For a Sound Future

GuideStar Charity Check


EIN: 20-4431922


Statement of Mission: Preserve the Port Royal Sound for the environmental, cultural and economic well-being of our area.  Statement of Vision: To be the leading authority and advocate for Port Royal Sound, providing and supporting education, research and conservation initiatives to preserve it.  Areas of Strategic Focus: 1. Education and Awareness 2. Leading Edge Research 3. Conservation  4. Organizational Sustainability

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Ms. Jody Hayward

Main address



Show more contact info



Subject area info

Oceans and coastal waters

Rivers and lakes


Environmental education

Marine science

Population served info

Children and youth




Non-adult children

NTEE code info

Environmental Education and Outdoor Survival Programs (C60)

Marine Science and Oceanography (U21)

Marine Science and Oceanography (A21)

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Port Royal Sound is literally the physical, emotional and economic center of Beaufort County. It is why people live here and visit. And yet there is so much more to know about it before we can successfully protect it for the future. We start with children and include everyone. We engage scientists, educators, elected officials, residents, visitors, business owners and workers in our programming so that as many people as possible can learn as much as possible about the Port Royal Sound. We believe that this encourages thoughtful stewards of the Port Royal Sound for future generations.

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?

Maritime Center Programs for School Groups (4-18)

The education staff at PRSF provide age-specific programs for over 3000 students a year. In addition to our classroom, pavilion, and Maritime Center, we have 100 acres of maritime forest, fresh water pond, salt marsh and hummocks that are used by our Naturalists for field trip experiences. Teachers tell us what a great resource we are and that the Maritime Center is their "outdoor classroom". We believe experiential learning fosters excitement for learning and empowerment in students. Our field trip programs follow SC Academic Standards, making it easier for teachers to incorporate into their overall lesson plans. Examples of field trip activities include: • Maritime Center Tour • Sea Jelly Build • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Relay Race! • Fish Printing • Animal Classification 101 • SCORE Program • Nature Hike • Seeds 2 Shoreline - gathering, growing and planting marsh grass  • Dock Fouling Communities • Buoy on a Budget• Squid Dissection • Custom Field Trip •

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Sparking the interest of children in a subject is an effective way to educate the parents. STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) is integrated into all our programs. Programs for the entire family enable the children and parents to learn together how they can help become stewards of the waters and marine life of Port Royal Sound. These programs include hands-on experiences with the animals of the Maritime Center, guided kayak tours on the marshes of the Port Royal Sound, hikes through a maritime forest, ocean-inspired crafts, and so much more.

Population(s) Served

During these classes, adults enjoy the opportunity to learn from area experts in ecology, art, culture, science, photography, fishing, birding, turtle watch and more. All topics emphasize how to protect and preserve quality of the water of the Sound and the life in, on, and around it. In 2020-2021, Tuesday Talks transitioned into SoundVision webinars to accommodate the COVID-19 pandemic, but we are happy to be hosting in-person lectures once again.

Population(s) Served

Children entering 2nd-7th grade love participating in our Pluff Mudder and Junior Pluff Mudder Camps held throughout the summer. The camp is a week-long junior naturalist program, including many exciting and fun nature experiences in and around the salt marsh. Students leave with not only amazing memories and new friends, but also a greater knowledge of and appreciation for the unique environment they live in.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Our FREE annual STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) Festival in August hosts over 20 vendors who offer hands-on interactive learning for children/families. Every interactive experience showcases the innovation and excitement of STEAM through simulators, 3D pens, building with gummies, community art projects and more. The event is engaging for children and parents alike, and all attendees leave feeling a new sense of wonder for the power and creativity of STEAM.

Population(s) Served

The annual Recycled Art Contest is a juried contest challenging people of all ages and experience levels to make art displays with litter or items that should be recycled. In previous years, we have had over 100 entrants from schools, families, organizations, professional and amateur artists. All art is displayed at the Maritime Center with cash prizes for winners from multiple categories.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

In partnership with USCB, the citizen science program educates and trains community members on water quality monitoring techniques. Data is collected on a regular basis to provide baseline information about the Port Royal Sound for long-term comparison and to track seasonal and yearly changes that give insight into the changing health of the Sound. In addition to increasing our knowledge of the Sound, this program strengthens the sense of stewardship for our environment in citizen scientists.

