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January 30, 2004

Colonial Williamsburg reports preliminary operating results for 2003

Foundation Reduces Budget Deficit By Over 25 Percent, Reports Record Giving

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — In 2003, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s operating deficit was under $26 million (final figures are subject to audit), almost $10 million less than the prior year and approximately $5 million lower than budget. These improved operating results were achieved during a year when attendance declined by approximately 9 percent from the prior year. Due to the mix of tickets sold and pricing, however, admission revenue in 2003 was even with the prior year total.

The Colonial Williamsburg Fund, the Foundation’s annual fund-raising program, finished 2003 with a record $12 million in cash gifts, representing a 3.4 percent increase over 2002. For the second straight year, the number of donors to the Fund surpassed the 100,000 mark, finishing 2003 with almost 102,000 contributors.

Total gifts, grants and pledge payments to Colonial Williamsburg were $39 million in 2003, its fourth-best year ever. The Campaign for Colonial Williamsburg, the Foundation’s comprehensive fund-raising campaign, ended the year at $360.5 million, 72 percent of its $500 million goal. Additionally, the value of Colonial Williamsburg’s endowment was $635 million as of Dec. 31, 2003, an increase of $66 million after withdrawals in support of educational and operating expenses over the prior year total. The endowment performance represents an important strengthening of Colonial Williamsburg’s financial base. “Our donors believe deeply in this special place and we are grateful to each of them,” said Colonial Williamsburg President and Chairman Colin G. Campbell.

“Although our operating deficit remains of concern, I am grateful to and proud of my colleagues for the achievement of significantly improved operating results across the foundation amidst a very challenging external environment,” said Campbell. “The growing strength of our donor base and the substantial progress in reducing our operating deficit leave me with a strong sense of optimism for 2004."

Media Contact:
Tim Andrews
(757) 220-7265