Who would have thought that a software company called Fishbowl could have so much in common with the largest aquarium in the Midwest, The Living Planet Aquarium? Their names might seem like a dead giveaway – an aquarium is kind of like a giant fishbowl.
But I noticed four intriguing similarities between these two organizations that I’d like to share:
The Living Planet Aquarium is a nonprofit group that helps children, college students, and many other people in the community gain an appreciation for aquatic life and sciences.
Fishbowl runs a charitable branch called the Courage Above Mountains Foundation, which helps single mothers and other people gain new life skills to improve their situations.
From 2004 to 2012, The Living Planet Aquarium has increased its annual attendance by more than 450 percent. They have enjoyed steady growth in the number of visitors in just about every year, too.
Fishbowl has been around since 2001, but it was in 2004 that David K. Williams became the CEO and the company really started to grow. Its annual revenue has grown many times over from where it was in 2004.
In 2011, The Living Planet Aquarium obtained a $2 million grant from the state of Utah. Despite the tough economy and fairly tight state budget at the time, government officials saw a chance to make a positive impact on the community by giving a generous donation to the aquarium. This was one of the few such grants given out that year.
In 2010, Fishbowl was in a difficult financial situation. It needed to come up with $1.5 million to buy back the company from the original investor or face possible liquidation. After months of negotiations, Zions Bank agreed to loan $1 million to the company, which was the only enterprise loan they gave out that year. The captains came up with the balance just before the deadline. About six months later, Fishbowl paid off its $1 million loan and it is now in stronger financial health than ever before.
Now, Fishbowl and The Living Planet Aquarium are working together to make sure the aquarium’s move to a new facility goes as smoothly as possible later this year. Fishbowl is donating its asset tracking software, Fishbowl Inventory, and offering personalized training to help aquarium workers perform many of their day-to-day jobs even faster and more efficiently.
It will be exciting to see all the ways that Fishbowl Inventory helps this aquarium solve the logistical challenges of transporting so many living animals to new tanks while also taking care of everyday tasks.
Stay tuned for more details on this exciting story about these two organizations, which have a lot more in common than their names.