Population(s) Served

Story time is held weekly over the summer, offering young children the chance to take a trip through the ocean and watch sea creatures come alive through the pages of a book, paired with a fun craft, activity, or animal encounter afterwards. It is the perfect way to start growing children’s curiosity, creativity, and appreciation of the natural environment.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

PRSF's Maritime Center is a FREE museum and aquarium. Over 30 permanent and temporary exhibits highlight the ecology, history, culture, art, and recreation of the Port Royal Sound. Live animal displays include an array of saltwater fish, crabs, turtles, snakes, alligators, and more. Located on the banks of the Chechessee River, visitors are encouraged to walk out on our dock and enjoy the stunning views of the marsh. The Maritime Center is primarily staffed by a rotation of knowledgeable, dedicated volunteers.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Children and youth

Research is a vital tool to understand the health of our waterways and be proactive in protecting them, but research in the Port Royal Sound historically has been lacking. PRSF has begun laying the groundwork to bring important scientific attention to this area through several programs that convene research entities around the state and share research findings with the public. The annual State of the Sound Symposium began in 2022 as an opportunity for local researchers to discuss what is known about the health of the Sound and what questions still need to be answered. The first publication in our State of the Sound series was published in 2023, analyzing historic water quality data and making the findings accessible to scientists, policy makers, and the public. PRSF also gives out grants annually to local researchers doing critical work on the Sound. Some of PRSF's many other research initiatives include a research video series, on-campus research projects, and more.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

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

Age groups

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Context Notes

An approximate summary of participation in all our programs, excluding visitation to the Maritime Center. Expanding our virtual programming during COVID significantly increased our reach.

Number of visitors to the Maritime Center

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

Adults, Children and youth

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Context Notes

Approximate visitation to the Sharon and Dick Stewart Maritime Center. COVID decreased our in-person capabilities, which were supplemented with additional virtual programming.

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.

Our goals are to
a. understand the Port Royal Sound
b. protect the Port Royal Sound
c. educate the community about the importance, beauty and uniqueness of the Port Royal Sound

Strategies: 1. Engage as many children as possible so that they become discerning, critical thinking adults who will guard and protect the Port Royal Sound and its drainage.  2. Serve as a catalyst for change by convening diverse groups of people (scientists, governmental officials and congressional delegates, commercial and recreational fishers, artists, educators, residents, children and adults...just to name a few) to identify issues and more importantly, work on solutions.  3. Accessibility: Free admission to the Maritime Center (which is accessible to those with disabilities) so everyone, no matter their financial situation, can visit and learn.

We received incredible support from local individuals and the Callawassie, Spring Island, Habersham and Oldfield communities to facilitate the opening of our Maritime Center. This support continues and we are now receiving support from communities throughout Beaufort and Jasper Counties. In addition, many organizations contribute time, expertise and resources. While too numerous to count, some key ones are the State of South Carolina; Beaufort County; Jasper County; cities of Beaufort, Port Royal, Bluffton, Hilton Head; South Carolina Department of Natural Resources; Lowcountry Institute; Waddell Mariculture Center; University of South Carolina Beaufort; Beaufort County Open Land Trust; Beaufort County Schools and many more. We employ three full-time naturalists who bring depth and credibility to our programs and exhibits. And we rely on our 100+ volunteers to serve as docents, hosts, tank team specialists, field trip assistants, office assistants, special event assistants, and more.  Grants continue to be an integral part of our support and help us with new program/exhibit development as well as operational support for them. We have received grants from corporations, state and local governments and from foundations, including community foundations. We will be focusing on developing sustainable contributor sources to give us long term viability.

We have hosted over 180,000 guests since opening in November 2014. Through a partnership with Beaufort County Schools, private and home schools, over 3,000 students participate in field trips at the Maritime Center every year. Over 50 exhibits and additional live animal displays populate our FREE Maritime Center and campus. We've attracted over 100 volunteers who serve as hosts and docents in the Maritime, keep our aquariums and live exhibits clean and functioning well. Master gardeners keep our native plant pollinator gardens healthy and maintained.

Our educational programs have continued to grow, with the enhancement of ongoing programs and the addition of new ones. In addition to field trips, summer camp, and family-friendly STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) programming, we have recently added Junior Naturalist camps, Adult Pluff Mudder camp, and guided kayak tours to our calendar. Our annual STEAM Festival (science, technology, engineering, art, math) and Recycled Art Contest engage children, families and adults in putting conservation and preservation of the Sound at the forefront. We take pride in continuing to offer relevant, engaging, and accessible programs to connect the public to our unique local environment.

We recently launched a partnership with the University of South Carolina Beaufort that manages a Citizen Scientist group monitoring the water quality of the Port Royal Sound. The growth of our other research initiatives- including the annual State of the Sound Research Symposium, State of the Sound publication series, research grants program, and more- has been critical for convening scientists and interested parties to assess the health of the Sound and identify areas for further research.

We have a Rotating Art Room that features local and regional artists. It changes every few months, giving voice to the artists of all cultures in the Lowcountry.

The support of private and public individuals and organizations has fueled our success and we value that support.

In 2023 we completed construction on a new 10,000 sq.ft. multi-use pavilion on our campus. This is an significant step in supporting our Strategic Plan by allowing us to expand educational programs, research initiatives, festivals and more.

