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Young Professionals Bruce Museum


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2010 Membership, Development, PR & Marketing PAG Spring Workshop.

Cultivating Membership Among Young Professionals - Presentation by Whitney Lucas Rosenberg, Associate Director of Development, Major Gifts Officer and Membership Manager, Bruce Museum, CT

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Young Professionals Bruce Museum

  2. 2. Young Friends Membership at the Bruce Museum $150 annual membership fee Patron level member privileges ($250 level) for those in their 20s, 30s and 40s Includes invitations to special Young Friends events including cocktail receptions with curator-led exhibition tours and off-site gallery visits Steering Committee members generate ideas for venues/events and previously, helped with Mardi Gras Steering Committee members encourage attendance at Young Friends events
  3. 3. Young Friends Membership at the Bruce Museum Young Friends membership doubled between 2005 and 2008 In 2008-2009, Young Friends membership decreased significantly back to 2005 level primarily due to the economic climate Much of our Young Friends constituency works in the financial industry. Many prior members have lost jobs and left the area
  4. 4. Need to Re-Evaluate our Young Friends Membership Program During 2008-2009 decline in Young Friends membership and a reduction in our operating budget made it necessary to reduce our Young Friends budget and associated cultivation events Tested “free” events such as lectures and a film series to see if we could regain Young Friend membership. Limited attendance numbers without social component Overall, Young Friends were not graduating to the next level of support after several years of involvement. A small percentage has become more actively involved in the Museum
  5. 5. Mardi Gras at the Bruce Museum Mardi Gras was our major fundraiser aimed at our young professional audience. The event was held for about five years Fun and energetic crowd – attended by 150-200 guests When underwritten, raised a moderate amount of revenue During the recession, decision made to focus resources on other fundraising events with greater revenue potential
  6. 6. Development of a new Council A younger member of our upper level membership group helped identify niche Determined that we need to focus on cultivating a young professionals constituency in a new way for potential long-term commitment and growth with the Museum This younger upper level member agreed to chair the new group and help develop the idea. Knows what many people in this age-bracket are looking for in order to feel connected to an institution
  7. 7. Bruce Museum Collectors Council Determined a group exists that wants varied educational experiences that are difficult to find on one’s own. Members want to have input on the type of events Group is willing to pay significant dues if special access and unique experiences offered People in this age bracket have limited time and want experiences that do not require a large time commitment Spouses are very busy – unable to attend most Museum events in the evening. Focus shifted to mostly morning and afternoon events. Aim is to increase involvement with one spouse with hopes they will graduate to our upper level membership group to encourage the participation of other family members
  8. 8. Bruce Museum Collectors Council Launched in February 2010 with a goal of 10-15 founding members By-invitation group instead of a membership group. Currently invitation is through suggestions and by word of mouth. Will soon market the group on our website to encourage people who are interested to inquire about the Council To date, we have 38 Collectors Council founding members Membership dues have raised a significant amount of unbudgeted revenue
  9. 9. Collectors Council Launch Launched with a kick-off breakfast at the Chair’s home in February. Our Executive Director, Peter C. Sutton spoke with the group about the Museum and past, current and future exhibitions Everyone discussed what they hoped to gain from their participation on the Council. Member input strongly encouraged
  10. 10. Collectors Council Events to Date Visit to an important artist’s studio in Soho in New York Visit to two important local private collections Two visits to auction houses to discuss the auction process and the current art market with specialists
  11. 11. Upcoming Events Visit to Philip Johnson’s Glass House Private film screening in the fall – include spouses Several private art collection tours Visits to artists’ studios
  12. 12. Collectors Council Successes Almost 3xs the number of founding members we had hoped to achieve Current members are encouraging their friends to get involved. Very positive response from the group – they want the educational component to be the focus of the events Founding members are getting involved with the Bruce Museum in other ways, such as attending our annual fundraiser, the Renaissance Ball, serving on the Benefit Committee for an upcoming Family Benefit, and helping to underwrite exhibitions
  13. 13. Marketing to Young Friends Membership Through relatively new presence on Facebook, we plan to use this technology to encourage and revive our Young Friends group Redesigned website will be used as a vehicle to provide more current information Plan to market our Fall Family Benefit via Facebook and through email marketing/website Need to re-evaluate prospecting events for both our Collectors Council and Young Friends membership. Possible bi-annual cultivation events at the Museum