTD

aka Discovery World   |   Milwaukee, WI   |  http://www.discoveryworld.org

Mission

To inspire generations to discover the wonders of science.

Notes from the nonprofit

Our Annual Report is accessible online at http://annualreport.discoveryworld.org/

Ruling year info

1991

President and CEO

Mr. Bryan Wunar

Main address

500 North Harbor Drive

Milwaukee, WI 53202 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Discovery World at Pier Wisconsin

Pier Wisconsin LTD

EIN

39-1691578

NTEE code info

Science & Technology Museum (A57)

Education N.E.C. (B99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Kohl's Design It! Lab

http://www.discoveryworld.org/exhibits/kohls-design-it-lab/

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

http://www.discoveryworld.org/exhibits/reiman-aquarium/

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

http://www.discoveryworld.org/exhibits/the-city-of-freshwater-badger-meter-liquid-house/

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

http://www.discoveryworld.org/exhibits/challenge/

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

http://www.discoveryworld.org/exhibits/helen-bader-foundations-great-lakes-future/

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

http://www.discoveryworld.org/exhibits/rockwell-automation-dream-machine/

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

https://www.discoveryworld.org/things-to-do/exhibits/we-energies-foundation-power-on/

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

http://www.discoveryworld.org/exhibits/les-pauls-house-of-sound/

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

http://www.discoveryworld.org/exhibits/clean-air-trek/

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

http://www.discoveryworld.org/exhibits/big-presented-by-caterpillar/

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

http://www.discoveryworld.org/exhibits/wind-leaves/

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

http://www.discoveryworld.org/exhibits/bill-brady-intelligent-products-lab/

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

http://www.discoveryworld.org/education/elementary-school/labs/rockwell-automation-lab/

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

http://www.discoveryworld.org/education/elementary-school/labs/biology-lab/

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

http://www.discoveryworld.org/education/elementary-school/labs/freshwater-sustainability-lab/

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

https://www.discoveryworld.org/things-to-do/exhibits/virtual-explorer/

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

http://www.discoveryworld.org/exhibits/reiman-aquarium/

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

https://www.discoveryworld.org/things-to-do/exhibits/milwaukee-muscle/

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

Where we work

Awards

Global Compact Cities Innovating Centre 2011

United Nations

Affiliations & memberships

Association of Science and Technology Centers 2013

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of participants engaged in programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Discovery World has 11 labs where students and the public can dive deeper into the STEM & freshwater exhibits in our 120k sq ft facility through hands on, experiential education programs & projects.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Discovery World ignites interest and helps fan the flames for future STEM careers by encouraging STEM exploration. Without that spark, many kids lose interest in the educational avenues that can lead to STEM careers. Not only do jobs go unfilled, but young people do not receive adequate preparation to attack our society's most pressing challenges. Girls and young people from economically challenged neighborhoods in particular begin to lose interest in math and science early in their educational paths, leading to a significant lack of diversity in the STEM workforce, so institutions like Discovery World are particularly important in generating and keeping interest for these at-risk populations.

Discovery World also serves as a partner to employers who face needs due to an aging workforce; these partners are engaged not only in technology and engineering, but in manufacturing, freshwater sustainability, medicine, communication, aviation, and design. The exposure that students receive to a variety of careers at Discovery World will allow companies to stay and grow in our region in the years to come. Many of these positions require advanced studies, but others are available to high school graduates or students with technical degrees. Discovery World plays a central role at the front end of the talent pipeline for all these potential careers.

1) Discovery World will create a permanent health exhibit in the new 5,000 sq.ft. exhibit space located on the Upper Mezzanine Level. This unique space - with view south toward Lakeshore State Park and the Meier Festival Grounds - has been constructed from an area in the facility that formerly housed office and storage space. In partnership with investors, Discovery World will create a dynamic and interactive exhibit experience that inspires visitors to examine their personal health and introduces potential careers in the health industry.

2) Discovery World will transform one of our two theaters into a breathtaking new 6,000 - 8,000 sq.ft. exhibit gallery. This new public space will provide opportunities for interactive demonstration areas and exhibits with a focus on mathematics, chemistry, and the connections between science and sports. This construction will also allow Discovery World to reexamine and refresh other assets, such as the Gift Shop and Cafe, which have been underutilized and which offer opportunities for additional long-term revenue.

3) After 10 years in operation, several permanent exhibits require investment to ensure that they remain relevant and display current technology and science. The new interactive features and enhanced technology that will be added in each of those areas will ensure that those experiences remain exciting and energized for years to come.

4) As the beautiful Discovery World facility ages, additional annual investment is required to ensure that the facility remains safe, attractive, and fun for hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. Discovery World will invest resources to protect the facility, increase building efficiency, and maintain a high-quality guest experience. Investments will include a major overhaul of the roofing system, which has proven inadequate over the first 10 years in operation, and the installation of a new automated parking system.