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.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Our MISSION is to preserve the Port Royal Sound for the environmental, cultural and economic well-being of our area. To that end, we serve everyone who lives, works, plays and visits our area, by working to ensure a healthy Port Royal Sound. Specifically over 160,000 visitors have come to our Maritime Center Campus since opening in November 2014. Over 12,000 students have experienced field trips at the Maritime Center.

  • 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

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We utilize feedback from students and teachers to update and improve our field trip programs and activities; from parents and campers to update and improve our summer camps; from volunteers and visitors to enhance our exhibits. We receive feedback from funders (government, private, community) on the relevance of our programs, exhibits and community outreach and modify programming and communications.

  • 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 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 tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2021 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 4.33 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2021 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 14 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2021 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 2% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

Source: IRS Form 990 info


Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data


Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data


Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

This snapshot of PORT ROYAL SOUND FOUNDATION’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

Created in partnership with

Business model indicators

Profitability info 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $20,536 $259,927 $591,304 -$87,418 $353,097
As % of expenses 4.0% 49.3% 82.9% -12.3% 45.5%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation -$58,541 $176,044 $501,011 -$177,770 $260,705
As % of expenses -9.8% 28.8% 62.3% -22.2% 30.0%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $514,749 $1,395,178 $1,344,157 $1,270,500 $1,444,069
Total revenue, % change over prior year -60.7% 171.0% -3.7% -5.5% 13.7%
Program services revenue 20.8% 6.3% 22.5% 5.9% 6.2%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 1.5% 0.3%
Government grants 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other grants and contributions 79.2% 93.7% 77.5% 95.3% 93.5%
Other revenue 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% -2.6% 0.0%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $515,618 $527,726 $713,576 $710,392 $775,454
Total expenses, % change over prior year 10.6% 2.3% 35.2% -0.4% 9.2%
Personnel 53.4% 55.2% 50.4% 53.5% 53.8%
Professional fees 24.8% 23.3% 27.6% 7.1% 16.8%
Occupancy 6.1% 5.5% 4.4% 6.2% 5.2%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 3.3% 1.8% 1.4%
Pass-through 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other expenses 15.7% 16.0% 14.3% 31.5% 22.8%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Total expenses (after depreciation) $594,695 $611,609 $803,869 $800,744 $867,846
One month of savings $42,968 $43,977 $59,465 $59,199 $64,621
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $669,542 $0 $0 $112,441
Total full costs (estimated) $637,663 $1,325,128 $863,334 $859,943 $1,044,908

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Months of cash 2.8 7.5 10.4 24.4 29.9
Months of cash and investments 2.8 7.5 10.4 24.4 29.9
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 1.5 -7.8 3.5 0.7 4.4
Balance sheet composition info 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Cash $120,097 $328,186 $620,754 $1,443,070 $1,934,996
Investments $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Receivables $0 $483,000 $332,926 $190,030 $245,766
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $3,722,843 $4,388,444 $4,429,953 $4,507,575 $4,620,016
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 6.3% 7.2% 9.2% 11.0% 12.7%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 1.2% 11.0% 9.7% 5.2% 4.4%
Unrestricted net assets $3,553,206 $3,729,250 $4,230,261 $4,052,491 $4,313,196
Temporarily restricted net assets $26,002 $634,363 N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 $0 N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $26,002 $634,363 $673,640 $1,321,166 $1,651,940
Total net assets $3,579,208 $4,363,613 $4,903,901 $5,373,657 $5,965,136

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Material data errors No No No No No


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

Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Executive Director

Ms. Jody Hayward

Jody became director of the Port Royal Sound Foundation in July 2014 following several years as a volunteer and lead fundraiser for the PRSF Maritime Center which opened last November. A graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology, she has a strong background in business, non-profits, management, marketing, design and printing. Jody worked as general manager of a large printing company in Atlanta prior to moving to the Lowcountry with her family in 2004. While experiencing the water as much as possible since relocating to Beaufort, Jody has also enjoyed learning about the unique history and people of Beaufort County and is excited to have it showcased through history and art exhibits at the Maritime Center for others to explore.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990


Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.


Board of directors
as of 04/04/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Dean Moss


Board co-chair

Mr. Graham McBride


Dean Moss

Chairman of Board

Graham McBride

Vice Chairman of Board

Joe Eaton

Treasurer of Board, CPA

Patrick Kelley

Secretary of Board

Andrew Carmines

Hudson's Seafood

Kim Ritchie

Associate Professor, University of South Carolina Beaufort

Joan Crawford

David Harter

Donald Hartrick

Richard Stewart

Pamela Porter

Edward Pappas

Michael Overton

Outside Hilton Head

Jack Worrell

CPG Total Wealth Management

Kristin Williams

Open Land Trust

Jody Hayward

Executive Director, PRSF

Laurie Savidge

Michael Garcia

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 4/4/2023

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


No data

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data


No data

Sexual orientation

No data


No data