BY: MAYA DONKERS
Welcome to the first post of a new column for Musings! As we are becoming increasingly aware (with classes such as Project Management and Fundraising) museums are not just collections and exhibitions. In fact, it could be suggested that one of the greatest challenges museums face today is fundraising. This column is intended to bring to your attention the multi-faceted and innovative efforts the sector is making to meet needs, make budget, and (hopefully) create fun programming and events!
|Fundraise for museum dance parties, if nothing else. Source.|
A fundraising strategy might include:
- A statement of the museum’s particular aspirations (its ‘vision’)
- The stepping stones or stages by which it will achieve its vision
- The methods to be used (e.g. sponsorship, trusts and foundations)
- A budget for fundraising costs, annual and other milestone targets, income projections and a timetable for implementation
The Key Methods
- Capital appeals
- Corporate giving and sponsorship
- Fundraising events
- Individual giving
- Legacy gifts
- ... and more
|If this is your current state - I have a point! Source|
The 'So What'?
So what is the point in dedicating resources to secure funding? Let's take a look at a couple current fundraising campaigns in Canadian museums...
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts:
"A donation to the Museum is really a gift for the children of future generations, who will be able to enjoy these unique collections of Quebec and Canadian Art, Old Masters, International Modern and Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts and Design, as well as art from World Cultures."
North Vancouver Museum and Archives:
CAMPAIGN GOAL: $10 MILLION
|Diddy making it rain. Source.|
If you aren't P Diddy (or don't have Puff sitting on your Board of Directors), fundraising is hard work. It demands patience and persistence.
Development directors at the Smithsonian Institution identified personal connections as the most important component in successful fundraising. In developing personal relationships, fundraising is “community building” or creating a feeling that being a part of the museum is important. In community building, a museum’s donor clubs and volunteer committees are viewed as important resources.
If you're at all skeptical about the Smithsonian Institute's strategy, check this out:
This request highlights the bold thinking of the museum’s fundraisers, who tapped into Alfred Street’s tradition of service and its pride in its 200-year history in making their appeal.
Next time you are in a museum or gallery, I hope the takeaway from this brief (and gif filled) intro to fundraising has you thinking about how the travelling exhibition you're visiting was feasible, how the institution can afford to maintain its collections, and/or how your membership makes a difference.
Please share any exciting fundraising events or campaigns below!
Anderson, E. 2006. "Fundraising for Museums". Association of Independent Museums. http://www.aim-museums.co.uk/downloads/ee7f04d4-dd7c-11e1-bdfc-001999b209eb.pdf.
McGlone, P. 2016. "How the African American Museum is Raising the Bar for Black Philanthropy". The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/museums/african-american-museums-fundraising-touches-deep-history-among-donors/2016/05/23/bc2cbc94-1613-11e6-924d-838753295f9a_story.html.
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. n.d. "My Museum, My Masterpiece". 2015-2016 Fundraising Campaign. Accessed September 26, 2016. http://www.mbam.qc.ca/en/about-the-mmfa/foundation/2015-2016-fundraising-campaign/.
Optimus Fundraising. 2016. "Review of Campaign Status and Future Fundraising for the New Museum in the Shipyards". North Vancouver Museum and Archives. http://nvma.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/CDNV_DISTRICT_HALL-2800602-v1-CNV_Fundraising_Report_attachment_Jan-16.pdf.
Smithsonian Institution. 2001. Fundraising at Art Museums. Smithsonian Institution. https://www.si.edu/Content/opanda/docs/Rpts2001/01.10.FundraisingArt.Final.pdf.