5) Over the past several years, Discovery World has taken necessary steps to eliminate capital debt and annual organizational deficits, both of which threaten the very existence of nonprofit cultural and educational institutions. As Discovery World enters its second decade on Milwaukee's lakefront, the organization will turn attention toward building for the long-term by increasing its endowment and establishing capital reserves.

6) Discovery World experienced a dramatic increase in 2015 attendance based on the selection of appropriate, fun, and relevant short-term exhibit additions. The organization intends to continue to invest financial resources each year in order to provide fresh and interesting short-term exhibit experiences for visitors and Discovery World members. These investments will continue to keep attendance strong, but also increase member retention, and ensure that the organization can expand audience and the impact of our educational programs.

Discovery World opened on the Milwaukee lakefront in 2006 with great promise and aspirations to be a leader in STEM education for decades to come. Almost immediately, the organization faced financial challenges and a global economic crisis that threatened our very existence. The road back from the brink was arduous; the Discovery World board and staff made some major decisions and took thousands of small steps to forge a path to a sustainable future.

With a healthier financial outlook and armed with 10 years of demographic and audience data, Discovery World is poised to make significant investments in the facility and its programs. The capital investments will drive revenue, increase impact, and ensure a sustainable future that allows Discovery World to introduce young people to STEM education and potential careers for many years to come. We look forward to working with current and future community partners to bring our collective vision to life in the next decade and beyond.

Discovery World is uniquely poised to not only expose young people to industry and careers, but to inspire kids to explore the tools and techniques that will eventually create career pathways and strengthen the regional economy in the years to come.

When Discovery World opened on Milwaukee's lakefront in September 2006, few could have predicted the tumultuous years that lie ahead for the world economy. In addition to all the challenges inherent with opening a new facility, Discovery World faced unprecedented global economic collapse. The Great Recession began just a year after the facility opened and continued into 2009, and the economic recovery was slower than any in previous U.S. history.

Faced with an uncertain economic future, the Discovery World board and staff took a series of steps in 2008 that were focused on a sustainable long-term future. The organization reduced its workforce by 15 percent and reduced its operating budget by more than 20 percent between 2008 - 2009. In addition, Discovery World focused on dramatic capital debt reduction, utilizing creative tools, such as the federal New Market Tax Credit Program, that reduced overall debt and established a clearer path toward long-term financial sustainability.

The results of these actions combined with a steadily improving economy are significant. Capital debt, which stood at more than $8 million in 2009, has been reduced to less than $250,000 in 2016. Multi-million dollar operational losses sustained in the early years have given way to annual surpluses, even as programs and partnerships have grown significantly in recent years. Dramatic increases in school group visits, Summer Camp participation, and scholarship support highlight the community interest in Discovery World programs and the need in the community for out-of-school and informal STEM education.

Spurred on by a brighter financial outlook - and more importantly, by the strong response from the educational and corporate community - Discovery World has developed a multi-year plan focused on enhancing public experiences in order to increase attendance, expand membership support, and deepen partnerships and community impact. Success on these fronts will increase earned revenue, reduce reliance on contributed revenue, and enable the organization to move further toward long-term sustainability and impact on the future workforce.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We share the feedback we received with the people we serve

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback

Financials

Discovery World LTD
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Discovery World LTD

Board of directors
as of 01/23/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Terence McMachon

Boerke Company

Tim Behling

Charter Communications

Josh Gimbel

Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown LLP

Heather Hipke

KS Energy Services

Jayne Hladio

US Bank

Sherry Husa

Managed Health Services

Bruce Keyes

Foley & Lardner LLP

Varun Laroyia

LKQ Corporation

Mary Jo Layden

Community Volunteer

Terence C. McMahon

The Boerke Company, Inc.

Mark Metzendorf

FIS Global

Bruce Milne

Milne Family Foundation

Jon Simons

Retired: Rockwell Automation

Roger Smith

Retired: A.O. Smith Corporation

Phil Stollenwerk

Teacher

Benjamin Wagner

Habush, Habush & Rottier S.C.

Karl Gouverneur

Retired: Northwestern Mutual

Sang Kim

BMO Harris Bank

John Miller

Arenberg Holdings

Katie Muldoon

Quarles & Brady

Joe Pfaff

HUSCO International

Lori Richards

Mueller Communications

Kris Barritt

Google

Nicole Cook

Community Volunteer

Ruth Harper

Manpower Group

Paul Luber

Super Steel

Ryan Michalski

KPMG

Paul Schultz

Baird

John Spigel

Alter Trading

Dirk Debbink

MSI General

Mustafa Emir

Clark Dietz, Inc.

John Goller

von Briesen & Roper, S.C.

Ward Komorowski

Johnson Controls Industries

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 9/5/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 09/05/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.